Today’s topic is about the fact that health and fitness aren’t “black or white”. There are many shades of grey involved in all aspects of the health and fitness industry in Canada.
At FRESH! Fitness, we believe in healthy activity in all areas of life but stick closely to our belief system and expertise. We also understand that there are many people out there who think and do things differently than us. That’s also OK. There’s a market for everyone.
Fitness industry philosophy: “Feel The Burn”
Take for example the typical health club and fitness mentality that encourages people to “Feel the burn”.
While we definitely believe in challenging yourself, we feel this saying is a throwback to ’80s aerobics and high school gym classes. Unfortunately (in our opinion), many people and other fitness industry professionals in Canada still subscribe to this philosophy. They may be well-meaning…
Let me demonstrate how we believe this “feel the burn” mindset often gets misdirected
At FRESH!, we work with many corporate professionals. In many cases, they are “Type A”, driven, and very successful in their career. However, this drive has often led them to sacrifice their health and well-being to climb the corporate ladder.
They usually come to FRESH! with a list of physical and psychological challenges including weight issues, fear of hurting their career if they prioritize their health, lack of confidence in their ability to change their health, high-stress levels, poor health and fitness habits, and a counterproductive mindset about fitness.
These are the clients who say things like: “Work is crazy right now and I’m trying to balance it with family and my health. I try to get to the gym for workouts but never seem to be able to lose weight. In fact, when work gets extra busy and I stop exercising for a couple of weeks, I gain even more weight. Why can’t I fix this?”
Virtually every trainer and fitness professional has seen this situation, yet I believe that it usually gets addressed in a destructive way.
So how does the typical fitness industry professional in Canada usually address a client like this
They say something like “You need to prioritize your health and see me more often. When you come for sessions, we will work harder and you will feel that burn!”
Sadly, this is complete nonsense, and it regularly makes the situation worse.
It’s like taking someone who is highly stressed and burnt out from their job and piling on several new work projects in an attempt to help them feel better. It just doesn’t make sense…or work for that matter.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people will stop all activity in an attempt to take this burden off their plate. Solving this problem doesn’t require working them to death, or going on a silent meditation retreat.
The answer lies in the middle and involves going back to your priorities. To figure out what’s important to you and keep that in your sights regardless of what’s happening in the other areas of life.
While everyone has a different set of priorities, I believe that personal health should be at the top for everyone. This should be true for corporate executives, parents, and even the most selfless people on the planet.
You can’t properly grow, develop, build a career/business, or serve others over the long term if your own health is suffering
Staying true to your health priorities doesn’t need to take a lot of time. It’s small simple things done consistently every day. This includes:
- Healthy Eating
- Exercise (a few minutes at least a few days per week)
Other than sleep, none of these take more than a few extra minutes each day. Yet, they will provide you with hours of extra energy, enthusiasm, focus, and productivity each day. Not a bad trade-off!
The same goes for sleep. Sleeping well allows you to work harder and smarter throughout the day.
Going back to the fitness industry in Canada…here’s what we do at FRESH!
- Keep our sessions as consistent as possible (even done remotely when people are out of town).
- Use these sessions to check in on progress in each of the 4 Pillars.
- Reinforce the small strategic daily habits that clients are working on implementing and improving
- Be a coach instead of a trainer.
We look at the big picture and focus on what’s most effective to help our client reach their goals. Sometimes this involves a great workout, other times it is lighter activity and coaching on habits, mindset, fuel, or addressing key challenges our client is facing outside the gym.
There is no single “best program” that everyone can use. There are key principles and habits that are important for everyone, but how they are applied in any program is extremely customized for each person.
This is another small example of the “Shades of Grey” that exist in fitness and performance coaching. We are all unique and will require a unique mix of applications in each Pillar of Performance to get the results we desire.
I encourage you to think about:
- What’s important to you in life?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- Are your values and goals in alignment?
- Are you taking consistent action toward these goals?
- Are you happy with the results you are getting?
Regardless of the area of life (health, fitness, finances, career, family, etc.), the same questions need to be answered.
If you’ve been neglecting your health and well-being for too long and want to find a better balance in your life plan, we would love to help. Just book your FREE Success Coaching Session with FRESH! personal trainers.
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