Top 5 Fitness and Diet Myths

original (17)Carbs are bad! Carbs are good! Always stretch before exercise! Never stretch before exercise! It’s hard to keep up with all the conflicting information about staying in shape and eating right. Don’t let it deter you from reaching your goals for a healthy, happy life. Focus on solid fundamentals and sound advice. Here is the truth about five common fitness and diet myths.

1. You must stretch before exercising to prevent injury

This is one of the granddaddies of fitness myths. For years, exercise aficionados have been stretching extensively before runs, workouts and aerobics sessions. Better idea: Stretch after your workout instead. Stretching beforehand may destabilize muscles while stretching after exercise helps loosen contracted muscles.

2. Always choose fresh fruit over frozen

Certainly, fresh fruit contains a lot of healthy minerals, natural oxidants, and vitamins. But fresh fruit is not always in season and may sit for many weeks before you consume it at home. For example, apples sit for months in cold storage before heading to grocery shelves. Manufacturers pick frozen fruit right at the top of its freshness cycle and package it for shipment within hours. Freezing locks in nutrients. Both fresh and frozen fruit are delicious, healthy options.

3. You’ll inevitably gain weight as you get older

You lose muscle mass as you age, which slows down your body’s ability to burn calories. Cells also get worn out and damaged with age. In addition, some people slow down their physical activity. The solution is to emphasize exercise as you get older, with a focus on building strength and muscle mass. You can strength train well into your 80s and 90s, helping you burn fat and create a lean, healthy body.

4. Carbs are not good for you

In recent years, there has been a resurgence among health advocates and fitness press recommending you eat more fats and proteins and cut back on carbs. For decades, athletes like runners and triathletes “carbo loaded.” More recently, athletes have switched to eating more protein and fat. But carbs by themselves aren’t bad. Don’t forget healthy fruits and veggies are carbs. The secret is to choose complex carbs over simple carbs.

5. Women will gain bulk from weight training

Muscles need testosterone to get really big. Women have much less testosterone in their bodies than men, so it’s unlikely they will get a bulky physique. Instead, weight training will help tone and strengthen women’s muscles, but not overly inflate them.