It is easy to see why the festive period is deemed ‘silly season’. People bustle around shopping malls buying tacky gifts for an aunt they haven’t seen in a whole year – a turkey in one hand and a Christmas party outfit in the other.

But if we’re brutally honest with ourselves ‘silly season’ doesn’t really begin until the New Year. After all, that’s when millions of people descend on their local gym – armed with a drastic fitness plan that they’ve convinced themselves will see them buff in a week.

We have all been guilty of waltzing down the organic aisle at the supermarket in our gym gear, fresh from a hardcore workout class (which we may or may not have given up on halfway through) for the first week of the year. There is nothing that can beat the glow of an intense yoga class (or the taste of the chocolate you deservedly chew on afterward).

This desire to ‘get in shape’ sees people flood through the doors of their local gym and saturate the streets as they jog after work. But what these people probably don’t know is that most of the reasons why they’re there are influenced by total myths!

The following exercise myths are all ones that you’ll be familiar with – and ones you’ll probably have fallen for – but, just like most male stars in Hollywood right now, they’re not exactly what they seem…

1.Workouts are good for your brain

The chances are that you didn’t sign up for the gym just to exercise your brain – that’s what crossword puzzles are for. But it’s a happy coincidence that working out is extremely good for your mind.

According to many studies, physical exercise is much more beneficial to your brain’s functioning than any type of puzzle that you indulge in on your iPad late at night. Why? Because it raises your heart rate and gets your blood pumping, thus satisfying the brain.

A quick burst of exercise can help boost your mood, your memory, and protect your brain from age-related cognitive decline. Or as a recent blog post from Harvard Medical School put it, “Aerobic exercise is the key for your head, just as it is for your heart.”