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You Are N=1.

Posted Jul 21 2009 10:31pm

Most people believe that operating an SUV with the windows open is more fuel efficient than running it with the A/C cranked.  But if you run tests and gather actual data, you’ll find the opposite to be true (legions of sweaty passengers thank you, Savage and Hyneman).

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a field more built on mythology than exercise.  I doubt you’d be able to come up a similar industry that so often takes hearsay for gospel.  Perhaps this is why trainers and customers alike so readily fall for the latestfitnessfads.

Back to the point:  Take what you hear as “fitness and nutrition gospel” with a grain of salt (for example, the admonition that salt raises blood pressure ).  Am I saying that you should throw away your running shoes, junk your weights set, or eschew fruits and veggies for fried Coke and potato wedges?  No - well, maybe you could stand to stop running - but what I am saying is that you are responsible for your own health and well being.  Don’t blindly trust news outlets with overhyped headlines (really just press releases from labs hawking their latest wares).  Read the studies yourself.  Probe deeper than the surface.  And do yourself a favor and don’t stop at the written word - put it into practice.  Keith Norris’ blog ( good blog, BTW) puts it perfectly - Theory Into Practice.

Your life is really just one big experiment with a subject population of n=1.  So go gather some data.  Test yourself.

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