DIET&FITNESS Published August8, 2015 By Bernadette Strong

American Can’t Figure Out Fitness

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There are a lot of people out there who are misinformed about exercise and fitness, according to a poll.
(Photo : Rachel Murray, Getty Images)

There are enough TV shows, books, websites, smartphone apps, and gyms and yoga salons nationwide that you would think that most people have basic information about health and fitness. They don't.  Misinformation about fitness and health is still widespread.

A poll has found that most Americans lack a basic knowledge of health and exercise. The average score on the poll, sponsored by the fitness equipment maker Nautilus, was 42 out of 100.

More than 1,000 people took the pool and almost three in four did not know that a person has to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat. Only four in ten knew that an egg is a healthy source of protein. Weight training confuses a lot of people. Only 13% know that women who weight train will not bulk up like men do. About 45% think that weight training can turn fat into muscle.

On the bright side, almost three in four people knew that running a mile burns more calories than walking a mile, and 67% understood that resting heart rate is a good indicator of aerobic fitness, which makes the heart stronger and more efficient.

Forty-five percent selected morning as the most effective time of day to exercise, but afternoon or evening is just as good.

While men and women were equally misinformed, young adults 18 to 24 scored highest. Older Americans, 65 years and older, had the lowest marks, but this may be because what was taught in health and physical education classes years ago is now out of date because the science of exercise has been studied more since then.

The Internet can be a boon and a boondoggle. There is a lot of information about health and fitness that is easy to find, but not all of it is correct. 

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