Y Notes

Information overload

  • Ronda Graff
  • 07-Feb-2019

If you are reading this from your computer, take a glance at all tabs open on your browser. Or if you are reading this in the newspaper, try to count all the reading materials laying around your desk.

However and wherever you get your information, there just seems to be more of it.

I am the first to admit that I have a problem - a problem of trying to take in too much information. As a journalist by training, I love magazines and newspapers and books. Heck, I can’t even pass by a poster without taking it all in.

I am constantly clicking on suggested news articles. Put the word “exercise” or “healthy eating” in a headline and it’s a guarantee that I’ll click on the article. At one point last week, I had 12 tabs open with articles covering everything from fasting to carb cutting, from beating depression through exercise to a 105-year-old marathoner.

But with all that information at our fingertips, it’s nearly impossible to figure out what we should believe.

For years, we were told that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Now, studies have appeared which refute that idea. Butter was once frowned upon, but now is a mainstay in many diets. We can’t even agree on how much water we should consume in a day.

Soon enough, it becomes overwhelming trying to figure out what is best, so I’ve come to a sweeping conclusion: I’m not going to do any of it.

Actually, that’s not true. I read another article - ironically - which said don’t follow a diet plan, just eat healthy; don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fit in your workout, just try to get active the next day. Just try to do your best day after day.

That being said, there is one element which doesn’t seem to change: exercise.

While fitness has different fads which come and go - think Jazzercise and Jane Fonda’s workouts - keeping active is never going to go out of style.

I would like to offer a few more pieces of reading materials: the fitness class schedule, pool schedule, soccer registration forms, Shamrock Shuffle entry forms, all offering plenty of opportunities to keep active for both young and the not-so-young.

As I walked around the Y on Tuesday night, I got giddy with all the activity. The racquetball court was full, both exercise rooms were busy, the pool was rippling with the YMCA youth swim team practice and nearly every piece of cardio equipment was whirring along.

And those were just the adults. The basketball courts were buzzing with first and second graders running up and down the courts, missing more than making baskets but they were still trying.

Ultimately, there is no one-fits-all diet. There is no one-fits-all exercise plan. You have to figure out what works best for you. And if that includes pedalling away on an exercise bike while scrolling through fitness articles or walking on the treadmill as you bookmark healthy recipes, so be it. I just may be speaking from experience.