With so much information about exercise available everywhere, it is challenging to know what is the right advice for you. I want you to be a savvy fitness consumer. This means having skills for knowing what is myth based and what is science based.
It also means knowing what is the right advice for what YOU want from fitness. If you were planning to take a trip to a big tourist destination, you would pick and choose attractions that were most important to you. Some attractions would not be of interest to you, so you would not waste your time and money on them. It is the same with fitness. Knowing what you want is key for using your exercise time and resources well. Sounds simple right? But check out this headline that I cam across as an example of why we need to carefully read between the lines:
Healthy Outlook: Coping with aches and pains of muscle gains
Given the category “healthy outlook”, one might assume this is about fitness for health and well being. However, the title contradicts that assumption. Aches and pains are a sure sign this is meant for people training for competing, not for health. We know there is a big difference. Be on the lookout for who the article is directed toward. The writer may not be clear about the type of fitness they are writing about.
And then there is the mention of science-based information to catch your eye:
We’ll take a quick field trip back to our anatomy, physiology and biology classes…
Keep in mind, sports training is a branch of exercise science too. It is a very different field of study from exercise science for health. This is definitely where being a savvy fitness consumer pays off. Since you know there are different kinds of exercise science, you can decipher if the science based information is right for you.
If you click on the website of the expert interviewed, “strength and conditioning for athletes.” you would have another indicator this is not right for you. Here is your last two red flags, in the conclusion sentence…
“The road to getting ripped is long and winding. Here’s to manageable soreness, raising the bar and learning to love that fleeting agony.”
You may have heard the slogan many times… “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” (and if you are in a certain age group you have that image of a skier tumbling down a mountain in the Olympics). Again, the reference to agony being a normal part of exercise is a great subtle clue. If your goal is to “get ripped” then you need to train like a body builder, which is an athletic event.
If your goal is to improve health, sustain weight loss, and feel better to enjoy more of life, stay aware. Read (and listen) between the lines of everything about exercise and fitness, they are mixed up often in the media. Look for the signs that you are being told what to do to be a successful athlete. To keep moving and motivated, seek advice specific to your reasons – to be healthy and well.
Keep Moving, Be Well,
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These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.