The Problem With Todays Workout Culture
Let's talk about fitness, shall we?
It's no secret that society has become increasingly more fascinated and obsessive with fitness trends over the last few years. Whether it's reading about the newest fad diet, or the latest workout craze, people can't seem to get enough.
Part of me wants to believe that this is a good thing for our culture and society. After all, we should always strive to be the best version of ourselves each and every day, and we are our best when we're our healthiest. BUT, there seems to be a shift from craving health to craving hotness.
Each new diet and workout class is marketed with promises of a flat stomach, bigger butt, or an overall toned body. While there's nothing wrong with achieving those results, I do think it's important to remember that should never be the main focus.
Having some sort of regular exercise routine has TONS of benefits that far surpass how we look on the outside. And this post is not to shame anybody who has achieved amazing physical results. That always has, and always will be a part of someone's workout journey. However, since people have become more obsessed with those type of results than how our body is actually feeling and operating, that is where I believe workout culture becomes problematic.
So I say we take a moment, forget about abs, forget about toned arms, and forget about skinny waists, and just focus on the awesome things exercise can do for our body to make us feel great!
For one, exercising makes us happier! And no, I'm not talking about being happy just from seeing the physical results. I'm talking increased endorphin levels that have been scientifically proven to alter our brain chemistry by making us feel happier and decreasing levels of depression, anxiety or stress.
Secondly, working out has been proven to increase our energy levels. I know there are days we all wake up feeling exhausted and the last thing on our mind is getting some extra movement in. However, exercising gives us that energy boost we need to tackle whatever may come our way in a given day.
Not only can exercise increase our mood and our energy levels, but it can also DECREASE our risk of chronic disease. The number one cause of chronic disease is the lack of physical activity. But how cool is it to know that by working out we're actually protecting our body from getting sick? No medicine, no drugs, just making sure we're taking care of our body on a regular basis!
A fourth major benefit of exercise is that it can reduce chronic pain. I have been very vocal about how Yoga cured my chronic back pain, so I can attest that this is a huge major benefit to getting on my mat regularly.
Finally, exercise is key to having a better nights sleep. One study found that by getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise a WEEK, you can increase your sleep quality up to 65%. And as I'm sure we all know, having a good nights sleep is key to having a productive day.
Of course there are endless benefits I could have talked about, but for the sake of this post, I figured I'd stick to five of the big ones.
Moving forward, lets all make a pact to try and be more mindful about these types of benefits when it comes to working out, and becoming less obsessive with our physical appearance.