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Myths. They’re everywhere. And when it comes down to it, they’re nothing but huge chunks of misinformation – and sometimes that can be really dangerous. The following are some of the most common exercise myths you need to recognize in order to make the most of your own routines.

Weights Make Women Bulky

Good grief – no. Women have a ton of estrogen, which means it’s harder for them to build bulky muscles. They can certainly tone and build muscle, but it takes a lot of work. Guys can do it easily because of their testosterone levels.

Cardio Burns Calories

Cardio increases your cardiovascular endurance and it does burn calories. The burn from cardio stops when your cardio stops, though. The burn from lifting weights lasts a lot longer and gives you a greater overall effect. The best plan would be to incorporate both!

Fat Burns Away

By the way, “burning” is a horrible word. You don’t burn fat cells – you shrink them. And they can only get so small. This is why people who yo-yo diet lose weight but never lose as much as they did the time before. Fat cells expand and split, and then you have more to work towards shrinking.

Water, Water, Water

You don’t necessarily need 8 glasses of water per day. Look at your own urine. Is it cloudy and dark? If so, you’re not getting enough water. Is it clear? If so, you’re pretty hydrated. Talk to your doctor if there’s a reason you’re not sure about your water intake.

Sweat Means You Had a Great Workout

Sweat is designed to cool your body’s core temperature. Period. End of statement. It has nothing to do with how hard you’re working out, in general. Some people naturally sweat a lot more than others, simply because the body has to do more to cool itself.

Sports Bras aren’t Necessary

Actually, they are. Sports bras keep your breasts from bouncing around too much, but they also help to prevent your breasts from sagging later in life. Those HIIT workouts you love cause stress on the ligaments around your breasts, causing them to stretch. When that happens, sagging occurs. Spend a couple of bucks on a GOOD sports bra.

The Scale is Your Friend

Not so. Muscle is denser than fat, so you may gain muscle and burn fat but see the number on the scale stay the same. Meanwhile, your clothing size is shrinking and you feel better (and look better, too). Don’t stress yourself out over the numbers on the scales. Look at the overall results you’re seeing, including body-fat percentages and measurements.

There are plenty of things you can do to lose weight, but you need to find out which are myth and which are reality. Treat yourself with compassion and you’ll definitely start to see the results you’re hoping for.