That is such a great point. I do think, you and I, having seen the evolution of this space over the past couple of decades, it’s just mind-boggling. How much bigger it’s gotten? How much people have learned? How many modalities are covered these days? I can remember my very early days, as an editor, back when I was 24.
One of the toughest parts about my job was sleuthing out the newest, coolest, best stuff. Now, it’s quite the opposite. The big piece of my job as an editor, and that many of my editorial team members take on every day, is curating all the clutter that’s out there. The problem is almost there’s so much stuff.
We see our job as, one, being people who live and breathe fitness and wellness, which means that we are actively trying everything and learning about it and putting it through its pieces on our own.
Secondly, that we’re bringing in experts, doctors, researchers, PhDs, the latest science, all those studies that are out there, to put that lens on these topics so that our readers are making informed decisions about what they try and don’t try.
That’s not to say, a fad training, modality, or nutrition, something or other isn’t going to be something that we would neg or tell readers to walk away from. We want them to have the evidence and the education to make that decision for themselves. There’s that piece of it too, I agree with you it’s gotten so much bigger than running and strength training.
I would say one of the biggest flip flops I’ve seen, is the way people are now talking about how important strength training is, and that it’s not all about burning as many calories as you can on a run.
I feel like for so many years that was a big part of my job was convincing women to pick up weights, and that…I remember this, but before I worked at Women’s Health many years before when I was in Chicago freelance writing, I pitched a story to Women’s Health. It was called “Cardio versus strength training” because I wanted to dig into the science and understand which was better.
I felt that was one of the burning questions at the time. The answer is, as you know, it’s complicated, it depends, etc. etc. I do think that was an inflection point. When the world woke up, thanks to brands and content and enough people talking about it, to understand that running — and I love running, I’m a runner — is not the be-all end-all.
What else? I would say just in the very recent past, and this was definitely something gaining momentum before we came into the pandemic, but just the rise of virtual fitness.
I joke sometimes that I feel like I’ve earned a PhD in digital fitness at this point. I’ve tried everything out there, all the platforms, all the equipment. I worked on projects before people had adopted it, and this was like part of our norm.
To see those early days, when we were trying so hard, I worked on a platform called Cosmo Body, back when I worked at “Cosmopolitan” magazine, which was literally streaming fitness content, like highly produced amazing workout videos with exceptional trainers. Honestly, it didn’t take off, but this was back in 2014. It was like ahead of its time.
Now you look at the way the world is. Whether through sheer force of momentum or because of the lockdown orders and for everybody’s health and safety, virtual fitness is like, just absolutely exploded. Those are just a couple of examples that come to mind.