IT’S a wink after sunrise on a Saturday morning and the metronomic thud of the bass rattles the windows of a Fitzmaurice Street business.
No, it’s not nightclub patrons bouncing into the early morning, it’s a group of fitness enthusiasts bouncing to the beat of a DJ.
In less than a week, Wagga’s newest gym – F45 – will open in the CBD, bringing with it a unique approach to fitness, including DJ workout sets on a Saturday.
Riding on the back of a wave of fitness centre openings in Wagga in recent years, the new facility will cater to a growing band of locals looking to shape up.
And while local fast food outlets aren’t exactly going out of business, we should welcome the growing fixation with fitness.
Data released in early 2015 showed Wagga had the dubious honour of being the largest city in the fattest region of NSW.
Take a cursory glance around next time you’re in the CBD – bulging waistlines and takeaway outlets are ubiquitous.
Despite the city’s fitness renaissance, obesity remains our most pressing health crisis.
Its cost can be measured in monetary terms – the cost to the public health system, the impost on taxpayers of those not able to work because of obesity-related conditions.
In a less tangible but just as expensive sense, it can also be measured in self-esteem issues, broken relationships and unrealised potential.
In a world obsessed with physical ideals, there can be an emotional cost to those that don’t meet the ideal.
It will take more than a few gym openings to speed up Wagga’s collective metabolism and shift our culture of too much fast food and too little exercise.
Ultimately, it’s a deeply personal choice for individuals – an analysis of how much the extra weight is hurting them versus how much losing it will cost.
Life can be difficult and everyone’s in the middle of some type of personal struggle.
Making grand lifestyle changes isn’t easy and many people use food as a security blanket for deeper issues.
We should recognise this and encourage overweight friends and family to start small.
Make gradual changes to your diet and exercise regime – cut back on that can of Coke for lunch, go for a 30 minute walk a couple of times a week.
Success is addictive and self-perpetuating.
And it can start anywhere, not just in a fancy new gym.