The field of fitness is replete with exercise myths - bits of mis-information and half truths that people cling to like life vests after a shipwreck.
Understanding the truth behind these myths will go a long way towards helping you to figure out what really works. Here are some more of the most commonly held exercise myths:
No. 6: You can lose weight by dieting.
This sounds like a trick question, but it's actually not. Researchers have found that one of the most accurate predictors of future weight gain is dieting - those who diet end up putting on weight over 85% of the time. Rather than dieting, aim to eat a healthy mix of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, and start an exercise program. You'll lose weight and keep it off.
No. 7: Heat makes injuries feel better, heal faster.
The first response to any injury should be to stop the activity and apply ice. Ice will dramatically speed up your recovery time, and the sooner you apply it the better. If you have a muscle injury, after 48 hours of regular icing (20 minutes 4 to 5 times per day), you can start to alternate heat and ice.
No. 8: The best time to exercise is early in the morning.
While it's true that morning workouts give your metabolism a boost at the start of the day, some people hate early morning workouts. Ultimately, the best time to exercise is the time you enjoy - you're much more likely to stick at it if you enjoy your workouts.
No. 9: If you drink water when you exercise, you'll get cramps.
Drinking water before, during and after exercise is essential. Cramps are usually the result of not enough water. Aim to drink 8 ozs before your workout, and a further 8 ozs for each 20 mins you workout. Leave the sports drinks alone unless you are working out for more than 90 minutes - your body has plenty of calories to get you through your workout.
No. 10: You can get a six-pack if you do a thousand crunches a day.
Getting a six pack depends mostly on two factors - lack of body fat and good genetics! Doing lots of core exercises (crunches, etc) will certainly make your abs stronger, which is great, but no one will see them unless you strip away the fat that covers them.