There is so much information available today about how to live a healthier life, but it can be overwhelming. Some people are trying to sell you something, while others are not as reputable as they seem. Following these simple tips can help you determine what's worth listening to and what can be discarded.
- Question everything! – Just because somebody appears to know what they’re talking about doesn’t mean they are right (or that it’s right for you). Listen to advice, but don’t trust everyone automatically. Do your own research, form your own conclusions. Keep what makes sense, discard the rest.
- Does it align with your goals?
– Just because someone is super fit doesn’t mean they automatically know what your
body needs. If you want to look like a bodybuilder, take advice from bodybuilders. If you want to look like a yogi, take advice from yoga instructors. Health and fitness is not one-size-fits-all, so always make sure that what you’re learning is appropriate for you.
- Check their credentials
– a lot of people online are doling out advice without any real formal training. Is the “expert” someone who has spent years learning about what they are preaching, or are they a pretty face on a ripped body? A degree or certification doesn’t automatically mean they are reputable (just as not having one doesn’t mean they’re automatically untrustworthy), but in general, the credible sources of information have some letters next to their name.
- Make sure the advice aligns with their credentials – if a personal trainer is trying to prescribe you a meal plan, run. Every credential has a scope of practice that it covers. Legally speaking, only Registered Dieticians (RD) or a licensed physician is permitted to prescribe meal plans. You wouldn’t take legal advice from someone who is not a lawyer, and this is a similar case.
- What’s the catch? – Are they trying to sell you something? Are they trying to gain followers? Following somebody (usually) doesn’t cost you anything except time, but if you need to buy something to learn their “secret” formula for success, it’s a good bet that their expertise lies more in sales than in health.
- If it sounds too good to be true…
- it usually is. Exaggerated claims about the results you “can” achieve may sound amazing, but just because one person experience dramatic results does not mean that’s what happens for everyone. Be wary of aggressive marketing tactics, especially if it involves any “get-fit-quick” promise.
- Question everything again! – yes that’s right, don’t forget about rule number 1. Even this article, don’t just listen to me without thinking for yourself! My advice is what I believe in, but how does it sound to you? Does it make sense? Chances are you already have thought of at least one sponsored ad or infomercial that checks one of the boxes I mentioned above. You may have even been tempted or gone through with purchasing one of the products or programs that turned out to be a scam. And that’s OK. There is no shame in seeking help for what you don’t know. But following these tips can help you determine for yourself what is worth exploring, and what isn’t. As long as you are thinking freely for yourself and not letting some corporate marketing agency tell you what you need, you’ll be on the right path.
For questions about any health/fitness program or product, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if I haven’t heard of it, I will research it and let you know what I think, and I will always encourage you to form your own conclusion.
B.S. Exercise Physiology