Every so often, a new fitness craze sweeps gyms and exercise classes across the world as people look for more exciting ways to get fit. But, what are some of the strangest fitness fads that we’ve seen over the past decade?
Jogging without shoes
The fitness trend of jogging barefoot, or in running ‘socks’ came along in 2010.
Partakers in the trend expressed 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.
Some people still enjoy running in this way, but it’s not as popular as it used to be. 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.
As people become more eco-conscious, we should have known it wouldn’t be long before people combined their love of the environment with exercising. And then, plogging arrived at the start of 2018. It’s a Scandinavian based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.
The actual term ‘ plogging’ is derived 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.
Ploggers are showing off on social media too. Many are posting images of them in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?
Working out in high-heels
It may sound strange, but over the past decade, studies have discovered that there are some benefits of working out in high heels. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.
Doing exercises such as lunging, squatting and lifting small weights while wearing high heels can improve balance. 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.
Have you noticed that many of the weird and wonderful fitness classes begin in New York and Los Angeles? And hot barre was no different.
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. In addition to gels that offer pain relief, some people turn to exercises such as yoga to relieve musculoskeletal discomfort too.
You might’ve seen some similar classes pop up today such as ‘hot yoga’ where classic mindfulness movements are performed in a heated pod — a guaranteed sweat stimulator.
From plogging to barefoot jogging, could you predict what the next weird fitness fad will be?