In our modern age, new fitness trends seem to crop up every other week – from a new range of teas or coffees claiming you can “drink yourself thin”, to signing up for twerking fitness classes. There’s always something claiming to be the holy grail, or the “one we’ve been waiting for”.
Stay with us as we explore an assortment of wacky fitness fads that have taken off over the last ten years.
Dropping your shoes and going for a run
Back in 2010, runners decided it was time to get back in touch with nature. Specifically, via their feet – barefoot, or “natural” running became the in-thing.
Supporters of the trend claimed running shoes and trainers actually contributed towards injury rates, due to the foot being held in an unnatural form. It’s also said that running barefoot strengthens the tiny muscles found in feet, ankles and legs which can also reduce the risk of injury.
The trend died out after a while though, and it’s no longer as popular as it once was. Experts have said that switching to barefoot running without properly transitioning makes you prone to injuries. Plus, there’s been numerous reports of horrible happenings to barefoot runners, including parasitic infections like cutaneous larva migrans, tungiasis, and fungal infections.
Getting fit in your heels
High heels have been given a fair amount of praise as far as fitness fads go. Research has suggested that just walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.
Normal exercises like squatting, weight lifting, and lunging all get an extra dose of difficulty when wearing high heels. It hasn’t been fully determined whether wearing your favourite court shoes for a workout can result in weight loss, but it can help you learn how to walk better in them.
New York and Los Angeles lead the way with this weird fitness trend. “Hot barre” involves doing classical ballet moves in a room heated to 40 degrees and it took off around 2015. Advocates of the fad say that hot barre encourages you to gain a deeper stretch while helping you release toxins and feel detoxed. Then, as the body has to work hard to cool itself down, you can expect your metabolism to boost and number of burnt calories to increase.
Well, the number of burnt calories increase a little. Self reported on the matter, noting that while heated room will cause an increase in burned calories, the profit for all that forced sweating is a measly 35 more calories in a 45 minute session. For perspective, a single Jaffa Cake has 45 calories.
All the same, the trend took off, and you can find heated versions of pretty much any exercise now, such as ‘hot yoga’.
Boosting your health and the planet’s health
Here’s a relatively recent fitness fad for you now – plogging! It’s a Scandinavian based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.
The trend gets its name from the Swedish phrase ‘plokka upp’, which means ‘pick up’. The exercise part comes from running with intermittent squatting and lunging so you can pick up rubbish from the ground. It is an effective calorie burner too — fitness app Lifesum estimates that a typical user will burn 288 calories from 30 minutes of plogging. If you’re new to jogging in general, pace yourself and remember to warm up and cool down properly afterwards. Keep a few pain relief gels handy in case of any soreness afterwards, and keep hydrated.
Plogging supporter are sharing their feats on social media. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?
With this strange array already in the mix, it’s impossible to predict the next fitness fad. But then, half the fun is being surprised by them!