Fake news has certainly been a topic of much conversation of late. However, fake news is really nothing new. In the fitness industry, some people have been using "fake news" to promote the alleged benefits of their products and/or services for years. Ask anyone and they're sure to be able to name a few wild and crazy fitness fads from years past. Having been in fitness for over 30 years, I've seen more than my fair share.
With the rise in online fitness personalities and instagrammers, aka fitstagrammers, the potential for fake fitness news is now massive. Some fitstagrammers' only claim to fame is they look great in a bikini or with their shirts off. Taking nothing away from their dedication to achieving their beach-ready body, their fitness qualifications are often, well, non-existent.
Over the last few decades there has been more and more research into most aspects of fitness and diet. As a society, we have access to more information than ever before about how the body works and what we need to do in order to get and stay healthy. At the very least, the internet can provide us with access to some great resources to help differentiate fake news from the truth.
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If you come across an interesting article or post about fitness, spend just 5 minutes doing the following and you might be able to save yourself a lot of time (and frustration) by not committing to a course of action based on unproven facts:
- Who wrote the article/post? Are they new to fitness or do they have experience both training themselves and others?
- What are their qualifications? Do they have any formal training which gives them the knowledge and skills required to educate people on the subject?
- How many people has it been tested on? If it's just the author, then maybe give it a miss.
- Is there any scientific research to back their claims? And I mean real science. Not the study done by asking 5 friends how they feel about it. I'm talking scientifically validated results.
If you find the article was written by someone reputable and it's got scientific backing, then perhaps give it a go. The one thing I've learnt about diet and fitness is not everything works for everyone. If the article meets the above criteria, give it a try, see how you go. If you get results, excellent, keep going. If not, then move on and try something else.Suggest a correction