Why working out won't beat disease

Muscles will lower your diabetes risk! Working out will save your brain! And let's not forget that old standby: Exercise for a healthy heart!

A slew of new studies is pumping all my favorite exercise myths -- and rather than go after them one at a time, I'm going to take them all on at once, right here, with one hand tied behind my back (you'll have to trust me on that last bit).

First, researchers claim a steady workout habit will slash the odds of diabetes -- with each 10 percent boost in skeletal muscle index reducing insulin resistance by 11 percent and pre-diabetes risk by 12 percent.

No kidding -- if you've got some muscles, you're probably not fat. And if you're not fat, you've got a dramatically lower risk of diabetes right off a bat -- regardless of your exercise habits.

Someone had to do a study to figure this out?

Next up, dementia: Researchers measured actual energy expenditure in 197 seniors with an average age of 75 and found that those who spent the most energy had a fraction of the cognitive decline risk of those who spent the least.

But if you're thinking that's a reason to hop on the hamster wheel every day, think again: The seniors who had the highest energy expenditures weren't the ones who reported the most exercise.

The researchers admit they're stumped by that one, but I'm not. As I've told you before, the best way to spend energy is to get light natural movement throughout the day -- not 30 furious minutes on a treadmill after eight hours of sitting at a desk.

Finally, researchers claim obese patients at risk for heart disease need both aerobic exercise and weight training... despite the fact that their study found no such thing.

The study started out with 196 overweight adults assigned to one of three different workout programs -- but so many dropped out or had other problems that the researchers were only able to include data from 86.

And of those, those who did aerobics and weights -- the "best" of the lot -- lost just four pounds over eight months.

I've got news for you: If an overweight person loses four pounds, he's still overweight -- and still at risk for heart disease no matter how much he works out.

Heck, if you want to push a ticker on the brink of a heart attack over the edge, put in a little time at the gym -- I guarantee you, you can make it happen.

Forget the new studies -- here's the real deal: Eat right and try not to spend too much time on your bottom. You'll lose weight, beat disease and never have to break a sweat.