5 Myths About Staying Fit -- Debunked!


    Much of the exercise advice you hear in locker rooms is sound, but some is bogus - ordownright dangerous:

    1. The Best Time to Exercise
    Myth: Early morning is the best time to exercise.

    Fact: "The best time to exercise is anytime you can do it," says Delia Hammock, M.S., R.D., and former Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. So whether you have more energy in the morning or at night,the important thing is that you motivate yourself to do it!

    2. Working Your Abs
    Myth: You should spend 30 minutes of your workout on your abs.

    Fact: Done properly, a mere five-minute ab routine is enough to make muscles feel fatigued -- the goal of your workout, says exercise physiologist and American Council on Exercise spokesperson Richard Cotton. After that, switch to cardiovascular activities like walking, swimming, or biking. These activities work all the major muscles, melting fat and giving you an overall leaner appearance.

    3. Eating Protein Bars & Shakes
    Myth: It's smart to eat lots of protein bars and shakes, so you can build your muscles.

    Fact: The only thing that increases muscle mass is exercise. For that, you need energy-providing carbohydrates, not extra protein, says Nancy Clark, R.D., of SportsMedicine Associates, in Brookline, Mass. A good diet for a recreational exerciser consists of 55 to 65 percent carbs and about 60 to 90 grams of protein a day.

    4. Lifting Heavy Weights
    Myth: Lifting heavy weights will overdevelop a woman's muscles.

    Fact: Women don't have the hormones needed to develop masculine physiques, says ACE's Ken Alan. The heavier the weights, the stronger your muscles -- which means that you'll burn calories more efficiently.

    5. Leaning Forward on a Stair Climber
    Myth: Lean forward on the stair climber if you want a firm behind:)

    Fact: Do this, and you could strain your lower back. Instead, stand tall and rest your hands on the rails just enough to balance.