On the website of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità some of the most common myths regarding physical activity have been published, with a comment to disprove them.

Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of the Section for Exercise Medicine and Functional Pathologies in Humanitas, also spoke on the subject, interviewed with the Obiettivo salute microphones on Radio 24.


More sweat means more slimming – False

Sweating means losing liquids, and if you do physical activity of a certain type and intensity you will sweat a lot, but you must bear in mind that to lose weight you do not need to do too much intense activity, because doing so does not necessarily mean that the metabolism goes to use fat. Keep in mind that proper physical activity makes you sweat a bit, but not in an exaggerated way.

To lose weight you need to dedicate yourself to an endurance aerobic activity (walking, running, swimming and cycling) initially at a moderate intensity, to which you can add an activity that strengthens the muscles (small weights, abdominals, bending, fitness in the gym).

However, the secret lies in constancy: it is necessary to do activities almost every day for a sufficiently long period (about one hour); it takes continuity, not excessive fatigue once in a while.


Exercise is effective if it is painful – False

The opposite is true: exercise must make you feel good. If you feel pain after exercising, something is wrong. It is normal that the first time you resume physical activity, after a period of sedentariness, there is some muscle pain, but in the rule physical exercise should not be associated with pain.


If I do many abdominals the belly will disappear – False

The abdominals are used to strengthen the muscle wall and can be useful, but if you want to lose your belly – which is adipose tissue – you must devote to aerobic activity (walking, running, swimming and cycling) that helps to dispose of abdominal adipose tissue.


I am too old for physical activity – False

The elderly person benefits greatly from exercise, as long as it is tailored to the individual. Physical activity is the best way to ensure quality of life and quantity of life. The movement not only relieves stress and depression, but also helps your memory and keeps you awake and receptive.


I have a disease (e.g. arthrosis) and cannot exercise – False

It depends from pathology to pathology and patient to patient, but the exercise is like a drug: if used well and with the right prescription, it helps; otherwise it risks being harmful. Those who suffer from pathologies, must understand their situation with the doctor and consequently the right type and amount of physical activity: it is demonstrated by many studies that physical activity is therapeutic, provided it is the right one. In this sense, the alliance with the family doctor is fundamental, it is necessary to evaluate the patient, establish the correct clinical objectives and define the type and amount of exercise needed.