I came across an article the other day titled ‘running is bad for you’, and immediately I started shaking my head. Just like I do when I see ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ or ‘fasting is the new eating’…
Time and time again, nationally recognised newspapers or media groups post wrongly guided articles that are going to be seen by millions of people. The worst part of doing this? These millions of people are going to believe every single word.
We stop asking why...why?
We live in a world where people stop questioning the things that they hear. When we were young we could be told something and id we didn’t believe in it or understand it, we would simply ask ‘why’? It’s very simple if you think about it. But for some reason, just because we see some kind of information in a newspaper or on the interest by someone who is ‘somewhat credible’…we believe it straight away!
So let’s take this article ‘running is bad for you’ for example. Someone from the general public reads that title and thinks; ‘I told you! Now I don’t have to feel bad about sitting at my desk for 9 hours a day and then sitting on my sofa for the rest of the evening.’ Now this person hasn’t even bothered to open the article and now they’re going to carry on living their sedentary lifestyle without a single care in the world.
Now let’s take someone who opens this article and starts reading it. They might see some research backing up the information they are consuming and again thinks ‘wow, so running is bad for you’. This person probably has no education in exercise or physiology let alone any kind of research reading capabilities. So again, they believe what they are reading and feel content with their lifestyle.
Now this is how I would read it:
I see the article stating some kind of fact and think, ‘Okay that’s interesting. It’s published by a recognised newspaper so let’s take a look and see what they are trying to tell us because I exercise regularly’ (don’t get me wrong, I don’t talk this posh in my mind, I’m just explaining my thought processes). I start reading the article and immediately notice that the title was misleading. They aren’t saying ALL running is bad. As I carry on reading I notice some facts and figures coming through, some backed by research and some not. The research-backed facts may be more credible so I start looking in to those studies to realise that there are some flaws in the studies themselves. They might not have has enough participants in the study or the procedures lacked control. There were some things I did agree with. Too much running can put stress on your joints but also no running/exercise at all won’t provide any health benefits. There were a lot more talking points but I think you get what I’m trying to say…
As you can see articles can be so poorly written that it takes a lot of time and effort to see what information you should consume and what information is pure rubbish. This is exactly the same with people thinking ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ or ‘you shouldn’t eat more than 3 eggs in a week’. There is a lot of dogma around but it seems somewhat impossible for every brainwashed person to be given the correct information and change their ways. I know this is mainly to do with diet and exercise but isn’t health one of the most crucial things to mankind?
‘It’s just unfortunate we have the wrong people in the right positions’.
But again there are still issues. I follow and have been fortunate enough to meet some great people who are very credible in their fields and in this case, health and nutrition. The good ones provide people with correct information and try to get rid of certain dogma but the GREAT ones give this information but still stress that people should ‘do their own research’. Just because someone sounds like they know what they’re talking about and back everything up with correctly carried-out research doesn’t mean you need to change your beliefs without questioning it!
Teachers are the same
The same goes for anything in life. Teachers for example are only teachers because they studied, went to Uni, got an interview and impressed the head teacher to get the job. Now this person is in a position to decide on a child’s entire future. You know what I mean. Remember that coursework you did that got a C while some other person in your class got an A. You read their work and cant see any difference; maybe yours sounded better. But because that teacher liked the other person more or wasn’t feeling too good when marking your work, you have to suffer for it. You now have to have a bad grade that doesn’t get you into Uni and lands you a job as a dustbin man? (I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this type of job but no ones every told me this is what they want to do as a career so I’m basing it on feedback).
Do your own research
Just because someone is in a position of authority doesn’t mean you have to believe everything they say but it also doesn’t mean you don’t have to listen to anyone anymore. Question everything. Question, question, question! Someone tells you something, think in your head ‘why?’ Then go and find out as much as you can about that topic. If you want to be the best in your field, you need to know everything your teacher or mentor knows; and then more! You will meet some people in your life you will influence you in a positive way and provide you with great advice and information. Great! Take what you need and disregard what you don’t. However you will also meet people and receive information that makes you believe something, which may not necessarily be entirely true. One decision or piece of information may change your entire outlook on life but don’t let it. Always be in control of what YOU think and always ask ‘why’.
So is running bad for you? Too much maybe, but none at all won't do much to shift your body fat or bring down your blood pressure. Maybe do your own research and test it out for yourself ;)