We Can Get More Fit!

It can be really frustrating for an overweight person to go to a gym and workout with a positive attitude. All one has to do is walk by almost any nice gym and notice all the healthy, sweating, “skinny” members. Sometimes they stare at those of us who are, well, zaftig. It is easy to see the judgment behind their eyes. Who wants to put up with that?

Many people are self-conscious of their bodies and feel alienated when joining workout classes or while exercising, especially if they are larger than most of the others in the group. Now the fitness industry is finally paying attention.  Popular gym franchises are catering to obese and weight conscious clients by dedicating areas where the “skinny” people are not allowed.

The Planet Fitness chain touts its “Judgment Free Zones.” In Omaha, Neb., Square One promises you won’t find “size 2’s in sports bras sprinting on treadmills.”

There are even gyms/programs that require members to be a minimum of 50 pounds over weight to participate.

Trainers recommend functional fitness as a practical goal, rather than six-pack abs. They often use text messages to stay in touch with clients.

It’s not a bad business strategy, considering that 69 percent of American adults fit in [the overweight or obese] category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Often at these specialized gyms, the trainers are obese themselves, or working on their own weight goals, and this can help those people with anxiety caused by poor body image. The equipment has been designed for use by larger people.  Wider seats, more cushioning, no mirrors, and tinted windows for privacy, are all important innovations.

Hopefully these types of gyms will successfully grow in numbers in the future.  The idea is a very simple and potentially popular one. …and if it will help those of us who are bigger exercise more and improve our fitness level, it’s a step in the right direction.