There’s no denying that the fitness industry is booming. With pop-up fitness classes, boutique studios and obstacle races on the rise, fitness has never been so popular. Whilst it’s amazing that so many people are finding fitness and incorporating it into their lifestyles, there is a responsibility for fitness bloggers and influencers to make sure that their impact on impressionable people is positive rather than negative.
We caught up with Carly Rowena to ask her thoughts on the good and bad of the fitness industry.
What is your favourite thing about working in the fitness industry?
How much confidence and happiness it brings to my life. The healthier you feel the less you tend to worry about makeup, clothes or possessions. I feel so lucky to have found a career that helps others to not only change their health but their entire outlook on life.
You’re very honest with your audience — why do you think this is so important?
That’s so kind, thank you! My honesty is down to two reasons. One, I don’t have time to try to be somebody else; two, life is for living — eat the cake, drink the wine, but remember to let you body run free when you need to. Life is short, it’s made for enjoyment.
What are the three biggest things that bug you about the fitness industry?
I’m so proud to be a part of the fitness industry and I feel that 80% of what is put out into the world is positive.
My main issues lie with the get fit quick schemes. There is no magic pill, we’re all individuals, there is no one diet for all. I hate watching people profit from lies.
Secondly the over-sexualisation of fitness. You don’t have to be in a sports bra or pants to work out, you don’t have to wear a full face of makeup or squat to build a booty.
Finally, editing tools. We’re all guilty of only wanting to put our best face forward but it can cause confusion to an impressionable generation. I think it’s best to share an honest view of your life, not a photoshopped one.
How do you feel social media amplifies the darker side of the fitness industry?
For the most part I think it’s putting fitness in a good light, however there is a negative side to everything. I just want to make sure that what I put out sheds a positive and truthful image.
What is your opinion of transformation photos?
I love the idea behind them and if they’re truthful then I think it’s incredible. However I personally prefer a different type of transformation, I love the ones showing how lighting, posture and clothing can change how you look. It’s much more inspiring.
How much responsibility do fitness influencers have when it comes to making sure their audience don’t overtrain or develop eating disorders as a result of what they see on social media?
I feel it’s a huge responsibility and one I take seriously. I still to this day reply to every email or comment. I receive over 20 emails a day regarding eating disorders and most are from men. As long as I feel I am helping and not damaging, I’m happy.
What advice would you give to someone who feels they are becoming obsessed with working out and eating healthily?
Take a step back, rethink what you want from your life. It’s good to be healthy but not good to be obsessed. Life is short, we will never be younger than we are now. Enjoy your body, enjoy your food and enjoy moving.
Finally, what is your favourite way to work out?
Crossfit and circuits. There’s something so empowering about falling in love with what your body can do, instead of torturing it because of what you’ve eaten or what you haven’t done that day.