July 14, 2008 |
If I had to make an educated guess as to what keeps most people from leading a healthy and fit lifestyle, I would say that the lack of a training partner, a gym membership, and applicable real-life guidance are the biggest factors. I consider myself a relatively healthy individual, but I quickly admit to anyone that without a gym membership, training partner, and knowledge of proper workout routines that has been engrained over years of repetition, I would probably quite happily lead a sedentary lifestyle.
You might think that if there are only three barriers to becoming healthy, no people in their right minds would choose to miss out, right? Not necessarily. Finding a workout partner that can adhere to a similar workout schedule consistently is more than challenging. There are gyms everywhere, but choosing a gym that delivers a strong value with all the equipment and training areas you need at a competitive price can be a very time-consuming and discouraging process. Many people end up choosing a job that is over-priced and doesn't really fit their needs.
Once you actually get a gym membership and a workout partner, you are left with the truly overwhelming task of finding a workout that is tailored to your needs. There's cardio, weight training, kick-boxing, pole-dancing, swimming, running, water aerobics, circuit-training, high-intensity interval training, free weight excercises, machine and cable exercises, and every other method of working out that can thoroughly befuddle someone aspiring to be healthy and fit. Most everyone does one of three things: they spend hundreds of dollars a month paying for a fitness trainer (a helpful but expensive practice), they try to teach themselves (which usually yields very minimal results), or they get fed up with the whole thing and order a meatlover's pizza.
Wouldn't it be fantastic to be able to access all the information you need to make the decisions that lead to a healthy lifestyle in a single community-centric location? Such a community exists, and it's called Fitlink. Fitlink is a social fitness community designed to be a one-stop location for finding a trainer, a gym, and even a training partner. Though Fitlink has been around for a while, the site recenty received an update to make it significantly more social — users can now find gyms using a mashup on Google maps, participate in discussions on the site's forum, view a feed of user-created exercises and programs, and select a trainer from a list of trainer-created bios.
On the down side, I should forwarn you that a brief bio and explanation of goals or skills really isn't enough to make an accurate assessmennt of a workout partner or a physical trainer. Losing body fat is going to be different for a 27 year-old ex-collegiate athlete than it is someone coming off a completely couch-potatoe lifestyle at the age of 55 — chances are you won't be able to help each other much.
Still, Fitlink offers a lot of helpful tools in a sort of one-stop-shop location, which is something that many fast-paced people who have trouble finding time to do all the research necessary to get healthy prefer. The one thing to remember, above all, is that everyone will tell you something different about what it takes to get healthy because their method works for them. It won't necessarily work for you, so perserverance and actual dedication (not diet pills, popular diets or the ab-rocker) will work if you can apply yourself to working hard.