Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fitness headlines suck!

See what I did there? I used a headline that is supposed to grab your attention that then read more. Now, this headline really is what I want to write about. A lot of fitness headlines really do suck!

But this trick can go too far. A lot of trusted sources for fitness information are bending and contorting themselves to make a headline to grab your attention. Some of them grab a piece of the story that really is a very small piece and then make that their title. You get stuff like “Exercise Could Hurt Heart Health”, “Exercise May Be Bad for Some” and “Is Exercise Bad for You? A New Study Says Yes!”.  In each case, the headline focuses on a very small and misleading piece of the story.   Credit this article from DailySpark (this is the blog attached to Spark People) for finding those headlines:
What's the headline for this post? "Could Exercise be Bad For Your Health?"

Just remember this.  Even trusted sources like CNN, Time, Fox, and ABC need to grab your attention and get you to read more.  They need to surprise you.  They can pull the same stuff that DailySpark pulled here.  This is even more true for fitness-focused sources like Men's Health, Shape, and Self.  

So, promise you'll at least do this:  When you see a headline that really surprises you, don't use that piece of information for anything at all until you've either read far enough to understand how insignificant that piece is or you've finished the article.  You'd be amazed how often you finish something thinking "Oh, that's all?"