How the fitness industry has f**ked up
The dominant messages within the fitness industry have not made it easy to have a healthy relationship with exercise: the ‘no pain, no gain’ rhetoric, the intense focus on body composition, the insistence of consistency above all other variables. The harm of the messages isn’t just anecdotal. Studies have demonstrated that focusing on what your body can do during exercise makes you appreciate your body more than when you focus on its appearance. A functional focus also makes exercise more enjoyable. It’s not easy but you can redefine what fitness means to you. You can find the exercise that you enjoy and ditch what you hate. You can shift your focus from what exercise does for your body towards how it makes you feel. You can learn to tune in and respond to your body cues rather than ignoring them. It’s not easy but it is possible. If you feel able, I’d also encourage you to give feedback to gyms or studios that are promoting negative messages. The fitness industry has an obligation to keep people safe and that includes avoiding anything which can harm mental and physical health.