Health

Fitness Blogs: Fact or Fiction?

Fitness blogs are trendy with people who can’t get to the gym during the pandemic. But are fitness blogs good places to get trusted fitness advice? Probably not.

A recent study looked at almost 200 fitness and exercise blogs to see which ones were run by trained experts. More than half of the bloggers self-reported being fitness or exercise professionals, but only 10% or less were licensed trainers. The study, authored by researchers at the University of Alberta, was reported by The Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology.

Another study, presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, Scotland, discussed that 90% of nutrition bloggers in the United Kingdom may not be giving factual advice, as reported in this press release.

Fitness, exercise and nutrition blogs can be full of interesting information, exercise routines and recipes. But some these studies show that blogs may be giving advice that isn’t helpful and could be dangerous to your health. So, let’s look at how you can find safe exercise, fitness and nutrition advice online.

The National Institute on Aging gives some good tips on finding trusted health websites. Ask yourself these questions as you look at a blog or website:

  • Who hosts the website?
  • Who is writing the information on the website?
    • Look at the “About” page for info on the blogger. If they have training in fitness, exercise or nutrition, you should see that listed here.
    • The blogger should also provide contact info in case you have questions.
  • Is the goal of the website to provide valid information or to sell something?
    • Question any website that is trying to sell you a product.
  • Is the website or blogger offering you a cure for an illness?
    • Approach this type of website with a good dose of distrust. Sound fitness or nutrition advice will never come with a cure for anything.

And finally, it is a good idea to show your healthcare provider the blogs or websites you are considering using for fitness, exercise, nutrition or health advice. They can help you choose wisely, and they just might have some favorites they are willing to share with you.

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