Fitness Anxiety: Are Other People Better at Weight Loss?

Do you ever look into the mirror and think if you’re enough? You know, if other people are working out more than you, or are losing more weight than you. You’re so busy looking at other people that your own health and workout goals can seemingly go unnoticed in a sea of potential bad judgments and self-doubt.


This article will review the facts on how other people are not necessarily better than you and why this anxiety is actually counterproductive to reaching your full health/fitness potential. The term “fitness anxiety” was originally coined by Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of social medicine at Boston University. To paraphrase what he wrote in the article: new research suggests that people who are obsessed with others’ lives and aims are less likely to work out themselves.




Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the study found that people who are obsessed with other people’s health are less likely to work out themselves. LiveScience explains, “People who perceive other adults as more fit and healthy are about half as likely to engage in leisure time physical activity than those who believe they are about as fit and healthy as others.”


The first part of this report seems to strike some truth from all observations over the years. This could explain why we’ve seen many friends give up their weight loss goals because they were seeing how others were achieving them. Now, we’re not saying that you are less fit, healthy or even that if you don’t achieve your goals that it’s your fault. What we’re saying is that you will never actually know if you are enough unless you have a health, fitness or weight loss goal to work towards.

You can’t see yourself from the outside, that’s the folly of human nature.  As long as another person is achieving what you want, you’re always going to feel that you’re behind in life as compared to your family, friends and colleagues. We put this obsession with health and our own goals down to other people’s lifestyle and manners being our barometer for success.


The article continues:


Every day, we’re barraged with news reports and television shows about other people’s life, their fit bodies and nutritious diets. We may think they are more fit and healthy than we think we are. According to the study, this perception can lead to feelings of sadness, isolation, guilt and anxiety. For example, if you see someone at the gym working out six days a week while you only work out three times a week, you might feel sad that you’re not meeting your own standards for yourself. You might also feel isolated because you believe that other people are more fit than you even though they may be just normal adults who are much like other people.


Furthermore, you might feel guilty because you think you’re not meeting your health goals and that you should be better off than others (or even just as good). Lastly, if you’re obsessed with others’ habits and diets , it can lead to feelings of anxiety because of comparing yourself.


If this is in fact true, then we are creating an entire generation of “fitness” anxious individuals who may only succeed by comparison. This is a pretty scary outlook and one that we should definitely avoid.


The Solution to Fitness Anxiety:


  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people and their success. You’ll never know if you are enough until you set a goal for yourself and begin working towards it.


  1. Focus on your true goals, not the person beside you or someone you know who is “doing it better” than you.


  1. If social media is a source of anxiety for you, then limit the amount of time you spend looking at it or simply avoid it completely (at least during your health/fitness time). Weight loss is a mindset, and is something that you should be doing just for YOU. 


  1. If your anxiety is brought on from friends that have different habits and health/fitness goals than you, respectfully decline the invitation to do things besides your usual routine (if it’s a repeated problem). Don’t socialize with unhealthy individuals, or people who take away your energy,  if you want to be healthy.


  1. Realize that we are all individuals and you don’t have to look like the person next to you or even the person on TV. Social media makes it seem like everyone else’s life is better than yours but in reality, they are just projecting what they want out of life and not necessarily what they actually have.


Hence, in conclusion, stop comparing yourself to others. You keep hearing this everywhere, but why should you actually do it? Because no one can see who you truly are underneath your outside appearance. You’ll never know if you are enough until you set a goal for yourself and begin working towards it. And fun fact: you only need to be “enough” for yourself. If your healthy lifestyle and nutrition goals are more personal than others, not just like everyone else’s, then just embrace your life and do what YOU want to do.


If you’re more interested in helping others succeed than being fit yourself, then by all means help them out but don’t allow that to be your barometer for success. Simply put, fitness/health anxiety can be counterproductive when the person experiencing it is someone who has no health, fitness or weight loss goals of their own. So find a healthy means of meeting your goals that won’t cause you anxiety because in the end, other people will still get there and achieve their own personal health goals before you do.


What’s your fitness anxiety like? Are you able to set your goals and move past those who are on the same path as you towards a goal or do you constantly compare yourself to others? Take out some time for personal self reflection and growth as you think about this. 


