Finding What Works Best For You
As a health and fitness enthusiast I listen to podcasts, read magazines, books and blogs, listen to presentations by the experts, and watch videos. Sounds harmless right? Try researching a health related topic. You’re more than likely going to find what I did…information overload. Add to that the fact that much of the information is contradicting and you will find an expert that can convincingly argue each and every point, opinion and recommendation.
Do these debates sound familiar?
- Running in a minimal shoe is best vs. running in a stability shoe is best.
- Most of your runs should be at a “comfortable” or easy pace vs. junk miles are a waste of time. You’ll only get faster by running faster.
- You should run in the morning on an empty stomach to burn more body fat vs. running on an empty stomach will only hinder your ability to run harder/faster and has no effect on fat burning.
- Consuming carbohydrates during a long run is completely unnecessary vs. consuming carbohydrates during a long run is absolutely necessary.
- Eating a diet that is 100% plant based is the most healthful way to eat vs. eat like a caveman did 10,000 years ago .
- Stretch before a run increases chances of an injury vs. stretching before a run loosens up the muscles.
If the experts can’t agree how in the world are we supposed to know what’s best?
As I sort through the endless amounts of information I’m still sometimes perplexed with exactly how to know what is best for me. As I made significant running, cross training and nutrition changes over the past year I tried to filter the information to at least minimize having too much information:
- consider the source
- is there a risk to my health or well being if I experiment
- nothing is set in stone
- there are no absolutes and question credibility of the “all”, “always”, “never”, etc. types of recommendations
- what works for one person might not work for another
- don’t be too quick to jump on every bandwagon and try every fad
- when you find what works stick with it
- use common sense
If you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else. Never stop searching for the right workout and schedule until you create exactly what works for you. When you find it, don’t be swayed by fads, the opinion of others or even the experts. Doing what you love is the surest way to ensure you will be fit for life. –Liz Neporent, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise and author of Fitness for Dummies, 4th edition.