Did you know that one of the defining characteristics of Generation X is they are great at adapting and trying new things? While we’re often referred to as the slacker generation, we’re a generation that has survived a recession, the AIDs epidemic, latchkey families, and so much more. We’re resilient. When we don’t see a solution that works for us, we create one. That includes health and fitness approaches.
The Reinvention Generation
Not convinced that our generation is exceptional at making things work? Think about this…Google, YouTube, and Amazon were founded by Generation Xers. Jon Stewart and Quentin Tarantino are from our generation as well. So is President Barack Obama. Our generation is one that took a poor job market into their own hands and became business owners. It’s a generation boasts more small business ownership than any other generation.
What does this mean for our health and fitness?
The Good and The Bad
Unfortunately, one of the reasons we’ve become the reinvention generation is because we’ve so often gotten the short end of the stick. No one pays attention to us and history and society haven’t exactly been kind. So we tend to be a bit cynical. We don’t trust institutions or experts. However, this cynicism and distrust means that we’re often motivated to find our own way and create our own solutions.
This has given birth to a whole generation of fitness and nutrition programs that question old paradigms. The good news is that we’ve found that the so-called experts were very wrong on a lot of important points.
For example, it used to be thought that in order to exercise you had to work out for 20 minutes five times a week. And the longer you exercised the better it was for you. Well no Generation X member has an abundance of time to devote to hours of exercise each day. So, we tried new things. One of those new approaches is High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. It has shown that not only can you improve your health with short bursts of intense exercise; you also don’t have to work out for hours to increase the benefits.
We’ve also learned that fat really isn’t the problem and all those decades of low fat diets only made us fatter. Sugar is the problem and society is responding. The consumption of soda and sugary drinks is at an all-time low. We’re eating healthier and exploring approaches like the Paleo approach and plant based diets. We’re experimenting with vegetarian and vegan diets and paying attention to our own wellness rather than following prescribed paradigms.
This can leave many Generation X members a bit overwhelmed and confused. What information is right? Is there a better approach? For the person who wants to improve their diet and fitness, there’s tons of conflicting information and it can be difficult to sort through.
Next Steps and Moving Forward
If you find yourself in a situation, where you want to improve but you’re not sure how to do it, start with simple changes. Find activities that you enjoy and get you moving your body. Identify one simple way that you can improve your health. It might be something as simple as cutting out sugary drinks or eating 5 servings of veggies a day. You’re a Generation X member, which means you have the ability to take control of your life and make it what you want it to be. Start small but start today.
Next time we’ll talk about how to create your own home based fitness program – one that meets your needs, goals, and personality.