Opinion

Fitspo obsession will lead to more harm than good

THE obsession with fitness is getting a little out of hand.

That's not to say we shouldn't focus on it, of course we should.

But getting fit seems to have gone full circle and become an almost cultish way of life where if you're not in the "go to the gym twice a day and drink diet shakes for lunch club", you're just not okay.

Somewhere along the line fitness went from being about health to being about hotness - but it's still being marketing as health.

The danger here is that suddenly, beauty and health are synonymous. 

The message is fast becoming "if you're not ridiculously fit, you're not beautiful, if you're not beautiful, you're not healthy".

Stores selling items of slogan-laden work-out wear for anything up to $100 a pop are testament to the fact that fitness is now a fashion statement.

It's no longer enough to be average, or even slim, but now you have to be taut and toned and look like you've just walked off the set of an Ab Swing video as well, but, you know, no pressure.

The fitness craze is no doubt a knee-jerk reaction to soaring obesity levels - but we're going about it the wrong way.

A simple Google images search of "fitspo" images is enough to turn you off your diet shake.

Fitso (that's fitness inspiration images for those of you lucky enough to not be familiar with the trend) images spout photos of buff, attractive women and some men with slogans like "'Cause blisters, bruises, calluses are signs of hard work".

Taking a nauseatingly incorrect approach to health, we see images with words like "I'm tired as ****, but that's nowhere near enough to convince me to give up".

If you're "tired as ****", there's a good chance you're injuring yourself.

In fact, exercising too far beyond your capacity can do very real damage to your heart.

Fitspo catch cries like "train insane or remain the same" do one thing and one thing only - they remind us that the average woman (or man, for that matter) just isn't good enough.

"Fitness is not about being better than someone else... it's about being better than you used to be" one quote placed over a picture of a perfectly tanned torso reads.

Keyword in the above quote - "better". Not "healthier". Again, sorry, but unless you have a six-pack, you're just not good enough.

The focus should be on eating wholesome foods and working in regular exercise at a healthy level - not exhausting yourself and making yourself physically sick, as some fitspo images condone.

We run a real risk that the fitspo craze will cause people to focus too much on fitness, and not enough on health, and wind up being shamed into giving up on what were always going to be impossible goals to begin with. 

Good health is all about moderation, and you know what they say about too much of a good thing.

Topics:  fitness, health, opinion



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