Plus Size Fitness
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Plus-Size Fitness Excerpt from Don't Weight
Fitness Clubs or Health Spas
Select a fitness club or health spa where you "fit in". The most important part of finding a place to workout is your attitude. A constructive attitude to have: If the health club or spa does not meet your needs, then they are wrong, not you (and not your body.) Every body takes up space. Small, medium, and large people take up space. Everybody deserves a place to workout where they feel welcome. Members of all sizes should treated with the same respect. Your basic needs should be met.
Find a fitness club where you can feel comfortable and the focus is on wellness, not body-critical figure shaping. Here Kelly leads her class in Philadelphia.
As we consider the necessary characteristics of a size-friendly facility, let's start at the entrance. If there is a waiting room, there should be armless chairs for large people who don't want to be pinched by chairs with arms. There should be at least one (preferably two) doublewide seats for very large people who do not fit into a single chair. If there are photographs of people working out, there should be fit people of all sizes represented.
In the dressing room, there should be room for large and small people to walk between the lockers. The benches or seats should be spaced for the comfort of people of various sizes. (I have had many clients who would love to swim regularly, but the locker rooms are so poorly designed that they cannot walk down the isle or sit on a bench.) The towels should be LARGE. It sounds like a small thing, but it is not. If you are a large person trying to wrap a tiny towel around you, you can't help but feel like you don't fit. That's not true. It is the towel that does not fit. Large towels will make everyone, of every size, feel better. All size-friendly fitness facilities should have large towels.
The staff should be trained to promote wellness, not body criticism and body shaping when they interact with members and prospective members. It would be a good indicator if there were people of various sizes in sales, fitness instructors, and administrative positions.
There should be a variety of low-impact or no-impact aerobics classes offered at several times. The stretching segments should be led by someone who has been trained and/or who has experience in HOW to adapt the stretches to accommodate a round belly. Too often the instructor simply says, "Change the moves if you need to", but does not show (or even know) HOW to adapt the moves.
If there is no health club or spa in your area that meets your needs, don't give up. Call often and ask for what you want. Copy these pages out of this book and mail the information to them. Tell them that it would be profitable for them to LEARN to provide service for the other half of the population. Tell them I will be happy to show them how to make their facility size-friendly. Give them my website www.KellyBliss.com and then move on. By asking for what you need and telling your local facilities where they can get the information to provide service to plus-size people, you would have done your part to encourage a size-friendly world. Now you need to build your own size-friendly world.
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