Whether you’re old or young, in shape or never picked up a weight in your life, you’ve probably heard a lot of fitness myths. There are all kinds of ideas about weight loss and exercise out there, ranging from credible to downright crazy. Here are just a few of the common myths baby boomers hear about their fitness and the real truth behind them.

Myth 1: You can’t be in great shape.

When you think of healthy, sculpted bodies, your mind generally cuts to people in their 20s. While many people want to be more fit and healthy, they have convinced themselves that they are simply too old to be in great shape. This simply isn’t true. Sure, you lose some abilities as you get older. You may not be as fast or lift as much, but that doesn’t have to stop you. Plus, the earlier you get started on your fitness program, the less functioning you’ll lose as you age.

Myth 2: You have to work out very hard to lose weight.

Sure, working out really hard is going to burn more calories than if you have a light workout, but you can still achieve safe results while cutting back a little. If you go into workouts full force, you’re not only putting unneeded stress on your heart, joints, and the rest of your body, you’re also risking injury and other serious health problems. Don’t try to push yourself beyond what your body can do. A little bit of effort does go a long way.

Myth 3: Doing cardio several times a week is enough exercise.

While cardio and other endurance exercises are an important part of getting and staying in shape, they’re just one piece of the puzzle if you want to stay healthy. A well-balanced workout will also include strength training to keep muscle mass and definition and bone density, stretching exercises to maintain and improve flexibility, and balance exercises to help avoid future injury. If you are uncertain about your workout, many gyms have personal trainers and fitness consultants that can help get your started on the right path.

Myth 4: Cutting out carbohydrates and fats will make you lose weight.

Sure, there have been fad diets around for many, many years, but lately they seem to be much more prevalent and often much more crazy. You may be guilty of jumping on the bandwagon, probably only to jump right back off. These diets tend to cut of things completely that your body needs and craves. Instead of constantly looking for “diet” products, eat sensible meals with lots of fruits and vegetables for nutrients.

The best way to get into shape is to do it slowly through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Ignoring the latest fads of fitness myths will usually keep you on the right track to becoming healthy.

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