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Where do you get your exercise information?

Where do you get your exercise information?

Where do you get your information about exercise, activity, or sports medicine?  Can you trust that information?  Those are two questions that seem to drive everyone in today's 'information age'.  Information is ever present in our daily lives, from the seemingly endless news shows, to the incessant drone of radio-talk shows, to the pontificating experts on TV talk shows.  So who should you believe?

This is a core issue for our Institute.  For too many years, there has been a widening gap between the scientists who do exercise and sport science, the practitioners that apply sport science, and the public who consumes sport science.  This gap is unhealthy because as the gap grows wider, the probability that correct information actually gets to the end-users in the public diminishes almost exponentially.  Consider the old game of gossip: a statement is whispered to one person, who in turn whispers to another, and on down the line.  It doesn't take but three or four people before the initial statement has been 'filtered' to a statement that bears little resemblence to what was actually whispered initially.  There are many, many examples of where the 'whisper' the exercising consumer is told is so far from the truth - stories about "anaerobic threshold", lactate, supplementation, and muscle soreness are four that pop instantly to mind.  These incorrect stories are just a few of the reasons why the Huffines Institute is working hard to close the gap between scientists, practitioners, and the public, so that what is known in the scientific literature is actually put in practice.

But back to the underlying question of "where do you get your information"?  While we've all been taught to 'distrust authority', your best bet for good information about exericse and sports medicine is still to look to the authorities.  Find out who is doing research in the area - they are the ones that know the field inside out and backwards.  And the best place to find the experts?  Simple, go to "pubmed.org".  This is the online arm of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  Almost 10,000 Life Sciences scientific journals are indexed there.  All you have to do is put in some search terms (think of it as google for science) and you'll have access to at least the summaries, and sometimes the whole article that relates to that topic.  And while the verbiage may seem dense, you at least will find out who is doing the research and you can further search for other information by that individual on the web.

The gap between sport scientists, practitioners, and end-users is another reason we are organizing and holding the first Huffines Discussion.  If you can't be here on April 1, make sure you check back in the coming months to see the videos of the presentations.  We're asking eight leaders and thinkers in Sports Medicine to tell us - in lay-terms - what their big ideas are and where sports medicine is going.  We've got some tremendous speakers (see the list here), so if you are able to, I'd encourage you to join us on April 1 as we work to close the gap a bit (plus, admission is free!).

So, who do you listen to for your sports and exercise information?  Do they know what they are talking about?  We'll chat in a future blog about what to look for in an 'exercise expert' (and in a future article on the site).

In the meantime, check out "pubmed.org", find the real information, and get active and stay healthy!

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