Facebook Pixel

13 Fitness Myths You Shouldn't Believe

By HERWriter
Rate This
13 Myths about Fitness You Shouldn't Believe AntonioDiaz/Fotolia

Want to develop a safe and effective workout? It’s time to ditch these 13 common fitness myths.

1)Myth: Stretch before your workout.

Fact: Recent studies report that pre-workout stretching can reduce both performance and power, said MensFitness.com.

2) Myth: No pain, no gain.

Fact: It’s normal to be uncomfortable. Sharp pain is not normal. Stop immediately and talk to your doctor.

3) Myth: Crunches give you flat abs.

Fact: Not true. Moving your distal trunk — your shoulders and butt — are better, said Health.com. Think planks and bridges, not crunches.

4) Myth: You can target your fat burn.

Fact: You can't. A new study reported, “11 people completed a 12-week program exercising a single leg. Even training only one leg, they lost about the same amount of body fat in both legs. Plus they burned even more body fat above the waist,” according to WomensHealth.com.

5)Myth: The more you sweat, the more you burn.

Fact: Sweat simply cools us down and regulates our internal body temperature. It’s not an indicator of how many calories you burn.

6) Myth: Running is better than walking.

Fact: Walking and running work the same muscles and expend the same overall energy burn. However, walking takes about twice the time as running, to expend the same amount of energy, explained WomensHealth.com.

7) Myth: Treadmill running is less stressful on knees than running on pavement.

Fact: They’re both the same. It's the force of your body weight on your joints that stresses the knees, not the running surface. Want to reduce knee stress? WebMD suggests that you vary your workout.

8) Myth: Treadmill running is the same as running outside.

Fact: Running outside presents more challenges, so it engages more muscles. As such, it requires more energy and burns about 10 percent more calories, wrote WomensHealth.com.

9) Myth: Aerobic workouts boost your metabolism all day.

Fact: There's some truth to this, but with limitations. Your metabolism continues to burn at a slightly higher rate after an aerobic workout, but it’s not significant. It only burns around 20 extra calories for the day, said WebMD.com.

10) Myth: The more you work out the better.

Fact: Rest means recovery. Working out every day has the potential to cause injury. Injury prevents your muscles from recovering. "Be sure to take regular breaks, whether it's every other day (if you're a beginner) or once a week (for the advanced)," said Health.com.

11) Myth: Lifting heavy weights bulks up women.

Fact: Heavy lifting actually slims down women. “Women who lift heavy weights for eight reps burn nearly twice as many calories as women who do 15 reps with lighter dumbbells, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,” reported WomensHealth.com.

12) Myth: Cardio is better to lose weight.

Fact: To drop pounds, fill your workouts with interval and weight training.

13) Myth: Don’t work out on an empty stomach.

Fact: According to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, your body is a better fat-burning machine if you save breakfast until after your workout, stated WomensHealth.com.


Baackes, Alexandra. "Seven of the Biggest Myths in Fitness-Debunked." Men's Fitness. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.

Bouchez, Colette. "Top 9 Fitness Myths -- Busted!" WebMD. WebMD. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.

Narins, Elizabeth. "The 13 Biggest Fitness Myths." Women's Health. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.

Yeh, Ivan. "6 Fitness Myths, Busted (And 3 Surprising Facts)." Health.com. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.

Reviewed September 11, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



Get Email Updates

Fitness Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!