Fitness 101 - Becoming Fitness Educated

One of the best ways to develop positive habits related to fitness is to educate yourself on fitness information. By immersing yourself in the available educational materials, you will better understand what to do to accomplish your goals and generate a higher level of enthusiasm for sticking with your plan. Fitness education does not require total immersion into the subject matter and,, can be a relaxing diversion from other things you may already be doing. However, there are a few things to remember as you evaluate information related to fitness.

There is a lot of conflicting and misleading information in the fitness arena. You will frequently find divergent differences of opinion on the merits of specific diets, workout routines, nutritional supplements, and virtually every other aspect of fitness that comes to mind. Wading through this information to find the truth could be a lifelong endeavor, but that should only be your goal if the top interests you. Instead, being aware of the diversity of opinion on a particular topic is enough for you to decide whether a specific routine or fitness plan is worth trying.

There are many sources of fitness-related information. Traditional fitness magazines, books, studies, and now, with the advent of the Internet, plenty of websites produce fitness-related information, just like ours. There is no question it can be confusing to decide what sources are credible. Here, we will provide some guidelines that help you navigate the existing maze of information. Be aware that there is no foolproof method for determining whether a particular representation or theory is well-supported or factual. Still, there are some ways that you can narrow down the possibilities.


Scientific studies supporting some health- or fitness-related propositions come out as quickly as we can change the channels on television. And the conclusions of the reach are as diverse as the number of people producing them. The most important thing to remember about scientific research and studies is that specific sources are more dependable than others. For example, a health study is more likely to be legitimate if it comes from a major university or government agency rather than some private institution that may be funded by the industry that commissioned a study. This is only sometimes the case, mainly where a university may have been provided with the funds to conduct the research by the industry affected by the study. However, a university or government study has a higher potential for being unbiased and accurate in its methodology and reporting.

In addition to reaching conclusions, an excellent study will explain precisely how it was conducted and will do so in a way that makes logical sense to the reader. Most legitimate studies will also incorporate a reference to previous studies done on the subject. They will explain why the results and conclusions from the new research are different from what came before, assuming they are different. A single study of any subject is rarely sufficiently complete to justify changing your entire lifestyle. In most cases, studying a particular topic requires years of consideration and evaluation by more than one institution. So, in evaluating a specific proposition, look for various articles on the subject and get an idea of what the general scientific community feels about the particular issue.

The length of a study often affects the validity of the data collected. Purported in its four-week research, it doesn't tell you whether a weight-loss pillar exercise regimen is safe or effective. Also, a study that would conclude that a particular training method is valid after evaluating only 12 participants would probably need more credibility in most people's minds compared to a survey conducted with a more extensive sampling of participants.

The bottom line is that you cannot believe all of the conclusions reached in scientific studies, no matter how legitimate the source may appear. The general rule applies that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Having said that, I caution you not to be too cynical, as some breakthrough advances violate the above rules regarding legitimacy and validity, even where there may not be a significant university or government study to back them up. By being open-minded in an intelligent and informed way, he will avoid missing opportunities that may change dramatically against your goals.


Fitness magazines can be a great source of information on the latest fitness trends. Still, like scientific research, they need more credible documentation in some of the reported information. Many times, magazines are affected by advertising dollars offered by a particular content contributor, and therefore, bias exists in what gets said and how it gets covered. The rule of thumb here is to be aware that everything you see in writing should not be taken as gospel. Any source requires some form of validation to justify accepting it as accurate. Be sure to seek that validation by consulting multiple sources on one of the core subjects.

Generally, magazines that focus on a particular subject are more likely to be credible, while an available magazine covers various things. Therefore, a magazine that includes women's or men's issues generally that happens to have a fitness column from time to time may not be as credible as a similar magazine that focuses exclusively on fitness topics affecting men and women or, even more remarkably, on strength training versus fitness generally. Try to gather your data and information from specialty sources whenever possible, or if you see an article in a general magazine, be sure to back it up with additional data from more focused or specialty sources.

Newsletters, newspapers, books, and Internet sources should all be evaluated with the same level of scrutiny that you might give to fitness magazines and scientific studies. None of these sources is immune to potential inaccuracies and flaws in the study methodology. Refrain from assuming that because something is published in a book that deserves more consideration, it requires less scrutiny. Follow the rules we've laid out here, and you'll put yourself in a much better position to avoid being misled by propaganda.


While educating yourself on the subject is essential, consult credible sources and minimize the potential for being misled by verifying or invalidating the references through other conceivable materials. Be open-minded but careful in what you choose to believe. Sometimes, the only way to know whether something is correct is to try it. Be mindful that when you decide to do this, you do not require a substantial investment of your time or money to determine if it works. Suppose you test a particular proposition personally with minimal time or financial investment and minimal safety risk. In that case, it's worth taking a crack at it as long as it keeps you from focusing on your goals.

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