If there’s one thing that Generation X knows about, it’s fun. Coined the “slacker” generation often because while they may not have been working hard (and that is truly disputable considering all that this generation has accomplished) they were having a good time.
Our generation isn’t inclined to do something unless it’s enjoyable. This isn’t a mindset that they pick and choose – it applies to everything including exercise. The old belief that exercise had to be a chore or exercise was just another thing on your to-do list is for other generations. For Generation X, exercise must be fun.
The Concept of Fun
Let’s face it, what is fun for me may not be fun for you. I may love to CrossFit, and you may think it’s the dumbest thing since hula hoop fitness. This is what has driven the fitness industry to become so incredibly diverse. There really is something for every personality. If you love to dance, we’ll Zumba is an option.
There are also a dozen or more other fitness dance programs that are available in communities across the country. If you love to rock climb, well guess what…? There are rock climbing gyms and classes in major cities, and local community fitness centers, around the country. From weight lifting to yoga, and everything in between – Generation Xers who want to get in shape, have an abundance of choice.
Small Group Classes and the Social Aspect
Studies have been done by the fitness industry to try to determine why gym memberships are declining. They learned that the people that go to the gym are traditionally Baby Boomers. Our generation generally doesn’t appreciate the big box approach that you’ll find in most gyms.
What our generation does appreciate on a much larger scale than boomers, is the social side of fitness. While exercise used to be something that you just did because it was on your list, now it’s something that you do because it’s fun and you do it with your friends. This has led many people to creating a number of social outlets within fitness including but not limited to:
Social media fitness apps. Hey, if you can’t work out with your friends at least you can support one another, brag to each other, and hold each other accountable with an app. Sites like MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal are just two of the dozens of popular fitness apps with a high social engagement component.
Exercise clubs. Take a look out your window every day and you’ll see groups of people exercising together. You’ll see walkers, cyclists, and of course you’ll see joggers. There are hiking groups, dancing clubs, and more.
Small Group Classes. Small group classes didn’t used to be much of a thing. Sure there was an aerobics boom in the 80’s but those classes were often quite large. We’re talking about almost 100 ladies in leg warmers and headbands – move over Jane Fonda. Today, small group fitness classes are the preference. CrossFit classes are generally kept to less than 20.
There are fitness approaches like Orange Theory, TRX, Spin classes, and kickboxing that all keep classmates to under 24 or so. Why is this popular and why does it work? It’s social. You find the time that works for you. You make friends in the class, and you become a community.
If a member of Generation X wants to stick with a fitness program, it has to be fun for them. The good news is that the fitness industry has recognized it. Options are plentiful. Take a look around your community at what’s available and align that your personal preferences. Find your fun and get moving.
While fun is certainly plentiful, convenience is also a priority for busy (non-slackers) in our generation. Next time we’ll talk about the convenience factor and the role it plays in health and fitness.