Last week my daughters and I traveled to London to Be:Fit Health and Fitness Festival at the Business Design Centre, Islington. My eldest and I had been to a previous incarnation of this event 5 or 6 years ago, at Earls Court, and had really enjoyed it. At that time she was getting into running, really interested in food and losing some weight. I’ve always loved to be fit and have achieved this in many ways over the years (previous blog post).
Be:Fit 2017 – work research!
Both my daughters and I are currently doing combinations of weight training, HiiT and cardio work. They regularly go to the local gym and I workout at home with Julia Buckleys online gym. We are all interested in real food, good nutrition and home cooking. With all this in mind here are my thoughts on Be:Fit.
In the last 5 or 6 years the fitness industry has exploded with the 20-something year olds social media phenomena, particularly You Tube and Instagram reaching so many people and colouring the market. This means this Festival was dominated by these “influencers” * and a predominantly young attendance.
Be:Fit Health & Fitness Festival for Women
This is no bad thing. I LOVE the message these ladies are sending out. They speak of empowerment, respect for your body, working out because you love yourself not as a punishment, eating to fuel your body and happiness.
We listened to Carly Rowena and really enjoyed her straightforward message. Carly acknowledged it is not “one size fits all”, you have to do what works for you and your body. Carly offered clear, sensible and sound advice with lots of options and alternative ideas for you to individually tailor. Similar messages were echoed throughout the day by the other social media fitness stars!
#girlgains preparing for their Be:Fit slot
I think the Health and Fitness industry is currently lacking some basic nutrition and cooking advice. Many people are ill-informed in this area and the current trend seems to be over complicating our food and nutrition requirements. This leaves Joe Public in a confused state. The Festival trade stands did nothing to help address this. Perhaps there is a gap in the Market for some simplification or basic nutritional advice.
The Fitness Studio, Functional Studio and Yoga Studio provided an opportunity to get your workout fix during the day. However the queuing and lack of clear ticketing arrangements (unless you’d purchased a VIP entry) was frustrating. Perhaps a deli counter ticketing mechanism would work for the Walk Up only events .We did manage to get into the #girlgains workout which was good fun.
Be:Fit Trade stands
One of the disappointing elements of the day was the trade stands, they were a bit “samey” . Too many “healthy” snacks, protein supplements, post workout drinks and not enough real food ( sorry Heck sausages https://www.heckfood.co.uk/) but two food/recipe subscription services! Not enough good offers to tempt you to purchase but lots of tiny tasters for you to try. The presentation was often dull, more variety and fun needed to be injected here.
KIND bars did have a great offer on!
Also in relation to the stands, more variety was needed. Where were the purveyors of weights? Resistance bands? Gym Balls? Also a more comprehensive range of active wear in terms of price range would be good. Fitness wear is very expensive and much of the merchandise at the Festival was prohibitive to the average girl (earning less that £20k pa). Particularly if they are on a weight loss journey and their body is changing shape continually! Not to mention – not everyone wears fitness gear 24/7 and they need other clothes in their wardrobe! The clothing needed to cover more than the workout crowd, and the footwear more than runners.What about crossfit, cyclists, swimmers, tennis players, yoga ….?
My Be:Fit Festival purchase – no special deals from Reebok
Finally I think the Festival and the Fitness Industry should wake up to the growing interest in health and fitness from the over 40s and 50+, a huge market with possibly a greater disposable income. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their health and fitness, and this sort of event is a fantastic showcase for empowering women and giving them the right tools.
In conclusion, this Festival was possibly marginally better than the one I went to a few years ago. I think the trade stands and the food/nutrition offerings were much better despite my misgivings. However on reflection some sort of hybrid of the two events would have nailed it!
– Carly Rowena https://www.carlyrowena.com/about
– #girlgains – aim to empower, inspire, educate and motivate women to be the best versions of themselves.http://www.girlgains.co.uk/about
– The Food Medic – Dr Hazel Wallace https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/about/
– Clean Eating Alice https://en-gb.facebook.com/CleanEatingAlice/
Thanks for reading
Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com
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