HCM editor Liz Terry: 'Gym bashing has to stop'
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HCM editor Liz Terry: 'Gym bashing has to stop'

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It’s time for the industry to step up and take its place as a powerful consumer influencer

Liz Terry, editor of HCM, has called on the industry to counter the "annual tradition of gym-bashing" by national consumer media.

In her Editor's letter column in the January issue of HCM, Terry said there was a need for the sector to be aware of the potential damage done by negative reporting.

"This January has seen the national consumer media producing a larger-than-average clutch of their annual ‘don’t go to the gym’ features, with everyone from The Guardian to The Sunday Times making a case for why people can do without the gym when it comes to deciding on their new year health and wellness regime," she writes.

"I wonder if all consumer media editors have ‘don’t forget to schedule gym-bashing feature’ reminders in their diaries in November, ready for the new year? It seems they must, as it happens every year like clockwork.

"These pieces are pretty much always opinionated and rely on a wide range of questionable reasoning, such as the ‘fact’ that working out in a gym will ‘make you hungry’ and you’ll eat more than you need afterwards, making the whole visit ‘worthless’. Or my especial favourite – that we’re genetically programmed to be lazy and fat and to sit around doing nothing and that trying to pretend otherwise is just a waste of money."

Terry added that it is now time for the fitness sector to react and counter the "annual onslaught".

"Many consumers are already confused by the conflicting information coming their way from experts seeking to attract consumers to their specific discipline – or Instagram feed – and this annual onslaught is just making the situation worse," she says.

"The bigger picture is that lifestyle advice is finding an eager audience, indicating that there’s an opportunity for the health and fitness industry to get engaged with consumers as we head into the annual new year diet and lifestyle frenzy.

"It’s time for the industry to respond to this need, to step up and take its place as a powerful consumer influencer.

"There’s a wide-open opportunity for us to produce lively, up to date annual consumer health and wellness guidelines based on valid research and best practice.

"These guidelines could be released each year in good time to land on editors’ desks, ready for their new year editions. This would enable us fight our corner and show off the great options on offer."

To read the full column in the January issue of HCM, click here.

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Liz Terry, editor of HCM, has called on the industry to counter the "annual tradition of gym-bashing" by national consumer media.
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