It’s very easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle, often people do so without realising they’re doing it. They’re busy day to day with work or family life and maybe it feels as though they’re doing a lot of running around, they’re not putting on weight, so they must be in decent enough shape. Unfortunately for many though, the message seems to be that health and fitness is related to only to that one measure, bodyfat.
I worked with someone recently and they were unable to hold a plank for 15 seconds and couldn’t control the eccentric of a bodyweight squat past a 1/4 of the way down, it was like they’re legs just switched off. They explained that because they had put on no weight over the last 4 years there was no need to exercise…at all. As soon as we went through some work, like standing up out of a chair correctly, it began to dawn on them that they weren’t in great shape and there was more to it than how they looked.
Some education is needed for the many people who use exercise purely to regulate weight or offset a poor diet. The message needs to be one that looks more towards cardiovascular, biomechanical and bone health. Then we might see a shift away from the bike/treadmill/crosstrainer dominated commercial gyms that people believe are the best ways to burn fat, to ones that are more geared towards movement and strength development. This is something that would help to grow the S&C field in the UK and provide jobs to the many coaches searching for it.