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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Fitness trends in 2018

Taking control of one’s health and fitness is not always easy. For some people, their health and fitness has been a priority their entire lives, a well-oiled piece in the machine. For others, however, their health and fitness has taken a backseat (intentionally or not) to other aspects of their life – some people are career-driven, others long for a family. Whatever the reasons may be, the very idea of committing to a gym membership makes people nervous. In fact, even the idea of walking into a gym can cause anxiety in some people. Having the courage to venture out of one’s comfort zone and join a gym – and maintain the consistency – can be outright petrifying. Putting oneself in an environment in which they are not entirely (or at all) comfortable is always a daunting prospect, but in the case of health and fitness, it is not only encouraged but is often necessary. There has been debate both in the past and currently around whether individuals are likely to get better results in the gym or out in nature. Exercising in nature is advantageous in its own right, and it is arguably more beneficial depending on the personality and fitness level of an individual. The gym (generally) gets more consistent results for most people because of various factors.

For every kind of person, there is a health and fitness institution that will work for them. For some, it is hard core facilities that push them to their absolute limits. For others, it is a more laid back approach to even the most extreme sports, like boxing and karate. From dancing and running to hiking and swimming, there are various physical outlets in which an individual can improve their health and fitness. The simple fact is that going to a gym is not for everyone. And thankfully, going to the gym is not the only way for individuals to get their exercise in. For some people, the gym simply is not a place that they get the results that they want or need. Regardless of if an individual is a seasoned gym junkie or a newbie to the muscle club, there are other things that can contribute just as much to a healthy lifestyle as the gym or regular exercise of any kind can. With proper exercise, comes the aches and pains. Contrary to the belief of many non-gym goers, individuals truly do grow to love the aches and pains…when one is sore after a workout (and in the days following) it means that they did their workout justice. They did the exercises well and executed them excellently. This is where DOMS comes into play.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) presents itself as muscle soreness and tightness, and is caused by lengthening muscle contractions. Aching muscles and sore tightness in the muscles is all thanks to DOMS…when the muscles go through lengthening contractions (as they do in most exercise, but particularly in weight training) they extend beyond their normal reach, under pressure. This then results in symptoms of DOMS, including slight pains, stiffness, and possible swelling and lack of strength. While it may be frightening to think of, the good news is that DOMS is not a dangerous condition by any means – it is simply the body’s muscles telling the individual that they have done their job, that they are feeling the pressure, and that the training is working. This is obviously a good thing. Gyms in particular are popular grounds for DOMS to occur, as individuals are pumping their muscles and putting them through the runner using machines that are specialised to literally do exactly that – to extend the muscles beyond their usual reach and strength…to condition them to strengthen and evolve to be better, faster, stronger. While individuals can definitely get similar results – if not the same – outside of the gym, the gym is specially designed to maximise potential and improve results.

Athletes, professional extreme sportsmen and women, and the everyday gym goer can all benefit from supplements like Alpha Venus and nutrition bars and protein balls. These seemingly simple additions to one’s health and fitness approach can give the individual additional energy and zest for the lifestyle. When taken accordingly, they can contribute to producing incredible results. The good news is that even individuals that have not yet boarded the gain train can benefit from these supplements and nutritional and protein-fuelled treats. While the little things certainly count, so do the big things – namely, the workouts themselves. This is where gym memberships can make all the difference in the world. A study conducted in 2017 states that individuals that have and use gym memberships are not only physically fitter, but overall more healthy than those that do not go to the gym. Repetition is key to consistent results…practice makes perfect. Nobody walks into the gym on their first try and knows how to use every machine seamlessly. It just does not happen like that.

Getting out of one’s comfort zone and diving into the health and fitness commitment is always daunting and sometimes even frightening. The uncertainty of a new environment, coupled with the nervousness of a new experience, can send even the calmest and collected individual into a dizzying spell of anxiety. It all comes down to repetition…practice makes perfect. As individuals get more workouts done in the gym, they start to see more results. These results are magnified and continued with consistent gym sessions. As health and fitness should be one of the top priorities for everyone, the investment of a gym membership can only put the membership holder in a position of benefit and strength. A gym can quickly go from being a place of nervous uncertainty to happy determination – you need only make those first few steps to change your life (and your fitness) for the better…and if you consistently work at it, you can change your life forever.

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