Research has revealed that 58 per cent of people don’t believe that cardio helps you lose weight quicker, while one in four think more sweat equals more fat loss.

The results from the survey of more than 7,600 UK adults, from Decathlon’s Activity Index, raises concern that the misinformation could be being caused by people relying on non-professionals and the internet for advice.

The misconceptions around healthy lifestyle and exercise were widespread – despite the fact that 92 per cent of Brits polled in the same survey said they feel confident they fully understand what a healthy, balanced lifestyle is. Meanwhile, more than one in four (28 per cent) wrongly believe that the more you sweat, the more fat is burned.

Other findings included that one in five Brits wrongly think that workouts lasting less than an hour are ineffective and similarly, 17 per cent felt that the longer the workout, the better the results will be – meaning many could be missing out on the benefits of shorter, more intensive sessions when they are pressed for time. Added to that, more than one in 10 (14 per cent) believe that lifting weights will make you look bulky, while 10 per cent wrongly think that you need protein after a workout, or it is a waste.

The research also investigated potential reasons why and revealed that many are relying on health and fitness advice from those who are not necessarily trained or knowledgeable on the subject. People are more likely to turn to friends for tips and advice on diet and exercise than anyone else, with 28 per cent admitting they do this, and a similar number (23 per cent) admitted they use the internet to become better informed.

Joshua Gutteridge, Sports Manager at Decathlon, advised: “Given so many are turning to non-professional sources for advice on diet and exercise, it’s perhaps unsurprising that so many are getting the facts wrong about fitness and exercise. But this could be really hindering their progress as many could be discounting cardio, shorter workouts and evening exercise – or even putting undue emphasis on things like the amount of time they have exercised for or how much they sweat. “No matter what your reasons for embarking on a fitness regime, whether it be to lose weight, feel fitter or to be more sociable, it is important to educate yourself about exercise beforehand to understand what a healthy, balanced lifestyle is – but to do so using a qualified professional. Talk to a personal trainer who has knowledge and a clear understanding about fitness so you can learn how to start your regime in a healthy way.”



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