I visited the Vitality Show 2013 at Earls Court today. The UK's largest health, beauty, fitness and wellbeing event for women. They say it’s the perfect place to discover how to feel healthier, happier and even more gorgeous but I had my business head on and was there purely to network, research and find inspiration. I spent the afternoon meeting potential business partners, learning about new products, getting ideas for exhibiting Hope Fitness and even found time to get my nails done! Broccoli juice, chocolate with benefits (more about that in a future blog post!), collagen in a bottle, lots of cheese(??), every kind of tea you could possibly imagine, protein this and protein that, lotions and potions made from "all natural" products, hair straighteners, hair curlers, hair extensions, eyelash straighteners, eyelash curlers, eyelash straighteners, electronic foot scrapers, teeth whitening, head massage, shoulder massage, back massage, foot massage, massages where you were asked to pay what you thought they were worth, less bounce, more organic, gluten free, sugar free, Pilates equipment that looked like it belonged in a 50 Shades book, sugar-free sweets (and the point is?), green tea mushy pulp stuff to help you lose weight, green tea mushy pulp stuff to plaster all over your body and make you look ten years younger....
And don't even get me started on the 'Life Change Zone'! Having said that, I did get round to having a colour reading, whereby the practitioner tuned into my inner self and determined what colour I should be wearing to redress balance in my life. Yellow...apparently, to give me more courage, self-mastery and personal power. Being ever-so slightly sceptical I decided against purchasing a yellow crystal for £30. If you know me then you will know that yellow is just NOT my colour.
You could even get to meet the "original" and "all natural" Amy Childs, although I had absolutely no idea who she was at the time, I am proud to say (sorry Amy, but come on Vitality Show, surely you could have done better than that?)
Organic, natural, well-being, healthy, happy and holistic were some of the main buzz words at this event. Interesting then that in the free goody bag (and we all love free goody bags) there was a bottle of lemonade, a packet of sugar and some equally awful "healthy" breakfast biscuits. This was on a day when the Guardian had published an article about sugar being "the real villain in the obesity epidemic".
But what really struck a chord for me today was the lack of anyone promoting good old-fashioned exercise and good nutrition. Ok so there were the yogis and the pilateeites, the women's sport and fitness foundation, who got you playing table tennis and badminton (badly from what I witnessed), and couple of other people that I got to speak to; the rather lovely Orlando Rodriguez from FIT Formula, a unique training and nutrition programme, and Jennie Bayliss, a weight loss coach and emotional healer.
Instead there were hundreds of products on offer that promised a result by cheating, or helping things along - the icing on the cake as it were. Results that really could and should be achieved by some hard work and healthy eating.
I get it, there's money in the quick fix and the helping hand, and this is what most people want but on reflection today as a fitness professional I feel saddened by this. Surely if you achieve your health and fitness goals by getting it right and working hard, and you do have to work hard, there's no doubt about that, then your sense of achievement and feeling of well-being is much greater and more deserved? There is longevity in a healthy lifestyle rather than a fad product that may or may not work and can be tossed aside tomorrow. Does a daily dose of a liquid vitamin, or a spoonful of an aloe-based product, or a helping of green tea mush really work?
I believe that if you follow these 4 simple rules:
1. Good hydration - drink a minimum of 2 litres of filtered or bottled water every single day.
2. Sleep - get a minimum of 8 hours sleep every single night.
3. Nutrition - eat fresh, natural, clean food at least 80% of the time.
4. Move - for at least 30 mins every day.
You will be healthier, happier and even more gorgeous than you have ever been.