28Exercise burns lots of calories

Exercise does burn some calories but not as many as you’d imagine. It’s very hard to exercise enough to “burn-off” a cheeseburger and very few people (competitive athletes and long distance hikers come to mind) are so active that they can eat whatever they like without gaining any weight. No, what exercise really does for you is to maintain lean mass (make sure you maintain muscle) and speed up your metabolism (so you use up food & energy more quickly) as well as, crucially, improving your overall motivation (active people just want to look after themselves more).

Strength training is only for men

Many women worry that weights will make them bulky and ugly but it is not so. Women are built differently to men (but you knew that) and they just cannot create muscle bulk like men can (it has to do with testosterone). But women can become stronger and more toned, and this is what strength training does for women. Strong toned women are more attractive (than skinny weak women, and than flabby overweight women) and much more well.

Exercising a problem area is the way to go

No. So many people make this mistake, typically with the tummy. You cannot gain a flat tummy by doing stomach exercises. You gain a flat tummy by losing body weight overall, which means a mix of diet and general exercise. Tummy exercise can create a tight six-pack abdomen but until you lose enough overall body weight your six-pack will just be hidden behind your belly-fat.

Exercise is dangerous for many people

Exercise is dangerous for very few people: those with heart disease and other serious medical problems should be careful, for example. But experts agree: almost everyone can, and should exercise. By all means check with your doctor first (it’s a good idea) but don’t miss out on the benefits of active living.

Exercise is expensive

Gyms are costly and some exercise equipment can be too (high-end bicycles and personal trainers are not cheap) but simple shoes are all you need to start walking and you don’t even need shoes to do a few sit ups and push ups at home. When you consider the benefits of energy, mood, health, health risk and more, exercise is actually something you cannot afford NOT to do.