Fitness tip: Don’t panic if you’re not a tech-savvy exerciser

I assume the unease I have for social media is the same discomfort people had for Elvis, disco and overpriced, designer underwear.

Each generation is critical of the ideas and behaviours of the one to follow. It’s not simply new concepts that intimidate and test tolerance. It’s the lack of willingness to blindly follow suit. Boomers are entitled. Gen Xers are bitter. Millennials are spoiled. Things change, and each cohort questions the trends that didn’t mould their own experience.

The current season of the TV show Survivor captures this struggle by pitting Millennials against Gen Xers. The carefree but smug Millennials stand in stark contrast to the hard-working, rule-obsessed Xers. In the end, lying and cheating, regardless of birthdate, wins the day. Thank goodness host Jeff Probst is on hand to provide moral direction to a susceptible viewing audience, in the event we start to believe conniving is an acceptable behaviour.

Over the years, social norms likewise have influenced fitness trends.

I remember seeing the inaugural female member join the all-male gym where I was working out. No, I’m not that old! The gym was simply late to the game. Today, it’s women who drive the fitness market.

It’s interesting observing generational differences in today’s fitness culture. I spend a lot of time in weight rooms and the differences between generations is obvious.

In between sets of lunges, millennials are connecting to the world, viewing the latest exercise trends on YouTube, texting their peeps and sending selfies, all while managing their portfolio.

Some (mostly boomers) say millennials have an odd, disconnected relationship with their wireless devices. Millennials claim it’s simply a more efficient, less provincial perspective.

Access to information is only a finger swipe away. Technology aside, there is something to be said for face-to-face human contact – isn’t there?

Sure, YouTube has hundreds of videos of ‘experts’ demonstrating complicated exercises. The problem is no one is monitoring accuracy, nor is anyone ensuring the form you think you are replicating looks anything like the video.

Conversely, older, less tech-savvy exercisers aimlessly wander fitness centres in earnest, searching for someone to show interest. Eye contact, anyone. Please help me. I’m lost!

Of course, assistance is seldom available because staff are busy texting and sending selfies to their peeps.

While there is an abundance of fitness gurus, most people still flounder in a sea of confusion. Just because technology provides access to the right answer doesn’t mean people can find or apply it in a meaningful way.

If technology isn’t a part of your wheelhouse, don’t panic. Let common sense be your guide. There are no easy cures but there are simple solutions, none of which will surprise you. Eat less, sit less, move more.

By far, the biggest gains in health come from transitioning to a more active lifestyle from a sedentary one. Combine regular movement with a reasonable diet and you are on the way to feeling better, looking better and functioning better.

Pretty straightforward — no YouTube, no miracle creams, no magic bullet.

When you’ve mastered some of the basics (i.e. not eating cake for supper, standing up between commercials) then you can start wading into the fitness world.

When in doubt text a millennial, who can send you the link to a monkey doing chin ups. Or email me a letter.

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