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The Truth Behind 5 Rampant Fitness Myths:

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We're lucky to live in the Information Age, but some of the information we hear about fitness is outdated, or just plain wrong. Here is a closer look at five common fitness myths, and what you should be doing instead.

Myth #1: Crunches give you a flat stomach.

While they do provide a bit of toning, crunches aren't an efficient way to burn calories or fat. Try replacing them with movements that engage your whole core, like planks (which start from a modified push-up position) and bridges (where you raise your hips from a modified sit-up position).

Myth #2: More sweat means more fat burning.

Some people work out until they're drenched in sweat, and others take supplements that promise to raise their core temperature. Neither approach has much merit. While the heat may slightly raise your metabolism, you'll mostly be losing water weight instead of fat. Stay hydrated and work out smarter, not harder!

Myth #3: Running won't hurt your knees.

This one is a half-truth. Studies have shown that men who run do not have an increased risk for knee injuries as they age. However, women are four to six times more likely to suffer an ACL injury from running. Strength training can reduce this risk.

Myth #4: Stretching after a workout decreases your soreness.

There is no proof that a post-workout stretch decreases the amount of blood lactate, which is what causes muscle soreness. But don't give up on stretching completely; if you stretch while your muscles are still warm from your workout, your joints will benefit.

Myth #5: Yoga is great for weight loss.

Yoga is great for many things, but burning calories isn't one of them. On average, an hour of yoga burns 250 calories, which is low compared to other activities. But yoga does help build strength and flexibility, so yoga classes can make it easy for you to become more active.

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