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By Hannah Jo Uy
Health is wealth, as the old adage says. True enough; there is no better investment you can make than towards items and activities that enhance your overall wellbeing. However, we live in age where we inevitably get exposed to idyllic health and fitness accounts and models that we see on platforms such as Instagram and being presented with the “perfect” lifestyle can take us down the rabbit-hole of spending unnecessarily in an effort to grasp at an ideal. Here are a few of the health and fitness fads to watch out for.
Trendy (and often overpriced) exercise clothes
It’s important to have reliable and comfortable exercise clothes. But before buying another yoga pants, try to reflect on whether you’re getting it because you need it or because they looked really cute on that celebrity on IG. It may not be as exciting to wear your same old black leggings while working out at home and while it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself from time to time, you should ask yourself if this new purchase can actually contribute to your long-term health and fitness goals. If the answer is no, then just move on. Because no matter how adorable it may look, those trendy new yoga pants aren’t going to magically give you more willpower to work out beyond the first day you get to wear it.
Fancy gym membership
There’s nothing wrong with spending money for a gym membership, but it’s important to be realistic with your goals and your current abilities before investing in it. Most people think signing up for a membership would lock them in a commitment that will force them to go, but there are a number of hidden charges when it comes to gyms and, mathematically, the annual memberships’ lower monthly price only make sense if you are actually willing to use it. This is probably when cost per use mentality comes in handy, because the annual membership would only make sense if you are actually able to go a minimum number of times a year. Calculate if you are willing and able to meet this number to break even and, if not, then what is the point?
Gyms provide a good place to push yourself, physically and mentally, but while it’s a good way to exercise, it’s not the only way to exercise. No matter if it’s a new gym promising the best equipment, a hastily assembled weight room in your garage, or just a yoga mat and your laptop in front of you, your success is determined by the effort you put into you workout—wherever it may be.
Detox teas and restrictive diets
As a general rule, any product that promises a shortcut to weight loss and fitness should be viewed with a lot with a lot of skepticism. Many of these “weight loss teas” and other diets, which are promoted by social media influencers, can cause serious harmful side effects. Don’t forget that these social media influencers, many of whom are getting paid thousands of dollars to peddle market these items to their followers, do not have a medical background and would not have an understanding of the actual contents of the items they are promoting and how it could possibly be detrimental. Considering, many of the these “detox teas” and restrictive diets circulating across social media rarely backed by reliable science, don’t bother wasting your money on something that may have long-term harmful impact on your health.
As a caveat, there is nothing inherently wrong with investing in the above items.
By all means, if you feel that any of the above truly helps you with your health and fitness goals then go right ahead. Just make sure these add value to your physical and mental wellbeing and that you are not buying into an idea, because there is no need to go broke for an illusion.