Physical Activity and Weight Management: 6 Common Myths Uncovered

While everyone knows active living is essential to weight management and maintaining a healthy body weight, some myths may be keeping you from taking a step to a more active lifestyle.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about physical activity and weight management:

Myth 1: Daily physical activities such as taking the stairs, standing more than sitting, and walking don't make a difference.

Fact:Everything counts when it comes to weight loss. While daily activities may not significantly improve aerobic fitness, they still burn more calories than sitting in front of the TV or computer.

Myth 2: To get into shape or to lose weight, I must do vigorous exercise.

Fact: While vigorous-intensity physical activity burns more calories in a shorter time, going a bit longer with moderate-intensity physical activities can burn the same number of calories. Any aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, badminton or leisure cycling can help you shed pounds. Aim for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week.

Myth 3: Short periods of exercise do not work, as no fat is burned during the first 20 minutes.

Fact: During exercise, you use energy from both fats and carbohydrates. Remember, even when it comes to burning fat, some physical activity is better than none!

Myth 4: Women who do muscle-strengthening exercises will get big muscles.

Fact:  Muscle-strengthening exercises are crucial for both males and females. However, the impact of strength training would differ between genders due to hormonal differences. Women should do strength training to improve strength, bone health, and tone up.

Myth 5: I need special clothing to exercise effectively.

Fact: For most types of physical activity, you don't need special clothing. You can exercise safely and effectively wearing comfortable sports shoes and loose-fitting everyday clothes. However, some activities like cycling or soccer may require you to wear protective gear like helmets or shin guards.

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So Remember...

  • To better manage your weight, consider your calorie input and your energy expenditure.

  • Make your calories count, consume nutritious foods.

  • Distribute your calorie intake throughout the day so that your body receives the nutrients it needs and you are less tempted to overindulge, especially in processed foods or sugary treats.

  • Obsessed over your diet plans? Skipping meals and fad diets cannot be sustained in the long run and don't provide your body with important nutrients you get from eating balanced meals.​​

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  1. Handelsman, D. J., Hirschberg, A. L., & Bermon, S. (2018). Circulating Testosterone as the Hormonal Basis of Sex Differences in Athletic Performance. Endocrine Reviews, 39(5), 803–829. Retrieved June 2021 from