I was sitting there in the sauna and this guy asks me, "What does this sauna do?"
Funny, the kinds of conversations that go on while sitting in the sauna. Even funnier that we were sitting IN the sauna and the guy asks WHAT the point is.
So, we got to talking about the different theories of the sauna, and heat/cold in general. How some athletes swear by ice baths, hot/cold contrast therapy.
Then we got into supplements and the big business of diet and fitness.
So this post is not about the sauna exactly, but all the ideas we have about what "works" and what doesn't.
Does the sauna just feel good or is there some definite benefit? Would just "feeling good" be worth it?
Be Careful With Headlines about Health, Diet and Fitness
You know the purpose of a good headline is to get you to read on. With so much information on the internet, there's a ton of competition for your attention.
Big bold headlines that are SHOCKING and NEW and IMPROVED and BREAKTHROUGHS will catch the eye more so than a headline that says "Difficult Workout program that takes time and effort and will involve consistency and persistence and patience.."
When you read a headline on social media and share an article on some new study, how often do you read the whole study?
Do you know who conducted the study? Who the participants were? What kind of observational procedure there was. How were the subjects monitored?
For example, a diet study that has participants write down what they ate for 30 days. How many people will be 100% totally accurate with this? Not many. When I asks clients what they ate YESTERDAY, it's a challenge to remember the exact foods, let alone the amounts of each!
Some studies are more closely monitored, of course but it's a valid concern.
There are also special interests. Who are the companies BEHIND the studies? Was a study done on post workout soreness conducted by a whey protein supplement company? These are questions I ask.
If you want to be informed you need to know what's going on behind the headlines. Not just the one line that says "NEW STUDY SAYS COFFEE CURES LAZINESS" etc.. haha, maybe we should try that one out...
Where does this leave us?
We can't just blindly accept everything we read but we do need information to help us with our health, fitness and diets.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own." - Bruce Lee
For the sauna example, it feels good, there's some research on the benefits, and maybe you think it helps with your muscle soreness. Great. Go with that.
Most of the so-called experts that jump on one side or the other of these topics, are just trying to do what kids in high school debate class did. Pick a side and back it up with points that back up your position.
Remember this: there will always be an opposing view to every opinion. For every "study" that says eggs, wine, coffee, cheese, bananas are good, there will be another that states the opposite. It can get confusing for sure.
This is when it's time to keep it simple. Do what Bruce Lee suggests in that quote above.
What is useful? What is not? Make up your own mind according to what you feel is right and move along.
Find out what works for you and stick to it. Whether it's for expensive supplements, juice detox diets, trx straps, kettlebells, core work, or eating an apple a day.. don't worry what anyone else is doing. You have access to a deeper level of intelligence than you may realize. Trust in it.
So if you feel that a post workout shake is crucial for your fitness goals, then by all means stick with that habit.
The power of belief cannot be overlooked.
Sometimes it's best to be your own study because no one knows what you need better than you do. As long as you are in tune with your body. (that's a challenge in itself, for sure)
P.S. Want to work one-on-one with a coach to cater a workout plan to your goals, your lifestyle, and your schedule?