This article appeared in my local paper, Charlotte Observer, a few months ago. It originally appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The reporter, Amy Bertrand, interviewed two fitness professionals, Chris Hoover-fitness supervisor in St. Louis and Jeremy Koerber, lead exercise specialist at BJC WellAware Center about a lot of fitness misinformation floating around and came up with a Top 10 Fitness Myths list. I found this information helpful and it did show me that some of the things I thought about fitness were actually way out in left field. Maybe this information will also help others who are just starting to workout, getting back into it or seasoned jocks that may have some misinformation affecting their results from the workouts. Here is the article verbatim:

1. Sit-ups or crunches will burn fat off your abs.
“I see a lot of people come in here and say they want to lose their stomach,” Koerber says. “I say, ‘Modify your diet and start working on a treadmill,’ and they look at me like I’m crazy. You could have the abs like Schwarzenegger, but if you have a layer of fat over them, you’ll never see them.” Don’t get us wrong-abdominal exercises are great for strengthening your abs and core, but they’re not going to take the fat off.
2. There is an easy way to lose weight.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Fines have been levied against diet pills that claim to have the quick fix. “There is no magic fix,” says Koerber, who teaches a class called “infomercial myths” at BJC WellAware. “It’s called work. (That person in that ad) didn’t get that body in 20 minutes a day, three days a week. It’s just not possible.”
3. If you don’t have time for the government’s recommended 30 to 90 minutes a day, you shouldn’t bother.
The truth is anything you can do will be beneficial. Studies have shown that even splitting up those 30 minutes into 10-minute segments is good for you.
4. Weightlifting makes women big and bulky.
“That’s just not true,” Hoover says. “Unless they are using steroids, it’s not going to happen.” He says many women are so afraid of this that they lift weights that are too light to properly tone and strengthen their bodies.
5. You aren’t working hard enough if you aren’t dripping in sweat.
How much you sweat depends on more than how hard you are working. Your body temperature, the clothing you are wearing, genetics and more determine how much you sweat. “Some people can get in a great workout without breaking much of a sweat,” Hoover says. “And then there’s the guy who sweats when he does a biceps curl.”
6. Workouts should hurt.
Though feeling sore a day or two after a new workout can be fairly normal, you should never hurt beyond that. “If the soreness worsens or if you have it four, fix or six days after the workout, something’s wrong,” Hoover says. “You may have some sort of inflammation.”
7. If you stop exercising, your muscles will turn to fat.“Muscle tissue and fat tissue are completely different,” Hoover says. If you stop exercising, your muscle will become smaller and perhaps atrophy. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get fat. You’ll gain weight only if you keep eating the way you were when you were exercising. If you eat less to make up for not burning calories, you won’t get fat.
8. As you age, you will muscle and gain fat.
Though there is some truth to this, it is not absolute. As you age, your metabolism decreases, but resistance training can increase and help you maintain lean muscle mass. “You can maintain muscle-you just have to work a little harder,” Hoover says.
9. Workouts must be intense to burn fat.
Actually, the body burns fat as efficiently when you do low to moderate-intensity workouts. Unfortunately, though, it takes longer to burn calories in a low-intensity workout as compared with a high-intensity workout.
10. Stretching isn’t important because it won’t make you thinner.“Most people skip flexibility training because they think it doesn’t have a direct impact on their fitness. But if you think about the fact that without proper stretching you could become injured, thus missing many workouts, it’s vital,” Koerber says. “It is also important to maintain your body’s range of motion as you age.”