100 Most Influential People in Health and Wellness?
Influence is a noun that is defined as “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on actions, behavior, opinions”.
The greatlist.com created a list of “The 100 Most Influentional People in Health and Fitness” for 2015. They determined this list through a variety of quantifiable factors, including social reach and trends that are set. Although these people have influence, do they deserve it? I am not here to discredit this list or the people on it. I am writing to provide advice on how to find the right people to influence you.
As an Athletic Trainer, I have the benefit of working with a wide variety of healthcare and fitness professionals, and after discussing this topic with many of them I have collaborated a list of factors to consider before allowing yourself to be influenced:
1. What credentials and/or certifications does this person have?
2. Are they trying to sell you something? (product, workout, brand…)
a. If yes… read labels and do some research into the product. Did they create it or are they the face of the product?
b. Are they targeting your insecurities with their advertisement for this product?
3. What is their motivation?
a. Is it money, fame, status, votes, passion, altruistic?
4. Know that health and wellness goals are very individualized and so improving these areas should be held to the same standards. Therefore, very few products or trends are a one size fits all.
5. Is this person an advocate due to their public status or by their passion?
a. Example: Are they famous/wealthy and using this status as a basis to trust the information they promote in the book they wrote? Or…
b. Did their book become an influence due to its information and/or positive influence in pe ople’s lives?
6. Are you using this influence as a motivational tool? Or Are you looking to simply copy their program trying to be like him/her?
a. Similar to factor #4, consider the types of information and advice your influences are trying to share with you. Each person and their body are unique, which means the information he/she receives will be more reliable if targeted to best serve your health/wellness goals or deficiencies, rather than trying to “fix all life’s problem with one easy step…”
7. Does this influence promote information based on experience and evidence based/ peer reviewed research?
No single health or wellness issue is 100% clear-cut. I have people that influence me that don’t have unbiased intentions, but understanding this is key to my reception of their advice. Do yourself and your body a favor and conduct a little research first. Then take the best information from these influences and try to apply it as desired to your life. If you are unsure, consult a healthcare provider you trust with an unbiased perspective on the topic.
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If you are in need of positive influences on your health and wellness journey or have some areas that could use improvement, come visit us at OSI Physical Therapy!