There's no shortage of fitness myths in circulation and although many people believe them, they could be causing more harm than good. It's always best to receive advice from people who know what they're talking about, whether it is your GP, a physiotherapist or personal trainer.
Here’s a handy list of some of the most common misconceptions:
1. Stomach crunches will make my abs flatter
Most people dream of a flatter stomach, but despite what you might think, sit-ups and abs workouts might not be the best way to achieve it. If you've got a high percentage of body fat, then this will need to be reduced before the benefits of any stomach exercises start to show.A healthy diet and cardio exercises will help make this happen.
2. Yoga doesn't count as exercise
Yoga has gained popularity over recent years, not least for the benefits it can bring to your health and wellbeing. Some people wrongly believe that unless you're working up a sweat, then you are not really exercising - but this isn't the case. Research from the National Centre of Complementary and Integrative Health in the US shows that yoga can improve muscle function, strength and flexibility.
3. Energy drinks are the ideal way to start a workout
Many people turn to energy drinks at the beginning of their workout in the hope of a quick boost. The reality is they're full of caffeine, and while the stimulant may work for a while, it will soon wear off. The World Health Organization warns the public could be at risk from taking too many energy drinks, making water the safest and healthiest way to stay hydrated.
4. My workout should start with cardio training
It's not uncommon for gym-goers to begin their session with cardio training, but this might not be the best option. Starting with strength training will increase your levels of cortisol and testosterone, which will stand you in good stead for the remainder of your workout.