This week is mental health awareness week, in which a variety of mental health issues are raised for discussion and contemplation. A website has been created with lots of information about this at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk
In 2019, the mental health awareness week has a particular focus on body image, which of course is something that the fitness industry thrives on. Take a look at some of the advertising for any of the major fitness programmes, gyms, nutritional supplements or fitness clothing companies. You’ll see young, muscly chaps and pretty young ladies doing “exercise”, all while dressed up in their makeup and finest gear. The images are often photoshopped to the point of unrealism. The message being advertised is that you have to be young and conform to an industry norm to be involved in the fitness industry.
In the real world, people see this message as “I’m not good enough”, which severely impacts on mental health, and puts people off doing exercise. Indeed, industry marketing often preys on people’s insecurities about their own body image, with messaging around dieting, detoxing, toning, all taking precedence over far more valuable messaging such as getting fitter, stronger, or indeed gaining confidence. It’s all about the image.
This in turn means that the fitness industry is not as inclusive as it could be. Many people are put off before they ever set foot in a gym, forgetting that there are also plenty of ways to get fitter without an intimidating gym.
This is actually one of the reasons why I trained to become a personal trainer. I’ve seen the pressure the industry applies to customers to conform to a particular (unhealthy) body image and I like to help others to be the best version of themselves without the fakery. The harsh reality is that many of us (me included!) eat too much of the wrong things and do not move enough. But there are many ways of addressing that without needing to try and become a perfect (fake) physical specimen as depicted in the advertising of major players in the fitness industry.
Why Aurora is different
At Aurora Mind and Body we operate on a simple principle. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, all that matters is where you’re heading. As long as you have no medical condition that means you should be consulting a doctor rather than a fitness professional (if you’re not sure, please ask, as some conditions require specialist training), you are welcome. I look forward to helping you achieve your goals, whoever you are.
Nick – Personal Trainer at Aurora Mind and Body.