Where do we get our ideas about fitness & how can we change them?

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“I just don’t understand why … you have to run so much.”

I could see the look of distress on my mother’s face when she said these words to me during a family visit several years ago. It was the same look she gave me when I became a vegetarian—a look of bafflement, distaste and genuine concern.

For a long time I didn’t understand this reaction. Why would my mom want me to quit something that I genuinely enjoyed and that most people in this day and age consider healthy and, dare I say, admirable? It was only when I started doing research for our most recent Practically Fit podcast episode (you can listen below) that I finally understood.

My mom came of age at a time when fitness was not considered particularly healthy for women. A review in The Atlantic of the book Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World by Danielle Friedman puts it this way:

 

“Women were corseted and girdled in ways that restricted movement. They were warned of the dire health consequences of running more than two miles at a time, and told that strenuous exercise might impair their reproductive organs and even cause their uterus to fall out.”

Yep, my sisters and I heard that last one, too.

 

But these misconceptions about physical fitness are not confined to women. I’ve had guy friends tell me that sadistic high school coaches ruined the concept of running forever. Running was punishment for failure to perform. You missed that layup? Fifty half-court sprints. Not listening to the coach? Run three laps around the track. Blogger Greg Lawlor has a great post about why you shouldn’t use exercise as punishment in youth sports, but apparently generations of coaches did not get the memo.

So where do we get our ideas about fitness? There’s a great article in Slate that explores this idea in depth, but I think the short answer is that it’s complicated. We get ideas about fitness from our parents, our peers, our friends and culture at large, but the good news is that we’re not stuck with those ideas forever.

Changing Your Fitness Narrative

While I’m certainly no expert in fitness psychology, here are three concepts that have helped me change my own ideas about fitness.

Don’t start a sentence with “I could never.” This is one I get a lot as a runner. “Well, that’s great for you, but I could never …” I thought the same thing at one point in my life. It never occurred to me that I could do anything athletic until I was well into my 30s. I have flat feet and asthma, two things that generally contraindicate running, but I tried it, and while I’ll never be a world-class athlete, I’ve been running for over two decades and am still going strong. What’s more, it’s brought an incredible amount of joy to my life, which brings me to the second concept …

 

Related: How to build an awesome home gym

 

Find something you enjoy. If you really and truly hate running (and not just because it was once used as punishment), then don’t do it. Find something you love. It could be dancing, or walking, or gentle stretching or silent disco. Respect your limitations, listen to your body and find something that you truly enjoy, because if you love it, you’re more likely to stick with it.

 

Related: What motivates you to stay fit?

 

We were all beginners once. This one can be the hardest obstacle to overcome. I know that when I started running, I felt out of place and outclassed. I could barely run five minutes on a treadmill, and my first 5K was a disaster. I had the wrong clothes, the wrong shoes and the wrong vocabulary, but over time it got easier. I found friends who encouraged me, I got better shoes, and, in the end, I was so glad I took that first step.

These are some of the things that have helped me, but I would love to hear your story. What concepts about fitness have you learned (or unlearned)? Reprogramming your brain is never easy, but it can be worth the effort.

 

This article originally appeared on PracticallyFit.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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What are your fitness apps really tracking?

 

Apps may be great tools for fitness and wellness goals, but we’ve grown used to trading our privacy for free gadgets and magical phone software.

 

Supplement Timing analyzed the official privacy policies of the top health and fitness apps to see which data each one asks of its users. We identified 27 different data types and gave the apps 2 points for each type they track by default and 1 point for types that require user permission. The ones with the most points are the ones that are most data-tracking-intensive.

 

Halfpoint / iStock

 

Keep scrolling to found out what the 12-most invasive running apps are.

 

Geber86

 

  • Score: 17
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Live location: 2
  • Country, City: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Social media
    profile: 1

 

Zombies, Run! / Apple App Store

 

  • Score: 18
  • Name: 2
  • Photo: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 1
  • Gender/sex: 2
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 2
  • Food
    intake/calories: 1
  • Health/lifestyle
    info: 1

 

Pumatrac

 

  • Score: 19
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Country, City: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Language: 2

 

Daily Burn

 

  • Score: 20
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Phone number: 1
  • Country, City: 2
  • Address: 2
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 1
  • Gender/sex: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Voice recording: 1
  • Hobbies/interest: 1

 

Vi / Apple App Store

 

  • Score: 21
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Photo: 1
  • Phone number: 2
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Shoe size: 1
  • Hobbies/interest: 1

 

Under Armour

 

  • Score: 22
  • Name: 1
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Phone number: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 1
  • Address: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 1
  • Gender/sex: 1
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Shoe size: 1
  • Health/lifestyle
    info: 1
  • Hobbies/interest: 1

 

TrainingPeaks

 

  • Score: 24
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Phone number: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 1
  • Gender/sex: 1
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Shoe size: 1
  • Health/lifestyle
    info: 1
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Language: 2

 

Google Play Store

 

  • Score: 24
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Phone number: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 1
  • Address: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 1
  • Gender/sex: 1
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Shoe size: 1
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Language: 1
  • Hobbies/interest: 1

 

Google Play Store

 

  • Score: 25
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 1
  • Address: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Gender/sex: 2
  • Height: 2
  • Weight: 2
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 2
  • Hobbies/interest: 1

 

Google Play Store

 

  • Score: 25
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Phone number: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 2
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Gender/sex: 1
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Shoe size:  1
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Language: 2
  • Hobbies/interest: 1

 

Adidas / Runtastic

 

  • Score: 25
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Photo: 1
  • Live location: 2
  • Country, City: 2
  • Address: 1
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Gender/sex: 1
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Heart rate/blood
    pressure: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Language: 2

 

Strava

 

  • Score: 26
  • Name: 2
  • Email: 2
  • Payment details: 1
  • Phone number: 1
  • Live location: 1
  • Country, City: 2
  • Address: 2
  • Device
    information: 2
  • Age/Date of
    birth: 2
  • Gender/sex: 2
  • Height: 1
  • Weight: 1
  • Workout details: 2
  • Fitness level: 1
  • Health/lifestyle
    info: 1
  • Social media
    profile: 1
  • Language: 1
  • Occupation: 1

 

Google Play Store

 

Health and fitness apps were gathered from a variety of sources such as VeryWellFitHealthlineCyclingNews, and Men’s Health.  For each app, we analyzed the official privacy policy as provided on their website or on the website of the parent organization. In each privacy policy, we examined what types of personal data the app collects about its users.

 

Where possible, a distinction was made between the information users have to provide to use the app and its features, and the information users can choose to share with the app.

 

For each of the 27 types of personal data identified, we gave an app 2 points if a certain type of data was tracked by default and 1 point if that type of data was tracked only if users gave permission for it to be tracked.

Apps with the highest overall score were deemed the most tracking-intensive. Research was carried out in Feb 2021.

 

Click here for a list of sources and more app data.

 

Related:

This article
originally appeared on 
Supplementtiming.comand was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.

 

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