Fitness Wellness

Virtual Run and the Inefficiency Pandemic

In a time when everything is on your computer, we hope you’ve been adjusting well. Transitioning from everything being in person to suddenly staring at a laptop screen for hours on end was of course, tough for all of us. Everyone is struggling to buy a new pair of ‘blue light glasses’ online and suddenly doing eye exercises. Hours of zoom meetings, after-work FaceTime meetups with friends, and family nights playing some online games. School, college and work, all of it upended. When every part of our lives has been uploaded online, why not our fitness as well? Following online YouTube workouts and routines is not enough sadly. We’re all bound to give up at some time, especially because we’re doing it all alone. 


What we’re lacking most during this pandemic is a sense of community and togetherness. While some of us have been quarantining with family or loved ones, a few have been quarantining alone. While this is detrimental to their mental health, it also doesn’t bode well for their physical health. So how do we translate physical wellbeing to its online counterpart? The answer is: virtual runs. These can be participated in at any location of your choosing, making it a perfect choice for a pandemic fitness routine. You can do it virtually at your own home using a treadmill. Or if you prefer the open air, you can safely exercise outside in your own neighbourhood. You can run at your own pace, over a period of days depending on what type of virtual run you choose. 


One of the most important pros of app runs is the fact that it is entirely on your own terms. You don’t need to stress out about the start or end of the track, because you’re the one deciding when or where it is. If you have a stressful day at work and just want to unwind for about 20 minutes, you don’t need to finish the exercise from start to end. You create your own progress, so no added hassle, apart from school/college/work obviously. What’s more is that you don’t even have to run the entire distance. You can walk or jog as you like. Depending on your energy level and your mood, you can adjust your fitness routine. 


Moreover, some of these events also support charities and causes, just like in-person marathons. This can help you give back to your community or a cause you particularly believe in and want to contribute to. No matter which cause you support, be it awareness or prevention of diseases, support of disadvantaged groups or helping animals, there is probably a virtual event you can look for that can support the same. Hence, you will be able to achieve your personal fitness goals while helping a good cause. Also, considering the monsoon season is coming up, you don’t have to postpone your exercise even if it’s raining.  You can still be on track and achieve your weight loss or fitness goals at home, regardless of the weather. 


A virtual run provides you the option to set and achieve your goals. Even though you won’t be competing next to hundreds of runners like in a real marathon, you will have the same objective and goal. These consolidate a sense of community in the same way a marathon does. A 2017 study showed that the benefits of social media for female Olympic athletes was that they could connect with their fellow athletes. This is especially important during a pandemic when building connections is more important than ever. Through this online exercise, you can inspire and motivate other runners, while gaining motivation yourself. Build and beat your own personal record using these, especially using mobile apps such as!


Furthermore, when things go back to normal, which might be sooner than we think, you will be ready to tackle in-person marathons. While completing one at home, you will be building your tolerance and stamina for a real life jog. Your new skills and practice can be applied to marathons, races e.t.c. and a good tool for practice. If you’ve never completed a marathon before, you can measure your current capability and create a plan to improve as you get closer to your marathon date. You can work to your final objective, i.e. running a 5k or 10k. Hence, they can create positive energy within you by motivating and encouraging you to work harder in preparation for any future events. 


Even though an online run is not a proper race, you must prepare for one as if it is an actual one. This is to enhance performance and reduce any injury during the exercise. Prep for this may include warm up exercises, stretches and eating well before you do it. Make sure you’re ready with a bottle of water and all your exercise gear, which includes proper well fitting shoes. Preparation also includes checking in on your mental state. This may be before, after or during the virtual run to make sure you’re not pushing yourself beyond your capacity. Training by yourself and running a virtual event is more difficult than if it were a regular one.

You can work on mental strategies, positive self-talk and motivation to get you to finish with flying colours. We at can help you do this as well. We provide fun, exciting opportunities and allow you to complete at your own time and pace. Choose your own distance and win goodies on completion. There will be other participants as well, and the social feature allows you to connect with other runners. 


Hence, this form of exercise is a wonderful way to start your fitness journey and work towards a healthier, fitter you. You don’t need to wait until gyms open up or lockdowns are lifted, because you can do this from the comfort of your home or neighbourhood. No need to worry about keeping track and staying on course, because an app does that job for you! So enjoy your workout routine and participate in a virtual run today!

