Bob Greene
Are you confused at all by the advice on TV and in magazines about the best ways to lose weight, eat right and get in shape? Bob dispels the biggest myths about fitness and sets the record straight!

Six Common Fitness and Dieting Myths:

  1. Running is the best way to get fit. There really isn't a best way to get fit, Bob says. While running is a great way to get in shape, it's not the best. The best exercise is one that you like doing, Bob says. "The point is, pick an exercise that you know you're going to do, that you know you're going to be consistent at and build it into your life."
  2. If you don't exercise an hour a day, five days a week, you might as well do nothing. "There are all different kinds of levels for all different kinds of people," Bob says. You can get more fit by building activity into your life, whether it's taking the stairs or walking to work—over the course of a year, both will help burn calories and maintain a more reasonable weight. "Find an activity that works for you," Bob says. "The more you move, the better [but] it doesn't have to be an hour a day, five days a week."
  3. Warming up before working out isn't necessary if you're careful. "The muscle is almost like saltwater taffy—the more you warm it up the more it stretches," Bob says. If you're on the treadmill, don't get right into it full blast, Bob says. Do some stretching and take it easier when you're starting out. Also, it's important to stretch after your workout.
  4. You can lose weight by dieting. Bob says you can lose weight by dieting alone—but long term, it doesn't work. "You might drop some weight, but a lot of that weight will be water," Bob says. "The best way to lose body fat is to move your body more."
  5. No pain, no gain. "The philosophy of 'no pain, no gain' is so dated," Bob says. Getting fit shouldn't involve pain, Bob says. "There should be some discomfort—heavy breathing and perspiring—because you're challenging the body, but no pain."
  6. Heat makes injuries feel better, heal faster. Increased blood flow heals injuries, Bob says. "Heat will increase the blood flow, and it sounds reasonable that that would help repair an injury but in fact, the heat also accelerates the inflammation which will make the injury, in most cases, worse," Bob says. On the other hand, ice controls the inflammation of the injury, avoids the swelling that the injury will cause and will force blood to rush in—thus healing your injury.