Aspiring to A Natural Lifestyle or Out-of-reach Ostentatious Wellness?

A slight diversion from plan due to the Xmas rush and catching this article on the cab ride home. Last blog we identified that Gen Xers are driving ‘Aspiring to A Natural Lifestyle’ because of their experience and current role in life as leaders, whether in the home, at work or in the community. What we didn’t discuss was accessibility to this trend and socio-demographics. 

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/the-real-problem-with-the-wellness-industrial-complex-20131125-2y5tc.html

Daily Life talks about ‘Ostentatious Wellness’ and, true, there’s a lot of glamour and costs surrounding this area. 

Health clubs can be expensive, with one major fitness chain recently glamourising the image of fitness with a fashion style magazine cover and high end clothes, cars and technology gadgets contained within. And costs money to ‘fit in’ with fitness fashion – shoes, tops, pants, boxing gloves etc. If you have a baby, you probably need a jogger-style pram as well. 

Health funds are not accessible for everyone, which somewhat defeats the purpose of their great ideas to encourage people to take Everyday steps e.g. Medibank Private with their link with Coles for fresh fruit & veg. 

Health food is not cheap when purchased from specialty health food shops, healthy food purchased out-of-home and organic, local produce for in-home can also seem expensive. Alternative therapies can also seem to add up. 

From the work we did with Fit For Good, and recent articles on the rise of obesity, diabetes, mental health and diabetes, a large proportion is in lower socio-economic profiles – who seemingly can’t afford to be fit & healthy. And we’ve certainly done a good job of driving perceptions that it is glamourous and expensive. 

On the flip side of the coin:
– fresh fruit and veg is no more expensive than fast food outlets
– health funds cost less than cigarettes (esp. if you go for the extras option, nil/minimal hospital cover) 
– old ripped t-shirts as gym kit is cool 
– and looking sweaty is HOT!
– walking is just as good as going to the gym
– health food from health food shop costs less than medicine
– buying local produce is cheaper than buying sandwiches from your local deli and you have control over what you’re eating (less sugar, salt, preservatives, unhealthy fats; more protein, fruit & veg, healthy fats & oils)
– there are paleo cafe franchises popping up that are no more expensive than other out-of-home purchases
– and many cafes/restaurants now offer healthy choices, whether that’s grilled fish and salad instead of battered fish & chips at your local chippie or identifying gluten free, vegetarian, soy free choices on a standard menu
– 85% dark chocolate as a vice is cheaper than alcohol and it has antioxidant benefits
– acupuncture or naturopathy costs same amount as a visit to the doctor, less than a visit to a specialist

Overall prevention is less costly than the cure. Maintenance of your health & wellbeing costs less to you, your family and the nation. And in many cases, better health promotes better wealth and relationships.

The reason why A Natural Lifestyle is one of our health tractions is because we don’t believe its a fad trend, its a trend in action, its gaining momentum and its becoming more mainstream. More businesses, brands and people are taking heed and putting it into action.

That being said, as its acceptance widens, we need to be careful of the images we’re projecting to a wider audience. There is nothing wrong with aspirational imagery and aspiring to A Natural Lifestyle – but this should not mean Ostentatious Wellness. To turn around our nation’s health, governments, media, brands, businesses and people in positions of influence need to drive accessibility of health & wellbeing through both perception – accessible imagery – and experience – accessible actions at the grass roots level. 

Written by Rachel Bevans in consultation with Brett Henderson PT. 

Rachel is a healthy brand champion and owner of The Healthy Brand Company (ref: https://www.thehealthybrandcompany.com/about-us.html)

Brett is a trained and practicing Personal Trainer and Holistic Lifestyle Coach, with a Degree in Physical Education and Management experience. Working from an holistic health & fitness platform, Brett inspires individuals’ goals to gain visible results by combining resistance training and cardiovascular exercise with nutrition and a positive mindset – considering all areas of individuals’ lives. 

Feel free to share with acknowledgements to The Healthy Brand Company, Brett Henderson PT and supporting references.

© The Healthy Brand Company, 2013

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