If you have a group of cows, you don’t call
There are some things that everybody knows about staying healthy: an apple a day keeps the doctor away after all. But what if some of those common sense, obviously correct facts weren’t really facts after all? It turns out there are some really common health “facts” that are actually myths.
1. Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, not really. Breakfast doesn’t jump start your metabolism or keep you feeling fuller throughout the day. In fact, it’s not really any different from any other meal except that there’s a longer time between dinner and breakfast than most other meals.
2. It is true that people need to hydrate properly, but the 8 cups of water that most people know isn’t actually 8 cups of straight water. Most of that amount comes in the food you eat. In addition, everyone has different needs when it comes to water, so any number won’t be right for everyone.
3. When you were a kid your mom probably told you to bundle up in the winter or you’d catch a cold. Mom’s advice doesn’t actually make much sense though, since cold can’t give you any kind of sickness. Sure, it can make your immune system work a little harder, but unless you’re in contact with some germs you’ll be cold-free.
4. Another Mom-ism from childhood is that you shouldn’t sit so close to the TV or it will damage your eyes. However, the only kinds of light that can hurt eyes are UV and laser light, and TVs don’t produce either kind.
5. The pool is a great place to go, but only an hour after eating, right? Wrong. Just like any other form of exercise you might not want to stuff yourself and then push your body into a hard workout, but there’s no particular evidence that swimming will give you cramps or make digestion harder than any other form of exercise.
6. One health myth that scientists believed for many years is that brain cells can’t regenerate. But recent evidence shows that you can actually replace brain cells and that the connections between those cells are growing and changing all the time.
7. “Don’t swallow your gum, it’ll stay in your stomach for years!” is a sentence many of us heard in our youth. But gum actually doesn’t stay very long in your digestive system at all. Your body can’t digest it, so it simply passes through.
8. One habit that annoys nearly everyone around you is cracking your knuckles, which might be the origin of the myth that it will give you arthritis. Annoyed parents wanted to get their kids to stop. In fact, it just pushes the air around and doesn’t have any negative effects (except maybe family strife).
9. A myth that only cropped up when kids hit college is that coffee will help sober you up. This is actually a horrible method of sobering up. It might wake you up a bit, but your motor skills will stay just as impaired as they were before. So, no matter how much coffee is in your system, you still probably shouldn’t get behind the wheel.