The traditional way of losing weight isn’t overly exciting: eat less, move more. Enter the fitness fad — exercise with added excitement. There’s been some hits, some misses, and some downright weird fitness fads over the years.
Trading in the running shoes
Would you ever go running in socks? Runners swapped their training shoes for these in 2010. Those who are in support of the trend say that running in trainers or running shoes can make you more prone to injury as it encourages running with 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 craze has slowed in recent years though. Experts have said that switching to barefoot running without properly transitioning makes you prone to injuries. Only try this one if you’re willing to practise walking barefoot before running.
It’s likely that you’re familiar with this fad. The start of 2018 saw the start of ‘plogging’. It’s a Scandinavian based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.
Where did the word plogging come from? It’s a combination of ‘jogging’ and the Swedish for ‘pick up’ (‘plocka upp’) gives this trend its name. 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. People are getting involved on social media too — showing images of them in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?
The ‘hot barre’ craze found its feet In New York and Los Angeles. This trend 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.
Some people still enjoy taking part in ‘hot barre’, and there are now many derivatives of the exercise such as hot yoga being performed in a heated pod. Then again, perhaps that’s more down to the popularity of itself, with yoga having a strong following worldwide for its various health benefits (it can help manage shoulder pain and increase flexibility, for instance).
Squats and stilettos
Squatting in stilettos? Yes, you heard right! Scientists have actually noticed the benefits of high-heeled workouts. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.
What are the benefits of this type of exercise? The advantages include improving balance by lunging, squatting, and lifting small weights while in your high heels. It hasn’t been fully determined whether wearing high-heels for a workout can result in weight loss, but it can help you learn how to walk better in them.
Who can predict what the next fitness fad will be, given how varied and strange these fads seem to be!
The research and creation of this article was carried out by Lee Dover, on behalf of a specialist provider of products for knee pain relief. Lee Dover is a senior copywriter at Mediaworks with an interest in healthcare as well as researching into healthier ways of living. He has a BA (Hons) in Magazine Journalism.