Arguably, the birth of the fitness industry exploded around the early 80’s. Gyms and aerobics classes became incredibly popular and people became much more in tune with maintaining a healthy body.
Fast forward nearly 40 years and the fitness industry is everywhere. It’s the gym you visit, the App on your phone, the Instagram feed you follow, the diet plan you’re on and even the branded clothes you wear.
The Public Message
It’s fantastic people have these resources and the opportunity to be motivated and encouraged from every angle to exercise and improve their physical fitness. However, the key question is ‘What exactly is the message being portrayed to the general public through Social Media and Health & Fitness companies?
Looking Good is Big Business
The weight loss industry is expected to make £148.1 billion by 2019 compared to the £106.3 billion made in 2014. Fat burning supplements line the shelves of health food shops across the world and you can hardly find an Instagram fitness page where there isn’t someone half-naked person showing their abs and chiselled body while pouting provocatively as a means of motivating you to look more like them.
Young, Sexy & Lean
The truth is marketing the fitness industry in this day and age is largely about three things; Being young, sexy and lean. Sex does indeed sell and the promotion of products often includes “good-looking” people with perfect bodies, hair, teeth and washboard abs to promote the equipment, supplements, workouts and diet plans which promise to get you there.
The message? It’s the body beautiful which is best and we should all ‘eat clean’ and train hard to be leaner, more toned, resulting in being more attractive, confident and ultimately happier.
An Inspirational Message
This is why I found the following video so very refreshing by writer and strength coach, Mike Vacanti. As a Personal Trainer with 20 years experience, this video is one of the most profound and meaningful things I have seen online recently.
I agree wholeheartedly with Mike’s point of view and would like to congratulate him for putting such a powerful message across. Exercise should be about prevention, progression and promotion. Prevention of injury and poor health, Progression of physical ability and Promotion of well-being and happiness – Overall, a healthier and more able body.
Be Healthy, Be Happy
When you are fit you feel more energised. When you are strong you feel empowered. When you eat healthily your body feels cleaner. When you are flexible it brings about a feeling of freedom I can personally only associate with youthfulness.
Exercise is like a savings account – Start it when you can, stay consistent and reap the rewards later in life. People are all so busy trying to lose weight and tone up they often lose sight of what exercise should actually be all about; Enjoying being active and staying strong to live the best quality and healthy a life as possible.
Slowing Down The Aging Process
As much as we may deny it, age gets to all of us and as it does, our bodies will gradually degenerate as we pass from decade to decade. Strength exercise is natures natural remedy to promote stronger bones, muscles and connective tissues (such as tendons and ligaments) as we age to ensure we stay upright, functional and able to live independently and happily as we approach later life.
Training and exercise shouldn’t be just about looking in the mirror and taking selfies as we aim to become skinnier. It should be about something much more meaningful; The investment of time and energy into the one asset we will always need and rely on, yet constantly take for granted… Our own body.