I am personally not fond of the fitness industry today. It thrives on pain, and it favors and promotes a life and lifestyle that's out of balance. Most people's goal is to get in shape and look like fitness or supermodels. And there are plenty of businesses, even with all the different workout programs, that will promise just that. There are also different home workouts we can choose from.
Do these workouts care about how tight most people's chest or hips are from sitting all day long and slouching? Do these programs focus on what's really happening in our society today? Do they understand how fast life is changing and what people's challenges are today? As life is changing, challenges change with it, too. The fitness industry and fitness professionals need to keep up with what's happening because our job is to help people have better, healthier bodies and lives, not the opposite.
In the tri-state area or large cities, most people feel overworked and over-stressed and live life totally out of balance. The general belief is that the harder you work the better it is! But what happened to working smarter? What happened to staying in touch with our bodies and understanding what it needs? What happened to connecting to our intuition and looking for inner guidance instead of following a trend?
When our bodies are already over-stressed and overtired, we don't need to work harder. We need to work smarter. We need to start bringing more self-awareness to people and help them to learn that working out more or harder isn't necessarily the answer to their problems even when their number one goal is to get in shape.
The way I see it some people are not active enough, and they need to learn and understand how being active will serve their energy level, focus, mental strength, and clarity. We have to help them handle stress better; staying active can benefit the quality of their lives altogether. As a side effect of the right, consistent training, they will also get in shape. We need to help those people to get started.
I can imagine the reasons why they don't start a workout program. They must feel intimidated by all the craziness and intensity they see that's so trendy today. We all feel like outsiders, not good enough and uncomfortable if we can't follow the trends. Isn't that right?
If I didn't know my way around the fitness industry or if I didn't have the knowledge about gaining fitness that I have today (I started this when I was 10 years old so I have 27 years of fitness experience and knowledge), I would feel totally lost.
I divide people who are active into three major categories. There are the "yoga/Pilates/barre" people, the "weight lifters," and the "cardio" lovers. Most of the very popular workouts over-stress, and I don't believe they're right for our lives if those are the ONLY things we do. I do think there are many benefits in doing a tough class, and we need to challenge ourselves to get stronger, but there's a balanced way to achieve that. We also have to realize we aren't training athletes. We're training people who are tied to their chairs and computers, or who are in their cars all day long. We're dealing with people who have a hard time handling the daily stress. They don't eat healthy, and they drink too much alcohol and/or coffee; they don't sleep enough and have many responsibilities. And, strange as it may seem, not all these burdens have to be true to have an unbalanced life.
What stuns me is that we can turn yoga class, which is about mindfulness and getting in touch with ourselves, into a power workout. So, are we headed to the right direction?
I, personally, don't think so. I talk to fitness trainers who think the same way, but everyone stays quiet because it's their bread and butter and the roof over their heads. It isn't an easy fix. People's mindsets need to change, because as I mentioned above, our job is to help people, not enable them to continue the lifestyle they've lived, because it doesn't work.
What I imagine for the fitness industry is:
- We need to teach people to have more balanced lives. For some, it means to start moving; for some, it means slowing down. In both cases, we need to get smarter and more balanced about it. Think about it; this is our only shot in this lifetime. Do we have to get sick or injured or old to understand that life isn't only about responsibilities? No, we have the right to enjoy the journey.
- We need to teach people how to love themselves, how to honor their lives and their bodies. When they do that, it will radiate out to their lives, connections, and environment.
- We need to teach mindfulness and awareness, and we need to teach people to listen and use their intuition/inner voice. We need them to learn to listen to their bodies, instead of going after trends or even looking for our advice not only as guidance but as a solution. We are only guides; we don't know the answers for anyone else, only for our own selves on our better days.
- We need workouts that help people to get stronger, not injured or overworked.
I don't know about you, but my vision is to have a more balanced, happy, strong, mindful, loving, caring people living on this planet. The choices we make today and the way we behave today ripples outward and it shapes our future, and it affects everyone around us.
Let's make it a trend to stay balanced, mindful, and joyful! Live Consciously!