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Now What?

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We’ve been filtering the firehose of health information with some simple questions.

Q: Know What?
A: Rely on what trusted health sources claim.

Q: So What?  
A: Focus on relevance; choose health info that supports your personal health goals.

The next logical question is…

Now What?

It’s a simple process of making one of three choices:

  1. Forget it: Discard info that's untrustworthy or doesn’t touch any of your top health goals
  2. File it: Remember info that is preliminary but trustworthy, or matches your interests or experience.
  3. Follow it: Act on info that has a rock solid source that supports a top health goal.

In Practice

Here's an example of the process from a health area that’s deluged in “over-information”: exercise.

Intuitively I've always been suspicious of the “no pain, no gain” exercise maxim. But, in examining my emotions it's partly because I don't want to work that hard when pumping iron. However I also know many strong people who haven't followed that maxim.

One day at a health conference I spoke with a professor in sports medicine. He said “no pain, no gain” was a myth. His PhD. education, published research and balanced, scientific presentations lended credibility to his assertions. He also cited the American College of Sports Medicine claiming that you should work out only to the point of minor discomfort.

So far the sources were relatively trustworthy. And it fit my own experience. I'd been building more muscle and increasing strength following this approach before I met the professor. I was afraid of hurting myself after not working out for years but I’d noticed I was still catching up to my workout partner who was more of a “go until failure” sort of guy.  

I was particularly interested in working out because, as I approach middle age, staying in shape is a top health priority for me.

Verdict

So based on the preliminary trustworthiness of the information, my own experience and personal health priority, I'm following this “minor pain, major gain” approach while filing it for ongoing research too. I don’t know everything about working out, but I know enough to get off the couch and get in the gym.

Start applying the simple Know What?, So What?, Now What? filter to your own health research and I’m certain you too will be a healthy “Know-Enough”.

Remember:

“Know-It-All's” will learn it all before they act, but “Know-Enoughs” will learn enough to act.

Author

Brian is a health writer and researcher from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a Master's in Public Health, Health Promotion.