There’s a whole generation of under 35s who use the gym as their sole source of fitness and training. Whether that’s the treadmill and cross trainer, free weights, the enormous range of options for classes from HIIT to pilates or a combination of all of the above, the physical gym environment can satisfy pretty much all their needs.
However, the gym culture is a relatively recent phenomenon and there’s another (slightly older!) generation that grew up in a world where the huge network and choice of private membership clubs and pay-as-you-go 24/7 gyms didn’t exist. For this generation, which I’m part of, the route to fitness growing up and into our twenties was to take part in a specific sport, whether that was football, rugby, netball, tennis, hockey, squash etc, or a combination of them. Generally speaking, we chose our sport based on a combination of our ability to do them and the enjoyment we got from taking part.
At Fitter Longer, I see a lot of clients from this slightly older ‘generation sport’, who may have had time away from exercise for different reasons and stopped their regular participation for a combination of factors including work, family commitments, advancing age and injury. As a passionate participant in many sports over the years and someone who’s made that journey myself, I try to develop programmes and activities for groups and individuals that can incorporate elements of the sports they have taken part in and loved over the years. This enjoyment factor is key in the motivation to sustain fitness activity and what I believe is missing from a lot of the gym generation, who see their fitness activities purely as a ‘means to an end’ in their quest for better health and fitness.