Why and How People are Getting Back to the Basics When it Comes to Fitness

November 25, 2010 · 3 comments

This is a guest post by Edward.

Trends come and go in the fitness world. Remember the 80’s when everyone went to high impact aerobic classes wearing their leotards and leg warmers? For the last few years, the trend has been to work out in posh fitness centers, using primarily machines like the treadmill, dumbbells and weight machines to build muscle.

But, believe it or not, the newest trend in fitness is a return to the basics. More and more people are skipping the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike in favor of an outdoor run or a bike ride with the family. Take a look at these current back to basics trends in the fitness industry.

  1. Home gyms – More and more people are setting up home gyms and giving up their gym memberships. Free weights or a single, multi-functional weight machine can provide all the strength training workout that is needed. Fitness classes on DVD along with jumping rope and running or walking outdoors provide the aerobic exercise for the home gym enthusiast.
  2. Boot Camps –One of the most popular fitness classes today is the boot camp class. Participants workout via old fashioned calisthenics, push-ups and runs in no nonsense classes that are often held very early in the morning – just like in the military.
  3. Parks and Rec Sports Teams – It’s not just the kids who play sports on the local parks and recreation teams anymore. Basketball and softball leagues for adults have seen a resurgence as people get their workouts from a good old fashioned sports competition, just like when they were kids.

So, Why the Change?

As we said earlier, fitness trends come and go as often as hemline lengths. But, these trends appear to be fueled, at least in part, by the recent decline in the economy.

Many people simply lack the disposable income right now to pay for a high priced gym, yet they continue to be committed to working out. For the cost of a few months of membership at the gym, one can outfit an entire gym at home, especially if you’re willing to buy some of the equipment used. Boot camps, which typically last just six weeks, are far less expensive than aerobics classes at the gym, simply because you don’t need a gym membership in order to participate in them. Plus, boot camp style classes typically teach you a workout routine that you can easily follow at home on your own once the class ends.

But, the economy’s decline has done more than make us re-evaluate how we’re spending our money simply because we may have less of it. It has also made us recognize the joy and contentment that can come from keeping life simple.

Working out at home means runs in the fresh air, and a chance to enjoy nature in each of the four seasons. It means a bike ride with your kids on Saturday morning in lieu of a trip to the gym.

Boot camp classes don’t require us to learn a bunch of new steps or skills, but simply to put to good use exercises we’ve known how to do since we were kids. Working out in our home gyms eliminates the need for nice looking workout clothes and lets us work out in less time as well as on the schedule that suits us best. Playing on the softball team at work lets us get a good workout while enjoying the company of our co-workers outside the office.

The newest trend in fitness is pretty refreshing. There’s no pretense involved. Rather, people are working to get healthy and stay that way using simple methods that we’ve shared for generations.

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Cynthia November 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

I really do remember the ’80s and the leotards and leg warmers, LOL! I just uncovered two of my old leotards from that era on a de-cluttering mission yesterday. I would drop dead of embarrassment if I had to wear them today!

My gym isn’t particularly expensive… won’t be giving that up anytime soon, as it’s rather hard to replace a lap pool for just 2-3 months gym membership, LOL! And that’s an option *I* need at present.

I think it’s where you want to put your priorities. Here, where we get nasty cold damp foggy days for 2-3 months at a time in winter, it’s blamed nice to have a place that’s not icy and slick and frigid to go for a walk, since we live on a steep hill with no sidewalks. I’d rather put the money into the gym membership than into fancy smart phones and data plans for instance. (We carry Tracfones for our emergency phone needs.) I can live without being able to “tweet” or “blog” from the grocery store, but I don’t want to give up our gym membership.

Not that I have anything against a home gym and trust me, I do have a small amount of home equipment, but having a gym membership is not all THAT expensive. $59/mo for us both is like less than one nice meal out. Not a lot to give up.

I might add, the only “boot camp” class I have ever seen advertised for our town, was, guess where, at our gym!

But as you say, good to explore other options, certainly!

Tom Wilson November 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I left the gym years ago and I’ve never looked back. Training at home is so much better.

In particular I think the best thing is the travel time. It only takes 30 seconds to go out into my garage and start warming up. There’s no way you can do that at a gym…unless you live next door. haha!

I’m also starting to accumulate a bit of equipment now. Dumbbells, barbells…although I wouldn’t say that you can get them as cheap as a couple of months at the gym. Perhaps a year would pay for them.

But still, I think it’s much better to have your own equipment. You actually get into the habit of using it when you’ve got your own freely available.

Treadmill November 30, 2010 at 3:16 am

yep you are so right fitness fads come and go while the basics still reign supreme ! eg outdoor cardio exercise, machine and free weights
I have been a member of gyms but really get sick of same old face after a few months and sweat on dirty machines so prefer my own treadmill and free weights at home
only thing is miss about gyms is the spin classes !
good article though and right on the mark

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