People love benchmarking.  How we look and perform compared to others provides a form of feedback regarding where we are at.  Many of my Ascot personal training clients will ask me if they have a good level of fitness for their age.  Even young athletes undergoing fitness testing will want to know how their score compares to that of elite athletes.  At the top levels of sports, various athletes will show more than a passing interest in the feats of top performers in different sports.  All of these are normal examples that active people like to make.  However, when do these comparisons become unhealthy?


Summer Crush relationship with exercise

One case in point are the seasonal peaks and troughs that we see in fitness.  The improved weather means that summer is just around the corner.  Summer means summer clothes and more flesh on show.  With bikini’s, swimsuits and wetsuits fast becoming standard attire body consciousness kicks in.  “I have to get fit for the summer”.  At NK Fitness we see an influx of clients at this time of year – what we have come to know as the seasonal rush.

The January health kick is being surpassed by the summer body transformation stampede!   One mustn’t knock anyones attempts to improve fitness – but for many the relationship is becoming unhealthy.  The seasonal exerciser is rather like the yo yo dieter.  Both are driven primarily by concern of how other perceive us.  Do our looks meet social norms?  Are we acceptable?  Exercise for these people becomes a necessary chore to meet a social outcome.  It is hardly conducive to generating a healthy and lasting exercise habit.  As soon as the summer holidays are over, individuals are more likely to quit at the first opportunity.


Change your relationship with exercise

It’s important to break this negative cycle.   Improving fitness doesn’t have to be painful and horrible.  Going too hard too soon seems and becomes unsustainable.  We work hard with clients to foster healthier relationships and attitudes towards exercise.  To overload the body in the right way, you must work at the level that is right for you – exercising at the right intensity makes it less tormenting.

The second key feature is patience – sustainable health and fitness take time to nurture.  Finding activities that you value and enjoy doing is an all important first step in changing your reasons for exercise.   We all know that exercise is good for us and has many benefits but we’ve become obsessed with social media and social norms!  This trend creates intelligent people who nurture unintelligent relationships.  However, breaking this cycle to focus upon what you gain from an activity can lead to a long term relationship with exercise, health and fitness.  Once you develop a healthy relationship with exercise the social norm stuff takes care of itself 🙂