Solon: Respect the science

Pio Solon
·2 min read

I initially heard this phrase during the initial stages of Covid. There were calls by citizens to listen to the scientists and medical professionals regarding the spread of the virus. After all, something needed to be done and said to dispel the fake news, myths and snake oil sellers thinking they had the cure for the virus. Scientists and medical professionals rightly gained prominence. We should not be surprised if a Nobel Prize ends up in the hands of the scientists who could make the most efficient and effective vaccine that can effectively work against all possible strains and mutations of the coronavirus.

This also got me thinking about fitness and exercise. Exercise, at its most basic, is bodily movement that results in caloric expenditure. You can walk, dance, do yoga — there are so many options under the sun! However, despite this simplicity, there are still quite a lot of sciences that go into this field of study, hence the five-year course duration in University. You have psychology, the scientific study of the mind and behavior; nutrition, the branch of science that deals with nutrients and eating habits; physiology, the science that deals with bodily processes; biomechanics; kinesiology; biochemistry; and so on and so forth. Within this field of study called “exercise and/or sports science,” there are specialists. I myself am specialized in strength and conditioning, but have a general understanding of psychology, nutrition, general exercise and the like. In some cases, it helps to refer to other professionals within this field to crosscheck strategies and ensure that the best possible outcome is attainable for the people we are serving.

Now, I understand that we are living in a world where every course of study is available on YouTube University. There are volumes of fitness and exercise content available on YouTube, some decent, some abhorrent (I’m talking 400 calories in four minutes, sick pack abs in a week and your ilk).

When it comes to your car, are you going to trust someone who learned how to fix cars on YouTube? When it comes to building a house, are you going to trust someone who learned architecture and engineering on YouTube despite not having a degree? It helps to get a general idea, but so many specifics and details are sure to be left out.

In fitness, exercise, and sports performance let’s learn to respect the science. A significant number of fitness professionals thrive on PR to boost credibility. That’s well and good, but dig deeper. Find a credible coach, nutritionist and/or professional whose professional and educational background you can fact-check and who’s able and willing to back up exercise interventions with peer-reviewed evidence.

For individuals who

are keen to start on an exercise plan but have other existing ailments, get clearance and guidance from your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.