Nowadays we are blessed (and maybe cursed) with an overload of information. Thanks to the internet, we can Google any topic and have thousands of articles, blogs and websites within seconds.
Having access to vast amounts of knowledge has many advantages. But it has a big downside as well. The amount of health and fitness information shows that more is not always better.
Unfortunately the internet has more than its fair share of Keyboard Warriors. These so-called “experts” often give advice with very little experience or qualifications.
This type of information has been called “Broscience.” It’s often based on opinions and mis-understanding instead of scientific research and real-world experience.
But Broscience isn’t the only problem. Scientific research has often given confusing results.
For years we were told that consuming fat in the diet was a recipe for weight-gain and heart disease. Then the Atkins Diet seemed to suggest the exact opposite. It said that fat loss was the result of fewer carbohydrates and more protein and dietary fat!
Training can be just as confusing: aerobic exercise used to be the main weight-loss and conditioning tool. This now seems to be replaced by weight-training and High Intensity Intervals.
In many cases the amount of information has led to what’s known as Paralysis by Analysis. I have seen this on many occasions with my clients and have suffered from it myself.
With so many options, it can be difficult to know which one is “the best”. The end result is that you feel more confused than ever, and decide to do nothing. Most people will take no action rather than make the wrong choice.
To avoid this situation I use the following quote from Kahlil Gibran:
“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more that much knowledge that is idle”
So let’s look at some basic action items that can help us with health and fitness.
Decide What You Really Want: Sometimes we confuse ourselves by wanting to have everything at once: reduced body fat, increased strength, improved sports performance, speed and endurance.
You can improve these aspects of fitness at the same time because there is some carry-over between them. However, it works best if you focus on one item at a time. When working with clients who don’t know where to start, I usually suggest reducing body fat first.
Identify Your Main Obstacle: This is probably the easiest part. After hundreds of nutrition consultations, I believe that most people have enough information to get started. And they also know what’s stopping them from doing it.
In some cases it can be work or family commitments. Sometimes it’s down to confusion or information overload. By removing, or working around the obstacle, you can free up time and energy to start taking action.
Get The Necessary Support. Everything is easier when you get a bit of help. It may be as simple as asking your spouse to hide the biscuits and other “goodies” in the house. Or inviting a friend or family member to go training with you.
If you decide to hire a trainer, make sure that the person has the qualifications and experience to get the results that you’re looking for.
There’s a saying that Success Leaves Clues. Therefore your gym or trainer should have a proven track record of achieving success with clients like you.
Take Action! Even taking small steps towards your goal can be a great motivator. Start small and as you begin to see signs of progress, your confidence will grow and allow you to be a little more ambitious.
You won’t see results from a new fitness programme overnight. A large amount of consistency with healthy habits is required. So just be patient and keep taking action to guarantee success.