I’m annoyed with today’s culture surrounding fitness and health. It seems like magazines, bloggers, etc. promote a certain lifestyle regarding how to best “get in shape.”
In particular, I’m talking about women’s fitness. You know, things like eating avocado toast and acai bowls, or doing soul cycling or even aerial yoga. These are all fine things, but the’re not accessible to everyone. That’s what annoys me. Most people don’t have the time, money, and resources to participate in these activities.
From a working college student to a single mom, a lot of women live vastly different lives from those who are promoting this type of fitness culture. I’m just annoyed how fitness is becoming more about showing off on social media than about enjoying the small, personal wins like going for a walk.
Being Healthy Isn’t About Spending Money
Being healthy isn’t about expensive foods and fitness classes, which the media so often portrays, and which make some people feel like they’re “better” than others if they do these. I just think society’s view of fitness sometimes sends the wrong messages and ends up dividing people rather than helping everyone out.
I was just thinking along these lines earlier when I was reading a magazine and realized how much of it contained the unspoken message in every article: “Buy! Buy! Buy!” That’s what it comes down to, really; there’s not a lot of money or glamor in telling people to double up on vegetables, count calories, and enjoy some after-dinner walks. No one’s going to think it’s cool that you went to the park and saw some squirrels, not the way they would if you were suddenly into aerial silks or pole dancing or whatever.
Forget About Social Media
But almost all of the most avid fitness-culture posters are going to quietly drop their expensive new workout, even though you won’t read that on anyone’s social media streams; no one wants to talk about when they quit aerial soul yoga, only when they started it. They’ll move on to the Next Hot Thing and offer up some peppy lifestyle post about how it’s positively transforming them, they’re so much more in touch with their own bodies, they can feel the goodness from their newly taut cores to the tips of their manicured fingers…
…and meanwhile, you’re getting to the park when you can. You get to see the seasons change, and you notice you can walk a little farther. Maybe you start to jog or even run just because it feels like something you want to do. You see the squirrels, and then some ducks, and it’s nice to watch the rhythms of life taking place around you.
Eventually, they might come to the same conclusion you did and realize that while some people find their bliss in soul cycle sessions or pre-made Whole 30 delivery meals, those things aren’t necessary. They might even join you for a jog in the park.
Work On Your Technique
If you know any college swimmers, even if they swam 20 years ago, definitely definitely ask for help on technique. Anyone who swam a club team or in college will be able to help. My aunt was doing her first tri, and ask for my help since I swam competitively since I could spell, we were both so surprised by how inefficient a normal swimmer is and how simple it was to fix.
Most childhood swim classes and even some high school swim teams don’t focus on drag/glide/stroke length etc. in any intense way (it takes a fair bit of one in one to “diagnose” someone’s stroke) These factors make a huge difference in the amount of work you’ll put into your swim. You may not get significantly faster, but you can easily make it way easier at the same or faster speed. It’s even more important in open water, which can be exhausting for even a trained swimmer. If you can’t find anyone watch videos of long course swims, 1600m and up, and feel free to pm me. Also I think it’s been said, but get plenty of outdoor practice, it’s a whole different animal from pool swimming.
The Gym Salesperson Isn’t Your Friend
This. So this. They’re in the market of exploiting trends to drive sales. It has nothing to do with fitness.
Truly fitness-minded and driven people can find a workout anywhere… all you need, at an absolute minimum, is time and effort and your own body weight.
I was doing high-intensity boot camp (read: off-brand Crossfit) at a personal gym (read: warehouse box) and I even surprise myself now at how far I was willing to go to look the part… new shoes, Nike or UA everything, etc.
Imagine my surprise when, after having a baby and putting myself on a strict budget, I went to Walmart for Starter gear and spent what I would spend on the newest pair of Nike running shorts to buy a week’s worth of workout clothes, almost the same quality, and with no noticeable difference on the quality of my workouts.
It’s all a business; all a show. It’s the same popularity contest you had in high school to impress all the cool kids with your new latest self cooling moisture wicking shorts that basically keep your sweaty bare ass from touching an ass-sweat-soaked bench directly, or the newest stable platform zero drop lifting shoes that achieve the same stable platform and zero drop you get from lifting fucking barefoot.