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odd fitness fads


Exercising and losing weight is easy, in theory: eat less, move more. But that’s not exactly very exciting now, is it? Enter the fitness fad — exercise with added excitement. There’s been some hits, some misses, and some downright weird fitness fads over the years.

Plogging — health for you and the world

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.

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?

Ditching your shoes

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Runners swapped their running shoes for a running ‘sock’ 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 trend has lost fuel 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.

Stiletto squats?

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Image by: GlamGrid.

The benefits of high-heeled workouts have actually been noted by science. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.

Balance can be improved 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.

Being sweatier

‘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.

The trend remains popular today, with variants such as hot yoga being performed in a heated pods. 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).

It’s hard to predict what the next fitness fad will be, given how varied and strange these fads seem to be!

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Voltarol.

You may also enjoy: Robyn McGlinchey’s fitness secrets.

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