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Finding Helpful Fitness and Health Information on the Internet

Do you ever get confused about health, fitness, weight loss or working out? Do you search for answers to your questions on the Internet? If so you may have run into the confusing world of information overload. Here's the scenario: you have a burning fitness question; let's say it's about weight loss. So, you log onto the Internet, type 'weight loss' into the search box and what do you get? Go ahead and try it. You'll get hundreds of websites to choose from. So, which ones are the best? How do you know the information you're getting is timely, healthy and, above all, reliable?

Become an Internet Sleuth

There are ways to figure out if the site you're on is a reputable one. First, look at the domain name and the extension. Ever notice that most sites have '.com' or '.org' at the end? These actually mean something. Below is a list of the most common domain name extensions and their meanings:

  • .com - stands for a commercial site. So, if you land on a .com page, that site may have an agenda beyond providing you with information, such as selling a product.
  • .net - stands for Internet source. Again, these sites can be excellent resources, but they can also be unreliable.
  • .edu - stands for university or school. These are usually reliable resources.
  • .gov - this stands for the government. These are also usually reliable resources.
  • .org - this stands for nonprofit organization. These sites are also generally reliable.

In 'Web Seart for Beginners' you'll find some great information for how to search for what you want and how to figure out if the sites listed are reliable. First, look at the domain name (above). Next, search for information about the site. Who created it? What are their credentials? When was the site last updated? Is there a list of available resources you can check out? Finally, read the information carefully and see if it gels with what you already know. For example, if you know that safe weight loss happens with exercise and a healthy diet, be wary of a site that offers a magical pill guaranteeing weight loss.

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