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The Changing face of fitness by Alina Cooper

The Changing face of fitness 

This National Fitness Day, it is heartwarming to see the industry come together in a celebration of our differences. National Fitness Day is led by UKactive, the national body dedicated to getting ‘ more people, more active, more often’ and this year one there is particular recognition that ‘keeping physically active means something different to us all’.l

Having been in the fitness and leisure industry for two decades, I’ve witnessed a lot of positive change and transformation. There are lots of historical cliches and stereotypes associated with ‘fitness’ that are (thankfully) becoming a thing of the past. The movement towards a more positive and holistic view of fitness is incredibly welcome. 

When I think about some of the biggest shifts that I have experienced in my career:

  • Mind and body – talking about mental health

We used to fixate on six-packs and ‘bikini bodies’ as being credible symbols of health and fitness. In 2022 the attitudes and normalcy around mental health and celebrating fitness inside-and-out are radically different. You cannot separate mind and body –  having strength and resilience on the inside is just as powerful as how much you can deadlift! At GetSetGo we love seeing the confidence that develops with moving your body. For children, this can help with self-esteem and being ready for school. For mums, this can be an important part of the post-partum journey, where their entire world has been turned upside down. 

  • Body positivity (and body neutrality)

‘No pain, no gain’ used to be a classic fitness mantra, alongside ‘get beach body ready’ and many other punitive and harmful mindsets about how we treat our bodies. All bodies, from all walks of life, in all shapes and sizes can benefit from fitness. 

In my lifetime, the fashion and celebrity world has projected a different ‘ideal’ body type every decade and none of them have ever been. Since the iconic ‘This Girl Can’ campaign from Sport England in 2015, its become much more normal to celebrate real bodies. I’m so glad that my children will grow up in this era, not the one I did! At GetSetGo we only use real people for our photoshoots and enthusiasm and passion form the main criteria. 

  • Your fitness on your terms 

There is no ‘one-size fit all’ solution to getting fit. We all have different goals, passions and talents. My philosophy has always been that the more fun you are able to have, the more likely you are to stick with it and make a lasting behaviour change. I love the adrenaline of getting out on my road bike and I also love working up a sweat in the gym. At GetSetGo we’ve enjoyed being really inventive and meeting all tastes with our programme; from suspension training as part of ‘pro bungee’ where gravity can work with or against you; to finding headspace with yoga or pilates; or getting your heart pumping in small group PT. 

It’s an exciting and gratifying time to be working in the field of sports, leisure and fitness. GetSetGo was built on the belief that families should be able to enjoy physical activity both together and independently. We also believe that it’s all about balance – our martial arts academy requires discipline and our adult fitness progammes will work up a sweat but we also know how valuable a mum’s meet up over a coffee or glass of prosecco is too…….

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