Ever since I got into fitness I realised there is so much information out there.
Whether it be food or fitness guidance you are looking for, the internet is saturated with information but unfortunately not all of it is correct or even safe.
At the beginning of my fitness journey I followed a lot of ‘fitspos’ on Instagram, and at that time I felt that ‘fit’ meant having a solid 6 pack and measuring out every crumb of my food. I began to get overwhelmed with what being fit and healthy entailed, according to these profiles online anyway, and found it quite overwhelming. I even found myself in a really bad place where I wasn’t eating or exercising in a healthy way anymore. I felt the pressure to be in the gym everyday and only eat a certain amount of calories.
In my opinion, fitness and health has been so over-complicated by contrasting information it is no wonder it can put people off starting their journey in the first place.
For example, if you aren’t performing ten different leg raise variations on the stairmaster are you even doing a good workout at all? Of course you are!
It is not hard to see why a lot of people out there want to start working out, but because it seems so complicated now they are put off by it.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it is fantastic that people are getting creative with how they move their body, but for someone starting out they may take a look at workouts on social media and think they could never do that themselves.
In theory, the basics of health and fitness are pretty simple:
There has been a shift towards more females lifting heavy in the gym and I am so happy about it! I too love lifting weights as a form of exercise and it is great that the weight room is seeing more ladies. However, if you are just starting out, watching someone with a smaller frame than you lifting over their bodyweight can really intimidate people. But I want to make it clear – EXERCISE DOES NOT MEAN GOING TO THE GYM.
Think of exercise as moving your body, increasing your heart rate and working harder than a general stroll.
The main thing to remember about exercise is finding something that works for you. If you enjoy something not only is it bringing happiness into your life but you will have the motivation to keep doing it.
You don’t need to be lunging on the stairmaster for hours or doing complicated HIIT workouts.
Simplify keeping fit by doing what you enjoy. Aim for 30 minutes a session and you will start seeing progress. Even going for a 30 minute walk can contribute towards your daily exercise – don’t underestimate the benefits of walking.
There is also the undeniable portrayal of GO HARD OR GO HOME attitude on some fitspo accounts where they claim to work out everyday and that just is not sustainable, or healthy. Find a schedule that works best for you. You need to balance rest days and active days to make sure you are letting your body recover.
Like fitness, nutrition is something that a lot of people are talking about but it is something so individual and personal that there is no one size fits all.
Celebrities endorsing meal replacement shakes and recommending their fans to eat X amount of calories per day is not only complete bullshit but also very dangerous. We all need to be accountable for the information we put onto the internet, including celebrities.
“While social media can be a positive space for peer support, when the overarching emphasis is placed on supposedly healthy diets with good and bad foods, it is obviously an example of where this kind of influence can have a negative effect. It has become particularly popular amongst those who are in to fitness and exercising, to count calories and macronutrients, in attempt to control their energy intake.
The obsession with meals presented as art and so-called clean eating advice from self-appointed diet gurus can have a tremendous affect on people’s relationship with food. There is no doubting now that the bombardment of unqualified diet advice and images of fashionable food can have an unhealthy influence on impressionable children and teenagers or those already feeling confused in terms of ‘how to be healthy’.
Not everything in life needs to be complicated. It seems that with the addition of technology and social media our lives seem busier than ever, and something so natural as eating and moving should not be difficult, daunting or confusing.
MOVE how you want to. EAT a balanced diet but still treat yourself. DON’T be pressured by what you see online.
Be healthy and fit in your own way.