The 10 Biggest Fitness Myths

Do you stretch before going on a run? What about ­after? Do you guzzle electrolytes to stave off muscle cramps? Are you thinking about throwing your running shoes in the trash to go barefoot? Does your recovery meal ­include ibuprofen? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are now under arrest for breaking the ­basic laws of fitness.

Health & Fitness Report 2012

Health & Fitness Report 2012     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

Chances are some bogus training advice has wormed its way into your fitness regimen. Time to root it out. Here are the ten performance myths holding you back, from pre-race stretching to the evils of high-fructose corn syrup. Click these links to read more about each myth. Plus: Three truisms that are still up for debate.

Myth #1: Stretching prevents injuries and improves performance.
Myth #2: Running barefoot is better for the body.
Myth #3: You need to focus on your core to become a better athlete.
Myth #4: Guzzling water and electrolytes before a race prevents cramps.
Myth #5: Popping ibuprofen before a hard workout prevents sore muscles afterward.
Myth #6: Dehydration hurts race performance.
Myth #7: Ice baths speed recovery.
Myth #8: Long and slow is the best way to burn calories.
Myth #9: Fructose is a performance killer.
Myth #10: Supplements take performance to the next level.

Up for Debate: Massage boosts recovery after a tough workout.
Up for Debate: Surgery is the best remedy for an ACL tear.
Up for Debate: Cortisone shots speed healing after an injury.

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