This week we had the pleasure of attending this year’s Leisure Industry Week (LIW) at Birmingham NEC, to promote our NutracheckPro service to fitness professionals. LIW is an annual event and is all about showcasing the latest products, innovations and services in the health and fitness sector. As you can probably imagine it’s a fascinating experience!
The mind and the body
The event features the very latest fitness trends being demonstrated by lots of muscle-bound individuals! Plus product demonstrations and talks by some of the industry’s experts.
We sat in on a talk by Janet Thomson MSc, author of ‘Think More Eat Less’. As a life coach, Janet discussed using your mind to change your body. Some of her ideas really make you think! (excuse the pun). Psychology plays a big part in our eating habits and Janet believes that in order to achieve a long term healthy lifestyle, you must understand why you make the choices you do in the first place.
As a brief aside, we recently added a new feature called ‘Food Triggers’ to our Nutracheck food diary as we know how much our food choices are controlled by emotions. You can tag a food with the reason you ate it to help you recognise your own triggers. Sometimes we need to see it in black and white before we recognise patterns in our own behaviour. Once we do, we can take action to change.
Exercise crazes: Fad or fab?
Now back to the main event! Walking around the arena and checking out the various stands, I was struck by how many bizarre new fitness trends there were. Which got me thinking about the similarities between the fitness industry and the diet market. Much like the weight loss sector where new diet fads are constantly popping up, the same can be said for the leisure industry. From ‘rebounding’ (cardio on a trampoline) to aerial yoga, mini indoor assault courses and free standing climbing walls – there was a plethora of weird and wonderful exercise techniques to see.
It could be argued that anything which makes exercise a bit more fun and engaging can only be a good thing, after all at least it’s getting us moving. But on the other hand, these types of exercises often turn out to be just like faddy diets – once the novelty factor has worn off, they quickly disappear! So I asked our fitness expert Kelly Marshall for her thoughts.
Kelly said, “My view is that like mad diets, there are many fad exercise brands and workouts as people attempt to reinvent the wheel. It creates variety which is great but can also create an illusion that there is some ideal/perfect exercise solution or quick-fix and this is a misleading marketing strategy. What works is a commitment to consistent, quality exercise combined with a lifestyle balance (nutrition, sleep and stress). Which types of exercise someone chooses is really about personal preferences and trial and error exploration to see what they enjoy. At various times of our life our choices change, due to work, family, location, money and so on, therefore it is crucial to stay flexible and adapt to the environment to ensure you stay active and give time for your health and your fitness.’’
Diet crazes: Fad or fab?
Nutracheck’s medical expert Dr Ian Campbell was a Keynote Speaker at the Register of Exercise Professionals (REP’s) Convention – which also took place at LIW. He reiterated the point that the best way to succeed with weight loss is to find an approach that is realistic and sustainable. The subject of his talk was “What works, what doesn’t and why?”. His message was essentially ‘‘everything works, and nothing works!’’. Confused? Ian’s point was that even faddy crash diets will achieve results in the short term. But such approaches perpetuate the yo-yo effect that so many people experience when they regain the weight and end up back at square one. Extreme diets are a sure fire way to set yourself up to fail. So the aim is to break the cycle – ditch the silly and go for a sustainable approach – like Nutracheck! Where failing doesn’t factor.
Here at Nutracheck we believe that the way to achieve long term weight loss success is by making realistic lifestyle changes, not by following extreme diets or exercise routines.
If you want to follow the latest fitness crazes as seen at LIW, then by all means do. Just remember that your aim is to find something that you enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle. Remember – the best exercise to do is the one you will still be doing in a month’s time – and a year’s time!