There's a lot of information at our disposal these days, whether we're parked in front of the computer, watching TV or scrolling through our smartphones. And while it's great to have information on hand whenever we want, not everything we come across is proven fact. This can be problematic, especially when it comes to your health. Not everything you read online or hear on TV is true.
Here are five common health myths that you should stop worrying about.
1. You need to detox.
How many times have you seen products meant to detox your body and promote weight loss? They're everywhere, but they haven't proven to have any beneficial effects. We're not sure what toxins they remove, but we know you can count on your liver to remove toxins. Your liver acts as your body's detoxification system by filtering the blood, producing bile and breaking down waste. As for the weight loss from detox diets? You're depriving yourself of calories or nutrients—essentially fasting—so you lose weight quickly (but it doesn't last).
2. Women who lift weights will bulk up.
Many women resist trying strength training because they're afraid of getting bulky. Don't worry: sculpting bodybuilder-sized muscles is hard work. Women don't have enough testosterone to easily build the large, bulky muscles that men develop. If you want to become a body builder, you must work hard at it, repetitively lifting increasingly heavy weights. The good news is that developing even a little more muscle can increase your metabolism and help you manage your weight more easily. Start lifting weights twice a week to see results from more toned, not larger, muscles.
3. You have to wait an hour to swim after you eat.
Your mom may have cautioned you as a kid to wait an hour after eating before jumping in the pool or swimming in the ocean, but there's no need. Studies haven't linked full bellies with drowning, so feel free to swim whenever you feel like it. Of course, a really big meal isn't likely to help your activity levels, as a stretched stomach can be uncomfortable.
4. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
Have you ever gotten yelled at for cracking your knuckles? While others might find it annoying, there's no reason for them to caution you about it being unhealthy. People who crack their knuckles are no more likely to get arthritis than those who don't.
5. Going out with wet hair will make you sick.
People have long warned women that going outside with wet hair when it's cold out can result in a cold or the flu. However, studies have shown that people who were damp and chilled were no more likely to get sick than those who were in warm, dry conditions when they were exposed to viruses.