Disclaimer: I’ve been debating talking about this topic for some time now because I don’t want to offend anyone, but I realized that no matter what I say or do it will probably offend someone in some way. With that being said, this is not aimed at anyone in general and is just something I have noticed for awhile now, through my own health journey and from others.
So now that I got that out of the way let’s get started.
Over past few years there has been a big, for lack of a better word, trend going on around going to the gym regularly in order to tone and build muscle. There’s no problem with this. It is great that more and more people are getting to the gym regularly and moving their bodies. There are also a lot of people who have made this their lifestyle and in doing so have built up a following for themselves on social media. Again, there is no problem with this. It’s inspiring and hopefully motivates a lot of people. BUT there are a few things that most people don’t keep in mind as they start to follow others on their health journeys and begin to incorporate parts of these diets and lifestyles into their own life.
- This is a lifestyle for them, not just a hobby. Often times people will start to follow diets and recipes suggested by people they follow that have made body building/going to the gym everyday, their lifestyle. It’s important to keep in mind that the diet of someone who does high endurance and muscle building exercises for a few hours everyday of the week is going to look a lot different than someone who does a few exercises a week. Like I said, some people have made this their lifestyle, meaning their life revolves around it. It is something they do regularly. Their diet will consist of a larger amount of foods and often different foods than what someone should be eating if they only exercise a few hours every other week.
- Just because someone has a large following on instagram does not mean they should be giving you health and fitness advice. Yes, there are a lot of people who are physical trainers and health and wellness coaches that are trained to help others down this path that they are promoting on social media. However, this is not always the case. Social media has made it easier and easier for people to share their lifestyle and we often think that because this is what someone does everyday, that they know what they are doing and can teach us as well. I have seen firsthand, people who have turned to someone to help improve their health through exercise and have ended up getting injured because the person they have worked with did not have training to teach someone who is at a different level than them, or because the person training them did not know, themselves, the correct techniques and posture for certain exercises. Also, as I mentioned above, many people provide their daily meals and different recipes but they may not be trained in anything that has to do with diet and nutrition.
- Everyone’s body is different. This one again, goes back to diet and making sure you are eating a diet based off of your lifestyle and what your body needs. But I also want to talk about expectations versus reality here. I have seen a lot of guys who want to get “jacked,” girls who want to get a bigger butt, and everyone wanting defined abs. I’ve also seen many people start out on a health journey to achieve these things and when they don’t see results right away they stop. Keep in mind that the people you may be looking up to with the body that you want may a) have been doing this for a lot longer than you and have only achieved these results over time and b) may have a different body type than you that allows their body to transform in different ways than yours.
It is important for us all to be aware of our state of health and always be working to be at optimal health, but that can look different for everyone!
Note: Although this post is directed towards body building and toning, I also want to mention that these are important to keep in mind in many different areas too. Make sure you do your own research before following a lifestyle that can effect your health and talk to a doctor to make sure you are doing what is right for YOU and YOUR body.