Consumerism & the Fitness Industry.
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
So here we are at the end of another year!
Most of the UK gym dwelling population are slowly starting to lower their protein shakes in favour of some Egg Nog (equally proteinous) and take a well earned break from fitness before starting again with aplomb in the new year.
And we in the fitness industry sit in our somewhat empty gyms and reflect upon the year that just passed, as we hurriedly prepare for a busy time come January with the inevitable tsunami of well-intended health seekers; all shiny and Lycra-clad, clutching wads of cash ready to be exchanged for whichever fitness products and services
Despite global uncertainty there are two things we can confidently predict for 2017; Firstly, January will bring a tsunami of well intentioned first time fitness followers to your gym. Secondly, Nike & friends will sell the shit out of many-an arguably needless fitness product.
Be gentle with new gym goers
It's not easy being a novice at anything. Especially at the gym.
So no wonder they feel a little vulnerable when they start their fitness journey?! Novices can feel intimidated and lost in a world of sweat and grunting. So it's no surprise that they may be susceptible to believing a few fitness lies early in their journey (believe me there's plenty out there).
Now, I'm not criticising the Lycra-clad gym newbies, honestly, I commend their dedication to a healthy pursuit and ability to turn it into action. My fear is that they may in fact be just the type of sucker that Nike and co are looking for; someone who has good intentions, plenty of money, and almost no experience of fitness whatsoever. Ca-Ching!
A MIXED MESSAGE FROM MARKETERS
The general modus operandum from advertising companies across the western world at this time of year is to indulge, be lavish, pig out, treat yourself, (and most importantly) KEEP SPENDING!
Come January the advertising companies shift their personality quicker than the CIA did after they found out that Bin Laden guy they'd been training wasn't so pro-america after all....
So new year hits and the mood takes a rather stern twist...
Suddenly we're being told to eat healthy, join a gym, get some supplements in, do some exercise, ditch the Xmas jumpers and put some zany running shoes on, sign up to the marathon and
But most importantly KEEP SPENDING....
I can't help but see the confusing cyclical messages of good health and bad health pushed on the public, only serving the corporations who stand to gain financially from this conflict of interest, and screwing with the headspace of the poor consumer.
And of course the advertising companies are happy to ride this band-wagon of consumerism and sell you everything you need to get fat before new year, and everything you need to shift it come January. Just so long as you KEEP BLOODY SPENDING...
Now as mentioned I wholeheartedly believe that any measure taken to improve one's health is a very good thing! Im merely questioning how we prioritise the steps required to undertake that measure. YOU DO NOT NEED NEW SHOES, A FITBIT, DAVINA MC'CALL'S DVD, A GARMIN, A THREE MONTH GYM MEMBERSHIP, OR AN APP IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE NEXT LEVEL OF FITNESS. Despite what the advertisers say.
NEW SHOES; SAME ROUTINE- THE BOXING DAY CONUNDRUM
Why is it that the guy at the office who owns all the gear (jazzy shoes, big watch that resembles one of those Tetris watches of the early 90's, FitBit, those weird toe-hugging shoes, and several apps) and chats about it ALL day long possess's the doughy physique of a lethargic teenager?
Because he (or she) feels like a fit person for owning all these things. Thats how advertising companies work. Due to the expertly researched and corporately funded advertisement scheme, people actually feel fitter just by owning these products. Like when Joey from friends felt like a Porsche owner because he owned the keys to one, despite not actually owning or ever driving one.
These products are designed to make us 'feel' fit. So we mistakenly associate that wonderful feeling we get from actually being fit, with the feeling we get when looking and feeling fit (wearing bright shoes, leggings, and a golf hat all year round). This is exactly what Nike and co want, an entire sub-culture of people feeling obliged to purchase their products in order to attain that false feeling of fitness they could have (and should have) got from exercising?!
You should see Australia, it's practically compulsory to stroll around in sports gear no matter what the occasion. It's like they feel the need to be ready for an impromptu workout with little to no notice; always ready incase the need to suddenly lunge arises.
Nike and co have successfully created the aforementioned sub-culture and are making a killing from it! Lots and lots of people walking around in 'Just Do It' T-shirts doing, well not a lot?!
EDUCATION AND ATTITUDE PREVAILS
The best tool you'll ever own for enhancing yourself is YOURSELF!
Knowledge is power. And attitude is everything. Combine the two and you could be a sculpted, lean, functionally fit adonis owning little more than a loincloth.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Knowing how/when to train will bring you more results than any technological assistance.
Without the right knowledge training and results are severely hampered. Read up on your technique, implement, experiment, and explore. It will keep you intrinsically motivated, educated, and ensure you remain injury-free and successful in your fitness pursuits.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Owning the right attitude to exercise (driven, focussed, positive, and open to adaptation) will provide all the motivation you'll EVER require. No more reading garbage newspaper articles, lame Facebook meme's or psyched up playlists for inspiration. Just good old home grown determination (soon to be bottled and sold by Nike at extortionate prices).
A POSITIVE AND UNINHIBITED MINDSET
THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE/BLOG/RANT IS TO HELP INSTIL THE RIGHT MINDSET BEFORE DELVING INTO THE WORLD OF EXERCISE. You don't need fancy gadgets or zany clothes, and fitness and health shouldn't cost money! If you do feel obliged to spend then buy a book and learn the technique and basic bio-mechanics, you'll get far more from that than you will from some flimsy bright trainers. Let's see less money given to the immoral companies that manufacture cheap unnecessary paraphernalia, and more left over in your pocket where it belongs!
So get stuck in, immerse yourself in fitness with good education and a positive attitude, and i guarantee you'll have results for life.