Consider the Source and Read the Fine Print

July 28, 2014

By: Hope Osborn

In May the fitness-minded read headlines such as these in health and fitness columns of well-known publications:

“Short bursts of intense exercise before meals control blood sugar better than 1 continuous 30 minute session.” Science Daily, 8 May 2014.

“Exercise Snacking: How to Make 1 Minute of Exercise Work Like 30 Minutes.” Time, 9 May 2014.

“Why you need to take an exercise ‘snack’ before you eat, and other new fitness advice.” The Boston Globe, 12 May 2014.

These and similar articles were a reaction to study findings released in a medical journal in early May. Marie Benz, editor of, interviewed the study’s’ co-author, Monique Francois, who explained that “’snacks’ of interval exercise“ before main meals controlled blood sugar levels throughout the day better than one 30-min. workout a day.

The wide and general fitness-minded audience those headlines addressed might assume from the articles that science had discovered an improved method of diet and exercise. However the study that produced the hoopla was actually specific to a very limited group of people.

The study only included 9 subjects who had one very specific insulin-resistant (precursor to diabetes) condition; whereas, the widespread health and fitness articles targeted many people with many different health situations. But unless you ‘read the fine print’ you may not have seen the distinction.

We want to know how to live long and happy lives so we are inundated with products, stores, books, columns, and gyms that focus on diet, exercise, and general well-being. We continue our time-long search for the fountain of youth as well as HURRY to gain the latest and greatest, solution for having that life.

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It is perfect that so many health resources have become readily available for people to have a better chance for a healthier, longer life. It is, however, unfortunate that we are so urgent to receive it. Our urgency is at odds with the slow and steady study that is necessary to find the best answer for a healthy life. We are tempted to jump on board with new ideas for fitness and health without considering how reliable or valid the information or how appropriate for our own particular health. We don’t consider the source and we forget to read the fine print.

We can’t all be experts in reading the fine print of every field so it is good to rely on others for information outside our understanding. It is also good to know which people you can rely on for that understanding.

Take time to find source research or take a little less time to find credentialed authors and companies who are responsible in their presentation of that research or take even less time to talk to the experts in your very own gym. It is the job of your well-trained and qualified trainer to work with you to have your best in a healthy life.

In the long run, steady, smart, consistent fitness management is the best method for a long and healthy life.

Works Cited

Benz, Marie. “Brief Exercise Before Meals May Improve Blood Sugar Control.”Medical Research News and Interviews:, 14 May 2014. Web. 25 June 2014.