An alternative to the ‘business’ of fitness

by Ashley M.

Total Fitness Studio doesn’t look like your typical mainstream gym, and doesn’t follow the same model. With a small studio in the heart of Scarborough, it promotes healthy living with fun — “Move it to lose it!”

This fitness studio removes the veil of expensive machines as the only way to be ‘healthy’ with realistic and sustainable exercises that are meant to use one’s own body weight. It doesn’t feel like a business, but a place to have fun working out.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of getting fit with expensive machines. Too often, people are bombarded by aggressive gym advertisers and salespeople interested in signing up gym memberships but not really looking at people’s health or financial issues.  People end up continuing to pay these fees, without actually going to the gym anymore with lack of motivation.

High membership fees and personal training costs also create a hierarchy of those who can afford to pay these exorbitant fees and those who are struggling with their health but are not able to pay for these luxuries.

But fitness is a $2.2 billion business in Canada according to the Fitness Industry Council of Canada and nearly 5.4 million people are enrolled in health clubs in Canada. The fitness industry both creates and feeds off the fear of gaining weight and counts on people as consumers that need to purchase a particular body type.

Fitness and diet can contribute to positive transformations with alternative ways of looking at staying ‘fit’ to look good and maintaining health to feel good.
Photo: Robin M Myers article in Liberty Voice

“The view that some weights are unacceptable and that body weight is malleable has led to a large diet industry in North America, with estimated annual revenues of $35 to $50 billion,” write Marion P Olmsted and Traci McFarlane in an article in the scientific journal BMC Women’s Health. “Our current cultural preoccupation with thinness extends beyond the health risks associated with obesity.”

The fitness and diet industry place blame on those who ‘choose’ to eat unhealthy food or develop unhealthy habits.  The cycle of poverty or the socio-economic factors that contributes to the lack of access to ‘healthy lifestyles’ is ignored, as is an holistic, overall approach to health. The financial burden and mounting societal pressure that people face don’t factor in; neither does the concept of a community that fosters self-care, love and acceptance along with mutual support.

Not everyone has the means to afford organic food nor the money to afford a gym membership, which is more often than not, seen as the only way to get fit within the thinking that drives the business of fitness. This is where Total Fitness Studio comes in.

“I started this gym in hopes of helping others, looking back at the lack of money to afford going to a gym, while also being overweight and struggling to become healthy,” says Lisa, the personal trainer and co-owner of Total Fitness Studio. She went through a journey of losing 200lbs on her own.

Lisa is not looking to make a buck, only to make enough money to keep the gym open. “I want to make a positive, transformative change in people’s lives,” she says. “It’s a risk in the business world, but is it not better to try?” If you want to get in touch with Lisa, give her a call at 416-709-3710. ** Lisa has since had to close down the gym in the summer of 2014**

People before profits! Health before greed!




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