Fitness Wellness

Biking to Avoid a Mental Health Pandemic

We all remember the good old days where we would look forward to summer vacations, right? Not just the golas and the mangoes, but also the sweet, sweet tantalizing call of a jobless month and a half. No waking up early, no homework. Just you and the endless possibilities of a hot summer day. Fast forward to today, you sit and fantasize about the open, fresh air as we all suffer through an endless summer of work, anxiety and lockdowns. A deadline here, a meeting there and a weekend that seems so close, yet so far. The end of the lockdown seems out of reach, and you’re looking to alleviate all that stress. Don’t worry! We have a solution, and an amazing throwback to your childhood summer. Bike those pandemic blues away. 


Ofcourse, they do not have to be road bike rides, you can use a home cycle as well. If you do feel it is safe enough to go out in your area, make sure you take appropriate precautions, such as a mask, sanitizer e.t.c. Physically, regular cycle rides and biking have a plethora of benefits, such as cardiovascular fitness, improved muscle strength, better posture and of course, decreased fat levels. It is a great aerobic activity and hence your blood vessels and lungs work extra harder. This will make you breathe harder and deeper, and increases your body temperature. But not sure how to start? Get an iPhone app for cycling and you’re good to go. They track your progress and help in cycling tracking as well!


You might also need some tips for bike riding and to start cycling. Don’t worry, we got you! First of all, always wear a helmet, and a good fitting one, so you can start your safe cycling. Invest in a kit (if you plan on doing it long term) such as bike locks, riding shorts, shoes and tire pumps. It’s not going to be easy at first, you have to get comfortable and build your motivation, just like any other fitness routine or habit. Start small and grow from there. For example, you can’t really jump directly to something as difficult as off road cycling. Rather, start in your local neighbourhood (but only if it’s safe), and start tracking your progress using various cycling challenges. Get familiar with your own body, and understand your own limitations. 


This is also a great way to loosen up, and relieve some stress and anxiety that you’ve been dealing with. It’s especially because it is low impact and not as intense as other forms of workouts. You can control the intensity of the workout, making it as high or low intensity. Ofcourse, just like any other form of exercise, this releases endorphins that make you feel happy and elated. And most importantly, it’s a fun way to get healthy. It gives you an excuse to go get some fresh air, admire your surroundings and be at peace (even if it’s just for a little bit). Doing it outdoors is better than any other exercise form where you are required to stay indoors, especially when you use an app for bicycle!


Also, what’s more is that this easy cycling can have amazing long term benefits. In 2011, a few studies showed that exercises like biking improve brain power and can help in warding off neurological disorders such as Alzhiemer’s in later stages of life. Moreover, in 2014, a study concluded that even children benefit greatly from biking. It can help in correcting early stage disorder such ADD, which is attention deficit disorder. And the best news: it can help you dodge cancer! Yes, you read that right. Any form of exercise can help you lower your risk of cancer, but this is a really fun way to do it.

A 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association studied that 14,000 men who were fitter than their counterparts had a lower risk of colorectal and lung cancer. This exercise is also a great way to push your life expectancy boundary upwards. A 2011 study showed that Tour De France bicycle race riders had a 17% higher life expectancy than the general population. Tour de France pros had an average expectancy of 81.5 while the average French population had a life expectancy of 73.5 years. Another disease that it can fight off is Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder that causes shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Nerve cell damage causes the amount of dopamine, which stimulates the feelings of anticipation and joy, to drop which leads to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A 2018 study showed that vigorous exercise such as biking can lead to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease in men. The study suggests that three hours of biking in a week at 10-12 miles per hour is enough to stave off this disease. 


Hence, it is proven that cycling or biking can have multiple benefits, physical and mental. Physical benefits include cardiovascular fitness, prevention of neurological diseases and early stage mental disorders. It also lowers the risk of cancer and Parkinson’s disease while significantly increasing life expectancy. Mentally, biking can release some of the anxiety and stress that the pandemic has caused. This is especially because this is an easy, fun and low-impact exercise for all ages.

Whether you are still in school, a.k.a. the good old days, or if you’re retired or anywhere in between, cycling is a great way to blow off some steam in a safe, COVID free way. You don’t need any excess equipment or a lot of free time. You can easily fit it easily in your schedule, morning or night without any hassle. And apart from all of that, it is a great way to burn some calories and lose weight easily. No gym membership fees and no expensive equipment purchasing. You simply have to utilise a skill you learnt back when your summers were perfect, and use them to turn this summer the right side up. Wish you happy and easy cycling!