Someone posted an article the other day that took a disparaging view of all the new “fitness trends” – soul-cycling, hooping, belly-dancing, aerial yoga, and so on. You can read it HERE.
The author claims these new fitness classes are simply a sneaky way to get money out of people desperate to lose weight.
“Like the diet industry, the fitness industry’s revenues rely on
teasing new interest from us every few years with miracle cures
and novelty classes, the latest of which is a contact version of musical chairs.”
I really don’t see those new exercise trends as a way to get people to part with their money. I see them, usually, as people trying to make a living doing something they love. If you love something, and you feel better doing it, and you decide to share it with others and yes – *GASP* – get paid to do so, what’s wrong with that?
Guess what else these “whimsical fads” (her words, not mine) do?
They bring people together.
They help us connect with other people who enjoy the same things, which is motivating and fun.
They help us move our bodies in the ways we did as kids, making these forms of exercise more fun than “work.”
What’s wrong with that?
I don’t know about you, but now that I’m an adult, I rarely (if ever) make time for play. I pursue hobbies, but I see that as “things I enjoy” rather than a focus on play. But because staying fit feels more and more important as I age, trying exercise programs that feel like play are ways to exercise and get fun back into my life – both of which are important – and essentially killing two birds with one stone.
I’ve tried almost all the activities that have “the power to depress the spirit” (her words, not mine) called out in the article – trampolining, jump rope, belly-dancing, trapeze artistry, water yoga, aerial yoga, naked yoga, pole-dancing, spinning and hooping – and I can tell you this: each one challenged me in ways I hadn’t been challenged before.
Agility, balance, and coordination stand out most in my mind. Core strength is required in all of these. Some provide a fantastic sweat without any impact on the joints. Many improved my flexibility. And of course strength is required, but no, not in the usual “squat 2x your bodyweight” sort of way.
What’s wrong with that?
Do I believe any of the new fitness trends are THE miracle cure to health and fitness and weight loss? Of course not. But why disparage anything that gets people moving?
The best exercise is the exercise you love and will do.
And if squats and push-ups and planks aren’t your thing, so be it.
I can’t say it enough – Be your OWN kind of fit, people!
Will there always be people who desperately grasp onto anything that vows to deliver on weight loss? Sure.
But if those people aren’t moving their bodies because for whatever reason, they haven’t been motivated to do so, and then they join one of these new group activities and love it and start moving their bodies more regularly, hell yes they’ll see results.
And guess what else won’t deter them? Our snarky dismissal of their motives.
Will their results be exactly what they’re looking for? Maybe, maybe not. Is it any of our business? No.
The author also disparages the cost of classes. I caution people to think critically and carefully consider the cost of ANY sales pitch, especially those that sound too good to be true.
But do you expect the brilliant restaurant chef to dazzle you with his food creations for free?
Do you ask your chiropractor to throw in some freebie adjustments?
Do YOU expect to get paid for the work YOU do?
What the eff. Now I’m just getting annoyed. I need to walk away and take some deep breaths.
Listen – most people have been known to spend $30 a pop on far worse things. Am I Right?
I’m looking at you, fast food dinner + movie popcorn for two.
All movement is good movement.
And also, hooping ROCKS. I get really tired, sweaty and often sore from hooping! Win!
I mean, who wouldn’t have fun and get fit doing this?
I’m forever grateful to those who offer any sort of fitness lessons and tutorials I can use.
Like my very own lovely Hooping Expert – yes, EXPERT (anyone got a problem with that?) – who has given us over 25 beginner hooping tutorial videos. For FREE, even.
HERE you go.
So yes, the fitness world IS filled with altruism, grumpy Guardian writer.
Please don’t pass judgement on those of us looking to make this our career or those of us choosing these fitness trends for improving our health.
If you find something on my website that fits your idea of a fitness good time, awesome – happy dance!
If not, I’m glad you’re here reading this anyhow and I hope you find your fitness!
If I can help in any way, give me a shout.
Which out of the ordinary exercise methods have you tried? What did you think of them?