Fitness Industry Stereotypes

In the past year, I have seen a huge spike in what the younger generations (in and out of the fitness industry) think is true fitness, true strength, or true sexy. We’ve all seen the overload of Facebook memes with “you know she squats,” “strong is the new sexy,” “if it were easy, everyone would be thin,” with images of scantily clad guys and gals alike. I disagree with this trend of thinking and let me say why.

Physical body size is not a good indicator of someone's fitness and health levels. We should not strive to attain thinness as our end goal of working out and being active. Sayings like “strong is the new skinny” are untrue. The terms strong and skinny have no relation to one another, just as the terms thin and fit are unrelated. I have always been a proponent of being physically active for the health benefits, not the aesthetics. And I really think our current young generations are loosing sight of the most practical and important reasons of living a healthy, active lifestyle. Being physically active has multiple benefits including reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers, strengthening your bones and muscles, and enhancing your quality of life, especially in the later years.

To support my opinion, I found an article in the New York Times health section informing us why it's better to be overweight and fit than to be thin and unfit. I think we have all heard things like this, but it's really important to fully consider the information given and to consider changing your reasons for being physically active, or perhaps convince you to become active. You can read the full article here: www.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/health/19well.html

Why do you maintain your active lifestyle? What is your real reason for coming to the gym or working hard in your fitness class? As long as you have the intrinsic motivation and you're not just working for your summer beach body, you will succeed in initiating and maintaining your physical activity and health levels.

Written By: Haleigh Reichert (Personal Trainer)