We asked fitness experts, trainers, and instructors "What's the most harmful popular misconception about health and fitness?"
Here's what they told us.
1. Just find one perfect kind of exercise that works and stick with it.
2. A real fitness routine will require a lot of time, sacrifice, and commitment.
3. That if a workout doesn't crush you, it's not doing anything.
4. That everyone should be trying to lose weight.
5. That you can get dramatic and lasting results quickly.
6. That extreme diets work.
7. All you need is willpower and motivation to stay on track.
"My belief is that if you're relying on motivation and willpower you will eventually fail. They can get you off the couch maybe, but it's up to you to put into place the infrastructure for success (habits, social support, self-compassion) that will allow you to make sustainable change."
—Jessi Kneeland, founder of ReModel Fitness
8. Lifting weights will give you big, bulky muscles.
9. Cardio is essential no matter what your goals are.
10. You should be able to see your results.
11. That rest might be good for you but it doesn't contribute to #gainz.
12. You can pretty much eat whatever you want if you work out hard enough.
13. That you need to count calories.
14. That getting stronger is all about how much you're lifting.
15. That every workout should be high-intensity.
16. That diet and nutrition is all about the numbers.
17. You need to work those abs for a better core.
"There is a common misconception in the fitness world about the core, and core strength. When asked about their core, most people immediately point to their midsection. Additionally, those same people will go to do abdominal exercises relentlessly to strengthen their 'core,' but all they are doing is creating a strength imbalance around their spine, and their lower back will become highly susceptible to injury.
The core actually exists from your neck and proceeds all the way down to include your glutes and hip flexors ... With a balanced and strengthened core ... you are much less at risk for injury when running around your daily life, and you are a lot stronger than most people."
—Lisa Niren, head coach, Peloton