Six Signs a "Health" Article Is Not Legit

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Have you ever seen an online article that says something like, "The Best and Worst Exercises for Killer Abs." I have and I've clicked on it. Experts say it's headlines like that you should be wary of...

Some health and fitness articles make big promises they just can’t live up to. We’re talking about the ones that say they’ll help you “melt fat” or tone your long lean muscles with this one exercise. Unfortunately, they’re basically empty promises and this is how to spot some of the worst offenders.

  • “This one exercise”- Doesn’t matter what it is, one exercise can’t do anything alone. Even if it’s a move that works your whole body, like a burpee, it needs to be part of a whole fitness plan because there’s no fitness goal that can be reached with just one exercise.
  • “Melts fat”- It would be amazing if a specific exercise could actually do this, but even if you follow a healthy eating plan and lose fat, it’s going to be a slow process. And while you can build muscle in a specific spot, you can’t focus on fat loss the same way, unfortunately.
  • “Torches calories”- The number of calories you burn in a workout isn’t the most important part and you don’t have to suffer through high-intensity “calorie-blasting” sweat sesh to get a good workout in.
  • “Long, lean muscles”- Our muscles are the length they are, they don’t get longer or they wouldn’t work right anymore. People talk “long, lean muscles,” but they’re actually talking about a certain body type, not an effect of exercise. Sadly, there’s no exercise that can turn us into a six-foot-tall ballerina.
  • “Best” or “worst” exercises- It would be great if we could add one exercise to our lives and get the specific result we want, but nothing in fitness or health is absolute. It’s about how everything fits together in our routine and there’s typically more than one move that will get the results you want.
  • “Best” or “worst” diets or foods- There are pros and cons with pretty much everything in life, including food. We would love to believe that the reason we had trouble losing weight in the past was that we didn’t include this one thing that this new diet promises, but there’s no secret trick. Diets work when they help you eat fewer calories than you burn and there’s not just one way to do that.


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