Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Q&A: Top 10 workout myths

David Webster, Tribune Content Agency on

Published in Health & Fitness

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I eat fairly healthy, but I want to lose weight and improve my physical wellness in the new year. I’m finding a lot of conflicting information about the best workouts for weight loss, the amount of time I need to work out and what food I should eat. Can you help me make sense of it so I can plan a routine?

ANSWER: Being proactive to achieve long-term health and wellness is important, and you should be proud of your efforts to set fitness goals and develop routines. However, among research, personal opinion and stereotypes, a lot of misinformation can make it hard to know what is accurate.

Here is the truth about the top 10 workout myths that you should consider as you develop your game plan:

Myth 1: Stick solely to cardio for weight loss.

While it’s true that you should include 20-30 minutes of cardio in your workout routine, focusing solely on cardio will not transform your body as quickly or as dramatically as you might think.

People perceive cardio as the ultimate solution because their heart rate is up. But in reality, you need to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your workout. Strength training builds muscles and maximizes your cardio routine. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, especially during cardio.


Myth 2: Heavy weights will bulk you up.

Some people are concerned that adding strength training will build muscle bulk to the point that they will look like a bodybuilder. This is not true. You would have to work out excessively to do so. Start slow and add weight to build muscle, which will maximize the calories your body will burn.

Myth 3: If you work out today, you can be lax in your diet.

Working out is important, but so is having good nutrition. You can’t work off a bad diet. Food is fuel, and proper nutrition guarantees results. If you want to lose weight, your calorie output needs to be higher than your calorie input.


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