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Using the Internet to Promote Exercise

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Using the Internet to promote exercise seems like an oxymoron. "Certainly, sitting in front of a computer all day is not what we want people to be doing," says Stan Reents, PharmD, a certified personal trainer, fitness counselor, and tennis coach.

Nevertheless, the Internet is a highly effective way to deliver information right to the person who needs it. "The Internet is as much a part of American society as the automobile and the television, so we should take advantage of that when trying to reach people on an individual basis," says Reents.

Surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project ( routinely show more and more US households with Internet access. The most recent survey from earlier this year revealed that 71% of adults have access to the Internet. This trend is expected to continue.

"I use the Internet to search for information every single day," says Reents, author of the text "Sport and Exercise Pharmacology" and creator of

While the Internet allows consumers to be in control of the information they receive, it also has created a situation where questionable information is freely dispensed. "It's a quality vs. quantity thing. Consumers need to be able to identify reputable sources. This is especially important when it comes to health and fitness information," says Reents, who is a former health care professional.

Some things to look for when evaluating health and fitness web sites are: What is the author's background and qualifications? Is there an editorial review process? Are facts and controversial statements substantiated? What is the source of funding? (ie., is there any conflict-of-interest?).

"All of the content on is thoroughly researched before being posted," says Reents. "I'm compulsive about that." is a web site devoted to providing high-quality information on exercise, fitness, training, sports nutrition, and fitness gear for consumers and athletes. One of the features of the site is an online fitness counseling service.

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