There are many topics I’ve written about, seven in particular, that are clearly here to stay in terms of debate and scientific study in the fitness community. I know this because they keep turning up in health sections of major newspapers and in fitness magazines and blogs.
I am but one tiny voice in the fitness community. So I think it’s beneficial to expose you, the reader, to some of the other expert voices as well as some of the science behind our views on the most important topics in fitness and health:
Hot Topic #1: Fitness for Health vs Dieting & Exercise to Achieve the “Perfect” Body: As a personal trainer and a mom of two daughters, this topic, divorcing body image from the fitness world, is one I am most passionate about.
- My Voice: I’m usually spurred to write on this topic by a pop-culture event that exposes the ugliness of our society’s emphasis on body image. Unfortunately, there are too many of these events. You can find references to them by perusing my archived posts under the “Healthy Body Image” category. But my most recent post on this, “Emphasis on Body Image Has No Place in Fitness”, probably illustrates my point best. If you prefer a more scientific approach to this topic, you can read, “Why Size May Not Matter” which debunks the myth that the number on a scale tells us the whole story about an individual’s health.
- Another Voice: In the spring of this year, PopSugar Fitness posted “These Reasons to Workout Have Nothing to Do with Getting a Perfect Body.” Succinct and informative, Leta Shy reminds all of us what should motivate us to work out and eat right.
Hot Topic #2: Health and Fitness Myths: Is there an industry more riddled with trendy fads, myths and conflicting information than the diet and exercise industries? If there is one, I can’t think of it.
- My Voice: I explored the myths pertaining mostly to exercise in “10 Fitness Myths Debunked” where I cite several fitness studies that put the lie to so many misconceptions that just don’t seem to die.
- Another Voice: Kelsey Miller of Refinery29 tackles the diet industry with “7 Harmful Diet Lies You Probably Believe” and she uses studies to back her claims up as well. She touches on them all – Paleo, carb free, gluten, juicing, cleansing, and fats. One of my favorite articles ever.
Hot Topic #3: The Emerging Science Exposing the Outdated and Incorrect Assumptions on Dietary Fats: This is a long, slow slog to turn around some of the old assumptions about dietary fats and their “link” to heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes and other diseases.
- My Voice: It was extremely sobering for me to read Nina Teicholz’s book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. I do my best to summarize her meticulously researched case in “Is Everything We Think We Know About Eating Healthy Upside Down” Part 1 and Part 2.
- Another Voice: Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition is a relentless voice in this fight. His “11 Serious Concerns About Vegetable Oils” is but one of many articles (footnoted to cite published scientific papers) he has written on this topic.
Hot Topic #4: Getting Stuck In a Rut: I suppose this is a hot topic in nearly every aspect in our lives – marriage, job, parenting, social activities. But exercise and diet aren’t immune to ruts and plateaus either. In fact, they’re likely to happen to all of us, no matter our fitness levels.
- My Voice: “Pushing Past Fitness Plateaus“
- Another Voice: “5 Tips to Get Out of Your Fitness Rut” by Jessica Hundley of the Chi Blog.
Hot Topic #5: Trail Running: Outdoor running is huge right now. This has prompted trail-running specific gear – particularly shoes – and no shortage of articles with tips and advice.
- My Voice: I’ve been an outdoor runner long before it was trendy but trail running isn’t my forte. You can read about my reluctant trail running experience in “My Love-Hate Relationship with Trail Running.”
- Another Voice: Sarah Bowen Shea gives us “Top 6 Trail Running Tips for Getting Started” in Shape.
Hot Topic #6: Finding the Workout You’ll Stick To: This is the million dollar topic for those who have tried over and over again to find an exercise program that will stick. It isn’t easy as the statistics show the vast majority of Americans don’t meet the minimum suggested amount of weekly exercise for general health.
- My Voice: The best way to “learn” how to find the workout you’ll want to do over and over is to learn how other people have made the leap from sedentary to fit and adapt that strategy to your needs, goals, personality and preferences. I write about this in “That Elusive A-ha Fitness Moment.”
- Another Voice: Amy Dorsey tells her own story of the long, hard journey she took from the couch to triathlete in “How I Learned to Stop Hating Running” in Women’s Health Magazine.
Hot Topic #7: The Emerging Scientific Evidence of the Dangers of Endurance Training: Did I mention running is hot? More people are running and more people are competing in marathons and triathlons than ever before. But, science is telling us we probably should take a long, hard look at our all or nothing approach to exercise.
- My Voice: I chronicle the steps that should be taken to endurance train safely in “Go Big or Go Home? What You Need To Know” and I link to some of the latest studies on this topic.
- Another Voice: Believing one can never have enough scientific evidence, I encourage you to read “Stop That Binge Jogging! Three Times a Week is Best For You…and Too Much is as Bad as Doing Nothing” from the Health section of The Daily Mail which cites a long-term Danish study on running.
There you have it! My seven hot topics of Summer 2015.