Myth: Lifting weights is not a good way to lose weight because it will make me “bulk up.”
Fact: Lifting weights or doing activities such as push-ups and crunches on a regular basis can help you build strong muscles, which can help you burn more calories. To strengthen muscles, you can lift weights, use large rubber bands (resistance bands), do push-ups or sit-ups, or do household or yard tasks that make you lift or dig. Doing strengthening activities 2 or 3 days a week will not “bulk you up.” Only intense strength training, along with certain genetics, can build large muscles.
TIP: Standard guidelines recommend that adults should do activities at least two times a week to strengthen muscles. 90 to 300 minutes of moderately intense or vigorous aerobic activity each week—such as brisk walking or biking is very advisable. Aerobic activity makes you sweat and breathe faster.
Myth: Physical activity for weight loss only counts if I can do it for long periods of time.
Fact: You do not need to be active for long periods to achieve your 90 to 300 minutes of activity each week. Experts advise doing aerobic activity for periods of 10 minutes or longer at a time. You can spread these sessions out over the week.
TIP: Plan to do at least 10 minutes of physical activity three times a day on 3 or more days a week. This will help you meet the 90-minute goal. While at work, take a brief walking break. Use the stairs. Get off the bus one stop early. Go dancing with friends. Whether for a short or long period, bursts of activity may add up to the total amount of physical activity you need each week.