The adage, good intentions die hard, rings true to most individuals at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, it can also pertain to some of our health and wellness rituals. If we exercise to be the strongest and healthiest version of ourselves, it seems counterproductive to participate in activities that can jeopardize this. People make mistakes unknowingly, every day that can sideline their ability to stay active. This two-part series uncovers the top ten exercise myths that you should stop believing now.

Ten Exercise Myths You Should Stop Believing Now

  1. Stretching Before a Workout is Essential for Injury Prevention
    Static stretches – stretches that are held for extended periods of time – like touching your toes – can impede performance according to recent studies. Instead, warm up the body with exercises such as lunges, high knees or light biking or running on an elliptical machine.
  2. Rest Days Aren’t Necessary
    With so many top athletes training seven days a week, it may seem like rest days are an unnecessary break. Rest days are a vital part of muscle recovery. This does not mean you need to be a couch potato. Go for a walk, a hike, or a swim instead of doing a high-intensity workout. Activity fosters limber muscles.
  3. Take an Anti-inflammatory to Prevent Post Workout Soreness
    Taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil and Aleve, before or after working out may sound like a good idea, but in the long run, may cause more harm. These medications may block your inflammatory response, which is an essential part of muscle recovery. It can also cause stomach bleeding according to one study. Recent research now shows that taking these medications may cause more inflammation and should be avoided. A little bit of soreness after a high-intensity workout is normal. Rest your body naturally, and if your exercise causes significant pain, it may be time to see a doctor or physical therapist.
  4. No Pain, No Gain
    Many athletes wear their post-workout soreness like a badge of honor. They feel they didn’t get a good workout in unless they are hurting. A little muscle soreness is perfectly fine after a workout, but pushing the limits of what your body can handle can be damaging and even deadly in severe cases. Pay attention to where you hurt following a workout and know the difference between discomfort and pain. Pain is your body’s warning that something is wrong. Discomfort isn’t fun but can be tolerated.
  5. Running is Bad for Your Knees
    Running has a bad reputation for wearing down the cartilage in the knees. However, one study shows this may not be the case. The small study out of Brigham Young University showed that 30 minutes of running lowered knee joint inflammation. More research is necessary, however, this is excellent news for those who enjoy running.

Stay tuned as we continue our series and share our final five of the most common exercise myths you should stop believing now.