Many people who are trying to lose weight decide to add exercise to their efforts. The trouble is, there are a lot of misconceptions about what exercise can and can’t do when it comes to losing weight. Here are some common myths related to exercise and weight loss, and the facts associated with them.
1. Strenuous exercise will help you lose more weight. Actually, both strenuous and moderate exercise can help you lose the same amount of weight. More strenuous exercise may help the weight come off a bit faster, but it could be more risky, especially if you haven’t exercised much before starting it. And some experts believe moderate exercise has the potential to help you lose more weight, because you can do it longer. (For example, people can usually walk longer than they can run.)
2. If you sweat more you’ll lose more weight. Sweating can initially cause a fairly large weight loss, but it’s only temporary, because it’s water weight that you’ll gain right back.
3. You can lose weight in just one area by exercising that area more. There is no such thing as “spot” losing. Weight loss is actually spread over the entire body, so overdoing exercise in one area of the body – for example, your abdomen – won’t help you lose more weight there. There is a sort of indirect benefit, though – you might strengthen those muscles enough for them to do a better job of holding that extra weight in!
4. You can keep on eating the same amount of food – or even more – and still lose weight by exercising. Exercise doesn’t burn a lot of calories unless the sessions are very long or very strenuous, and it isn’t possible to exercise like this when you’re first starting out. Plus, when you’re still out of shape exercise will help you burn more carbohydrates. You won’t start burning fat until you’ve gotten more training. The best way to lose weight is, unfortunately, what you’ve probably always suspected – a combination of exercise and healthier eating.
5. People who are overweight are not fit. Actually, you can be overweight and fit. In fact, some overweight people are actually in better shape than some thin people.
Don’t use this fact as an excuse to ignore your extra weight. If you’re very overweight and have been leading a sedentary life you are risking health problems like diabetes and heart disease. So you might as well start exercising.
Exercise is a good adjunct to a weight loss program. If you currently have or are at risk for health problems then please ask your doctor before you start any new activity. But as long as you have medical supervision – if you need it – you’ll probably find that exercise can mean the difference between losing and not losing that weight you’d like to get rid of. Even if you’ve already lost the weight, keep on exercising, because experts agree that it’s the best chance you have of keeping the weight off.