>Thoughts on the fitness industry-

One of the greatest challenges for those of us in the fitness profession is getting folks to actually follow the advice we give. Between years of misinformation, partially accurate information, and the medial tossing out fitness soundbites there is a ton of poor information to cull through.

This is exacerbated because “experts” forget a key point. What we know isn’t common knowledge. Sure it’s common for us. If you walk into a group of high end fitness folks the odds are good we will be discussing trends in functional fitness, the spiffy new pair of Vibrium Five Finger shoes someone got, and how going vegan is starting to shift into a hot trend. Talking about the basics of nutrition and exercise- why? Everyone knows that. We are so busy talking about the latest and greatest that we forget a couple important things.

People do not know how to get into shape. They don’t know how to live healthy lives. They just don’t. Over the past 20 years our school systems have eliminated PE and Health classes. If you don’t learn at school how to eat right, where do you learn? Your parents? Well if they don’t eat right, odds are good you won’t. More and more, there are no models who show us what eat right and exercise really means.

So people start looking to experts. They go out and buy books. They research online. They look to the news media. The thing is, they have no background and can’t separate the signal from the noise. They don’t realize that the study saying working out alone won’t help you lose weight isn’t new. It’s been out for a couple years and is common knowledge for fitness pros. All they see is “exercise doesn’t help you lose weight” and they wonder “why am I doing this?” They don’t see the article discussing the importance of combining your exercise with a correct diet. They miss out on the very important cardiac health benefits. They also miss out on the value of being able to actually do things. It’s a good thing to be able to actually chase your kids around the playground gang.

As fitness leaders, it’s vital to help cut through the noise and provide quality information to those who need it. That starts with a return to teaching basics.