I have been thinking about writing this blog post for some time now.
I have been involved in the health & fitness industry for nearly half my life now (20 years, gulp) and I have seen various trends, some great, some, not so much…..
One of the biggest influences in health & fitness trends currently is social media (facebook, instagram, etc) I’ve spoke before about the dangers of social media on body perfection. If you didn’t read it, then click here.
But the dangers of social media within the fitness industry are currently of huge concern to me. You see, anyone can be a health & fitness expert on social media. It is full of fake accounts, fake images, photoshopped before and afters, but more shocking are self proclaimed experts, who try and tell you the best ways to get in shape after reading an article in magazine.
This is why social media is killing the fitness industry
It’s difficult for some of the well read, highly qualified coaches out there to make a living because they can’t compete with these social pros.
My other concern is that because of the fake life people portray on social media, always eating “ultra” healthy, never drinking alcohol, going to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours at a time! makes getting fit and healthy for the average person seem completely unachievable. Heck, even the fitness professional is under pressure to have a six pack year round, always doing food prep like a pro and never socialising or doing anything unrelated to keeping in great shape!
In reality life gets in the way, we don’t always get a good nights sleep, we don’t always prep a weeks worth of meal ahead of time, sometimes we do have a drink or heaven for bid we may go a week without training, gasp, horror!
The life seen on social media just enstils guilt into those people who can’t live the “perfect” healthy life.
The reality is that everyday doesn’t have to be perfect in order for you to achieve your goals. You just have to do the right things, most of the time.
You don’t have to strive for perfection, but if you choose the right foods 80-90% of the time you will look better, feel better and have the energy to enjoy life to the full.
When I was younger I felt just because I was a trainer that I had to be completely ripped, in order to be taken seriously and do my job well. The reality is that if I have the skills to show people how to keep in shape and feel good, juggling the pressures of work and family life, then I will have more impact.
On that, I have two daughters, too young yet for social media, but as this isn’t going away anytime soon, I feel it’s relative. There are 1000’s of instagram pages with awesome looking women’s bodies, shot in perfect light, at the perfect angle using amazing photo editing software and there’s nothing wrong with that, if they inspire people to take better care of themselves but if you look at the comments, more often than not you will see things like “life goals” and that freaks me out a little. It should never be a life goal to look like someone else. The impact those thoughts have on a persons confidence and self esteem will be catastrophic.
Being fit and healthy shouldn’t just be about vanity, it should also be about having the energy to spend quality time with your family, being alert without 10 cups of coffee in the morning, having self-confidence, working with a clear mind and laser beam focus, and have a relationship with your spouse, kids, family and friends which is full of love, giving, inspiration, and sharing. – This is the true meaning of health in my opinion.
So how do you strike that perfect balance between implementing some degree of discipline with your training and diet and still enjoying relaxing from both without the guilt!
First, you need to find which mode you currently do most of the time.
Do you currently prefer to be a little lazy, take life slow, and eat foods that don’t necessarily support your health.
Or do you like to constantly push your body to the extreme, always training, always eating clean, rushing around at 100 mph, not worrying about sleep, cause you simply don’t have time.
Both of these are unhealthy and the trick is to actually strike a balance between the two. For some, this is much easier said than done. So once you’ve decided which one is more like you, try and do the opposite once and a while.
Observe the impact this has on your body. Sleep, energy, mood, body composition, both negative and positive, ask your loved ones for their feedback and support.
Ultimately you shouldn’t strive for perfection but strive to be a better version of YOU.
We go into simple lifestyle hacks each week on our fitness ondemand program. You can read more about it here.