The Great Fitness Fad?

Posted by supaa_dry. Categories Hobbies, Lifestyle

Every big city in the world has been through it. The fitness fad that is. When people start earning more and start buying more expensive clothes, they tend to go “Hey, what’s the point of buying expensive clothes without having the sexy body to pull it off?”, and then we go on a fitness craze. New York, Chicago, London, even Singapore is full of people who have become more and more concerned and particular about their looks. And takkan lah KL is gonna miss this one out!

Since about 3 years ago, gyms, which were once a rarity, have been mushrooming all over the city. Names like Fitness First, Celebrity Fitness and California Fitness are mentioned with the same casualness as 7-11. So are KL-ites becoming more health conscious or are we just in the midst of a fitness fad fueled by vanity?

(Look at all the hot bods in the gym… wouldn’t you want to join the gym and meet someone like Amber Chia???)

I think it’s a mix of the two.

There are definitely a number of Malaysians (especially KLites) who have become more vain, so to speak. Your’s truly partially falls in this category. We’re starting to care about not just our hairstyles and fashion, but also our physique. Gone are the days when skinny arms and a flabby belly were acceptable (to us at least). A healthy (pun intended) portion of people in this category are the young, yuppie executives but surprisingly there’s a solid representation from the “Aunties”. For your information, the “Aunties” are a group of older women who are gym regulars. Don’t let the name fool you, because these ladies are not to be messed with. There’s nothing which will make your balls shrink faster than watching a 40 something lady out-squat you in BodyPump or outrun you at the treadmills. The “Aunties” work hard to look good and many of them have bodies which will put 20 year old girls to shame.

At the same time, there are definitely people who have become more health conscious. The other portion of Your’s Truly falls in this group. With the whole endless information-at-your-fingertips jazz, people are now a lot more aware of the health benefits of exercising. This can be plainly seen as Malaysians (who historically have been known to gobble everything in large quantities) are starting to be more picky about what they put in their mouths. Previously unheard phrases like kurang manis (less sugar), kosong (no sugar) and nasi separuh (half rice) are now quite commonplace. People in this group work out because they care about their health and as their fitness and health improve, so does their appetite for working out. These people don’t just work out at the gym – you can always see them walking/jogging around parks and housing areas, or doing yoga/taichi on the weekends.

There are definitely more categories but the gym regulars tend to fall in these 2. But now thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns and endorsement by celebrities, fitness seems to have gotten a “cool” aura. Plenty of people are sucked into signing up just because everyone is doing it and they don’t want to be left out. I see tonnes of people who sign up then work out everyday for a month before quitting (which is such a waste because most gyms require a 1 year contract) or there are also those who sign up and come once every month or so.

I guess the fitness fad isn’t really a fad because KL-ites are definitely becoming more health conscious, and people who exercise to look good will probably never stop exercising because they ALWAYS want to look good. But at the same time it’s also a bit of a fad because there are a lot of people who join because fitness is the “in” thing right now and gyms have been very aggressive in advertising – case in point, the provocative picture of Amber Chia above – and I don’t think anyone’s complaining.

See you at the gym guys, I need to zap some calories.


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