You’ve probably heard “no pain, no gain” and thought that in order to be helpful, you should push yourself to excrutiating levels of pain to get the maximum benefit from it. That and other misconceptions about exercise often push people past the point of safe exercising into the realm of dangerous exercising. You should feel stress on the muscles and maybe some soreness, but true pain often means you’re doing something wrong or you’ve injured your muscles and it’s time to quit. Discomfort is one thing, and quite acceptable, pain is quite another and should be avoided.

Stretching before working out is the path to avoid injury.

This one is partially true. It all depends on the type of stretching that you do. Dynamic stretching is good, static stretching, not so good. Static stretching means touching your toes and arm and shoulder stretch are static stretches and lunges with an upper body twist, high kicks and knees to chest are dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are great for warming up. Once you’re body is warmed up, you can throw in some static stretches to improve your flexibility.

Exercise is all you need to lose weight.

Let’s put this one to bed forever. While exercise is important, not only for weight loss, but also good health, a healthy diet is at the top of the list when it comes to weight loss. You can’t exercise away a bad diet. Exercise burns extra calories, aids in a number of healthy ways and boosts muscle development that also boost metabolism. However, it takes about 30 minutes of working out to burn off the calories of a donut and an hour and forty minutes to negate the calories of a Big Mac. If you’re trying to shed pounds, eat healthier. That’s good advice even if you’re not trying to lose weight.

Spot reducing can help you eliminate the fat on your thighs.

No matter what exercise you do, it builds the muscles that are being worked. What it doesn’t do is convert the fat above those muscles. Instead, it burns fat from all over your body, so if you need to lose weight on your booty, those squats will tone and shape it, but the fat will still remain unless you lose weight all over your body.

  • Protein bars and protein shakes are a source of food in an emergency, but not as a replacement for whole foods. Have a slice of lean turkey with lettuce and tomatoes, instead.
  • Cardio is the best for weight loss has always been common wisdom, but strength training is really where it’s at.
  • Knowing your body is far better than using a heart rate monitor to judge how hard you should be working. Heart rate monitors have their place, but knowing your body is far better.
  • For years, common misconception kept women away from the weight area of the gym. In reality, women not only can safely lift weights, they need to lift weights for good health.