As the year comes to a close, we are getting closer to the yearly swathe of new year’s resolutions revolving around fitness and health. Usually, this rise in sudden health-conscience comes with another batch of strange fitness trends and fads. Before 2019 shows its peculiar health trends to us, let’s look back on some of the strange selection of the last ten years.
Plogging — health for you and the environment
One of the first fitness fads of 2018 was plogging. It’s a Scandinavian based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment. The word ‘plogging’ comes from the word jogging and the Swedish phrase ‘plocka 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.
Naturally, the end results of healthy habits aren’t proof enough — if it’s not on Instagram, it never happened, and so ploggers are sharing photos of them ready to jog with their plastic bags in hand for litter-picking. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?
Running without shoes
2010 saw runners ditching their trusty running shoes in favour of ‘barefoot’ running, or running wearing a running sock. 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 trend hasn’t stayed, well, trendy however. 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.
Working out in heels
This next trend has some scientific backing. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape. By lunging, squatting and lifting small weights while wearing high-heels, balance can also be improved. 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.
Making everything warmer
‘Hot barre’ found its footing 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.
Classes such as ‘hot yoga’ are still popular today, with yoga a popular option anyway with those looking for a means to treat knee pain and other joint pains. There’re a number of other classes turning up the heat too.
We’re never satisfied with the ‘eat less, move more’ mentality, so no doubt the next fitness fad claiming a quick fix or accelerated results will be equally weird and ‘out of the box’.