My high school sport teacher used to tell me to stretch before my workouts to prevent injury. You've probably heard the same and other fitness advice: "Be sure to change your running shoes every six months." "No pain, no gain." "You sweat out toxins." But is there truth to them? Eh, it's a stretch. This video from Mental Floss rounds up ten commonly repeated sayings in fitness and succinctly dispels the fog around them. If you've been reading us for a while now, you might already be familiar with some of these.
For example, stretching by itself doesn't prevent injury. In fact, static stretching before a workout can hurt performance, so you probably want to skip it if you're about to lift heavy weights or do powerful sprints. On the other hand, a good warmup can definitely reduce your chances of a pulled muscle or something similarly dreadful. And over the long term, stretching can make us stronger. That's the key differentiator.
The video also dispels the notion that you can't hurt your knee on the treadmill (you can), whether you really need to change running shoes every six months (nope) and whether you have to sweat to get a good workout (you can get a great workout without leaving a pool of bodily fluids).
Misconceptions about exercise [Mental Floss]