23 November 2018

Memorable fitness fads from the past decades

There is always some sort of weird fitness fad taking the nation by storm. Can you recall these four strange fitness crazes — or have you got involved in any of them while working out?

What do you think of barefoot jogging?
In the early 2010s, a group of runners began to wear a form of running ‘sock’ as opposed to their running shoes. Those who supported the fitness fad said 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.

Although barefoot jogging isn’t as popular as it once was, it does still have a few supporters. Experts have said that switching to barefoot running without properly transitioning makes you prone to injuries though. Therefore, only try this one if you’re willing to practise walking barefoot before running. 

What do you think of hot barre?
Like many fitness fads that become popular, hot barre started in New York and Los Angeles. This craze 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.

Although hot barre isn’t as big as it once was, there are some derivatives of the exercise such as hot yoga. This is where classic mindfulness movements are performed in a heated pod — a guaranteed sweat stimulator whilst acting as a way to ease back pain.  

What do you think of plogging?
This exercise is something that has only became popular this year. However, some people haven’t looked back since. 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 come from? ‘Plogging’ is a mixture of the word jogging and ‘plocka upp’ — a Swedish phrase which translates into English as 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.

Looking to get plogging inspired? Check out your social media feeds. Head to Facebook or Instagram and don’t be surprised to see images of people in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?

What do you think of high-heel workouts?
It might surprise you but wearing high heels when doing a workout has been found to offer a variety of benefits. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.

Why not slip on some heels during your next workout? It is likely you’ll begin to see your balance get better. 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.

As 2019 approaches, we have to wonder just what next year’s strangest yet popular fitness trend will be…

*Collaborative piece 

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