Updated: Jan 3
I write this article as a certified personal trainer, a certified reiki healing practitioner, a holistic body transformation coach and an avid sportsman in my youth. In 2020, I’ve also quit caffeine via quitting tea & coffee, meat, dairy, eggs and alcohol for a period to test the effects on my body.
In 2019, I worked at True Fitness, a commercial big-box gym in Singapore as a sales consultant. First hand, I saw a trend unfolding before my eyes that filled me with both excitement, and horror. Big box gyms have developed great marketing prowess and offerings, and customers are flocking to the venues, no doubt. A lot of these gyms have top-notch equipment and training capabilities, to say the least. The horror though, started when I heard sentences such as “I’m fit because I show up at the gym.” If this sentence sounds accurate to you and you think that the task of showing up to the gym to attend a class or quick session is enough for you to be healthy, let me so bold as to tell you, you don’t know what you don’t know yet. Any true health professional obsessed with their craft, will tell you the same.
Yes, the rush to hit the gym is taking the world by storm, as YouTube videos, Instagram models and government marketing with the phrases “active lifestyle” take hold. Granted, these may be coming from a good conscience, but it is currently a case of “the blind leading the blind”, to a certain extent.
It is critical to note that using machines without understanding anatomy, attending classes with rushed and crammed routines, not performing rigorous stretching or alignment practices (or even knowing what those are) and having a poorly-informed diet, lead to you damaging your health rather than improving it. I have have had personal friends getting spine injuries, nerve injuries, fractures, muscle pulls and tears, because they had no idea what they were doing, and wanted to "hit the gym". This has happened to friends in multiple countries. The gyms' replies were, "we cannot do anything." It is important to note, that the point here is not to blame gyms. Gyms on their own, are amazing venues for great health. The point here is to inspire you to get serious about your own health, really make it a part of your own life and know what you are doing.
“Hitting the gym” could be damaging to your health and it is, for many people, the way they're doing it. There is a reason seemingly perfectly healthy people just drop dead and make the news. This is your health we’re talking about, the basis of your physical survival, not the best way to modify your car. There are no quick fixes here, although it may seem as though there are.
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