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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 educational materials that are available, not only will you have a better understanding of what to do to accomplish your goals, but you also generate a higher level of enthusiasm for sticking with your plan. Fitness education does not require total immersion into the subject matter, and indeed can be a relaxing diversion from other things you may already be doing. However, there are a few things to keep in mind 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 in an attempt to find the truth could be a lifelong endeavour, but that should not be your goal unless the top actually interests you. Instead, merely being aware of the diversity of opinion that may exist on a particular topic may be 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, there are plenty of websites producing fitness related information, just like ours. There is no question it can be confusing to decide what sources are credible. But, here we will provide some guidelines that may help you to navigate the maze of information that exists out here. Be aware that there is no foolproof method for determining whether a particular representation or theory is well supported or factual, but there are some ways that you can narrow down the possibilities.

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Scientific studies supporting some health or fitness related proposition come out as quickly as we can change the channels on the television. And, the conclusions of the reach are as diverse as the number of people producing them. The most important thing to keep in mind about scientific research and studies is that specific sources tend to be more dependable than others. For example, a health study is more likely to be legitimate if it comes out of a major university or government agency rather than some private institution that may be funded by the industry that commissioned a study. This is not always 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.

An excellent study, in addition to reaching conclusions, will explain exactly 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 and will explain why the results and conclusions from the new research are different than what came before, assuming that they are different. It is rare that a single study of any subject is sufficiently complete to justify changing your entire lifestyle. In most cases, the study of a particular topic requires years of consideration, and evaluation by more than one institution. So in evaluating a specific proposition, be sure to look for a variety of 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 it four-week research doesn't tell you whether a weight-loss pillar exercise regimen is safe or effective. Also, a study that would conclude that particular method of training is valid after evaluating only 12 participants would probably lack credibility in most people's minds compared to a survey conducted of a more extensive sampling of participants.

The bottom line is that you cannot believe all of the conclusions that are reached in scientific studies, no matter how legitimate the source may appear to be. The general rule applies that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Having said that I would also caution you not to be too cynical, as some advances in breakthroughs violate the above rules when it comes to legitimacy and validity, even where there may not be a major 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

Fitness magazines can be a great source of information on the latest fitness trends, but just like scientific research, they can be lacking in credible documentation in some of the information that is reported. Many times magazines are affected by advertising dollars being offered by a particular content contributor, and therefore biased 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 your accepting it as true. Be sure to seek out that validation by consulting more than one source one of the core subjects.

As general rule magazines that focus on a particular subject matter are more likely to be credible on that subject with a general magazine covers a variety of 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 particularly on strength training versus fitness generally. Try to gather your data and information from speciality 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 speciality 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 methodology employed to study the subject. Don't assume that because something is published in a book that deserves more consideration, were requires less scrutiny. Follow the rules that we've laid out here, and you'll put yourself in a much better position to avoid being misled by propaganda.

CONCLUSION

While it is essential to educate yourself on the subject, be sure to consult credible sources and to minimise the potential for being misled by verifying 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 right or not is to give it a try. Be careful that when you decide to do this that the thing you are trying to not require a substantial investment of either your time or money to find out if it works. If a particular proposition can be tested personally by you with minimal time or financial investment, and of course minimal safety risk, it's probably worth taking a crack at it as long as it does not distract you from your goals.

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