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8 Exercise Myths Exposed

It's amazing what excuses people will come up with to get out of exercising, from "My dog ate my sneakers" to "I'm saving my energy for work tomorrow." But even excuses that actually seem reasonable are often no more than myths in a sensible-sounding disguise.

Read on as we set the record straight on eight popular exercise myths.

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Myth: If you don't exercise every day, there's no point

Although thirty minutes a day, five days a week is the amount of exercise recommended for optimal health by health professionals, it's not a requirement. Exercise is beneficial no matter how little is done. 

That doesn't mean regular exercise is not a necessity for weight loss and good health, but it does mean you shouldn't deprive yourself of exercise just because you can't get in as much as you'd like. Spending ten minutes each night walking your dog is much more beneficial to your health than sitting in front of the television.

Bottom line: Any amount of exercise will do your body good!

Myth: Spot-training will reduce target areas of fat

Spot-training might feel like it's making a difference to fatty areas, but while crunches will tighten your tummy, they won't actually do anything for the layer of fat surrounding the muscles. That's because muscle training builds muscle; it doesn't reduce fat. To burn fat, you need to do cardiovascular exercise.

Bottom line: Keep the crunches to help tone your body and build muscle strength, but add a power walk or some other cardio activity to reduce overall body fat.

Myth: Muscle turns to fat when you stop exercising

That's about as logical as saying your sneakers will turn into stilettos if you stop wearing them! 

Despite what you may have heard, muscle does not turn to fat if you stop exercising. When you stop exercising, your muscles will shrink because they're not being used, but it's impossible for them to convert to fat.

In fact, there is actually some evidence to show that your muscles can retain much of your previous exercise experience. So: "I don't want to start exercising because as soon as I stop, I'll lose all my muscle," is second-to-none in the lame excuses box.

Bottom line: Muscle will not turn to fat if you stop exercising, so quit the excuses and start exercising!

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