Current fitness trends
These two articles from IHRSA offer some interesting insight into the current state of the fitness industry. On the one side, there are more and more people actively joining gyms and exercising worldwide, which is great, except for the fact that the US is still fighting an obesity problem. On the flip side is the proliferation of competitive style gyms, such as Crossfit, that focus on high intensity all the time. It appears that exercise is caught between these two extremes; either showing up is good enough versus an all-out effort all the time mindset.
I love training hard and pushing yourself to reach new heights, and a class or group workout can be great for that. But, it is also important to make sure that your training is smart and that you aren’t causing more damage than you can recover from each workout. Bear in mind that even competitive athletes take time to decompress and deload from their workouts so they don’t break down.
With the hustle and bustle of today, for many people just making it to the gym is success. Remember, though, that gains are made by progressive overload and recovery. If you have a high stress job, high stress at home and then do a high stress workout, you will eventually break down. Exercise should support your lifestyle and fuel your health, not detract from it. There is more to achieving your goals than just hopping on the treadmill for 30 minutes, too. Use the time you have to work at an appropriate level and then watch your diet. Take opportunities during the day to move more, too. Taking the stairs or walking to the store all adds up over the course of the week.
The best programs are the ones that fit your life and address your individual needs. Classes may support that, just like the occasional maximal effort workout will. Just be careful not to fall into the trap of not doing enough or doing too much.
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*This site is for educational purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose, treat or replace medical advice. Before starting an exercise program always make sure that you are healthy and able to do so safely.*