Another annual Can Fit Pro (Canadian Fitness Professionals) conference has come and gone. I have attended 20 out of 21 of these conferences and prior to that I was part of CAIN ( the Canadian Aerobic Instructors Network) and attended their conferences for almost 10 years. Yes, I have been in the fitness “biz” for many years. I must have started young. The number of fitness instructors, personal trainers, and club owners attending these conferences continues to rise each year. 10,000 this year. Toronto hasn’t seen that many energetic people, with toned physiques in spandex clothing, brightly coloured runners and carrying yoga mats, ever I’d say.
Looking around in the classes at the conference you see people of all ages, shapes and sizes but also many, many very fit people. You get a sense that people today are quite fit. But then, walking back to the hotel, on the streets of Toronto, mixing with the general population, you realize that most people today really are not very fit and therefore probably not very healthy. So if there are more people choosing fitness as a profession, not only getting fitter themselves but also helping others to do so, shouldn’t the general population be getting fitter? Well apparently not. Here are some stats learned at this year’s conference. More than 50 % of North Americans are obese. By the year 2020 that will rise to 80%. Obesity is considered a disease. But one that can be prevented. If a child has one overweight parent, the child’s chance of being overweight as well is 50%. If both parents are overweight, that jumps to an 80% chance for the child. Adult diseases such as diabetes and heart disease due to being overweight are now being seen in children. 75% of the world is sedentary. Only 12-15 % of a population will join a fitness facility. This is not uplifting news, although it should keep those of us in the business with no shortage of work. We just need to get more people moving more often. Sounds simple. Can’t be or those stats wouldn’t be what they are. Get moving and get your kids moving. Do it for your health as well as theirs. Active kids usually come from active parents.
So what inspires you to move? Is it great music? Join a fitness class. Maybe it’s fresh air? Get outside for a walk, cycle or run. Do you like socializing? Meet a new workout buddy at the gym or encourage a friend to join you. Go for coffee after your workout. When you choose to get moving, choose an activity you like. You won’t continue for long if you don’t enjoy it. Want to make that difference in your health and fitness? Here’s how. 1. Exercise often. 6 days a week. 2. Exercise above moderate 4 out of 6 workouts. Do it at a level that allows you to get the heart and breathing rates up. This will be different for all. 3. Get variety in your workouts. Do aerobic, strength and flexibility training. 4. Quit eating crap. Make your calories count. Enjoy sweets and alcohol very moderately. Diets are temporary. 5. Don’t smoke. 6. Make healthy eating and almost daily activity your lifestyle. If you fall off the wagon. Get back on. You want to be healthy for ever not just until the clothes fit better or you can run 5 km with not stops.
Above all be realistic. No need to become a body builder or a marathon runner. Not everyone will gain the physique they dream of. You can still be fit and healthy yet be over fat. You can also be unfit and unhealthy at a normal weight. Do this for your health. Need help? There are 10,000 of us out there willing to do the job. Many in this area. Give us a call.