Monday, December 27, 2010

The Top 10 Fitness and Health Trends of 2010

Who doesn't love a trend? When it comes to fitness and health, I love to be the first of my friends to try something new. Being a child of the 80's, I wore leg-warmers over my acid-wash jean while getting frustrated with my Rubik cube in between turns on my Atari.  I remember gyms filled with beautiful people wearing full make-up, spandex, leotards, and sweatbands. My mom did chronic cardio in the form of aerobics with Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda. She ate lots of grapefruit, sometimes only cabbage soup, and dealt out ultra low fat Deal-A-Meal cards.

The Top 10 Fitness and Health Trends of 2010

10: Zumba - Ditch the workout join the party! Zumba classes are popping up everywhere and Beto Perez is becoming a household name. Beto is making fitness fun by dancing to basic rhythms like merengue, foxtrot, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dance, waltz, tango, and samba. What I liked about this workout is the intervals. You dance, you pick up the pace, you rest, then dance some more. 

9: Shake Weight - This “As Seen On TV” product is taking America by storm, earning more than $40 Million dollars, $19.95 at a time. That so many of these dumbbells were sold is surly a sign of the impending apocalypse. Part of the reason of the success is the lewd nature of the parody featured on Saturday Night Live that went viral. 

8: Barefoot Running - Seems like people everywhere are donning the ballet flat looking Vibram Five Fingers as their everyday footwear. Flat casual footwear is taking over, like Nike's "Free", and Newtons. Websites devoted to barefoot running are popping up everyday.

7: Shape-Ups: Speaking of shoes, The weird-looking, clunky no-gym-required  sketchers shape-up shoes were a big hit.  Not to be outdone, similar shoes were made by New Balance, and Reebok. You can even find a $20 knock-off version at a discount department store near you. Although I didn't buy any, I did try them out. Not really the thing for me, but if it is for you, buy New Balance, the last American sneaker company. There is now a line of clothes you can wear to help lose weight as well.

6: Vitamin D: A huge debate raged this year over vitamin D deficiency. How much supplements should we take is the focus of the debate, but I think sunscreen should really be the focus. Thousands of years people roamed the earth quite healthy without the aid of sunblock . Their bones were very strong and today, are pulled from the earth, some dying from old age and not from skin cancer, with having all their original teeth still attached to their skulls. Going out in the sun requires common sense. We weren't meant to bake on the beach in a vinyl chair. So when in direct sunlight for long periods of time, wear a large brimmed hat and sit under a beach umbrella while reading your favorite book.

5: Gluten Free Diets - According to Amazon 232 gluten free lifestyle and cookbooks were published this year. New products came into the grocery every weeks, and things that are naturally gluten free, like rice, are now sporting fancy graphics stating so. Why the craze? Gluten is the new dietary devil that is the cause of whatever ails you. True if you have Celiac disease you should avoid it at all costs. Although I am not a fan of gluten (I think people should avoid grains and glutens were never meant to be consumed by humans), web sites promoting the gluten free diet, boast of it helping their ADHD children, their Autistic children, making them lose weight, brain fog, vertigo, joint pain, and cure a whole other bunch of ailments. It is simply a fad that hope disappears because of all the new gluten free franken-foods that should be avoided, just because they are made in a lab and not the kitchen.

4: P90X and Tony Horton - Get ripped in 90 days and it is sweeping the nation. Everytime I get on Facebook or Twitter, someone just finishing an hour long workout will let you know which day of the workout they are on and how hard it was. How wet your tank top got is a badge of honor for those following the plan. Got to admit, I did it and it works. Something for beachbody fans to look forward too, MC2, the long awaited sequel to P90X.

3:Boot Camp: people are actually shelling out big bucks for someone like Jillian Michaels to yell at them to do one more rep and make it perfect. Boot camp workouts, much like the ones seen on the Biggest Loser are being held in parking lots, beaches, fields and gyms across the country. Anyone else see the resemblance to cross-fit?

2: Suspension training: Using ropes and webbing tied to almost anything like door jams and even trees, fitness enthusiasts are using their own bodyweight and gravity to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and joint stability, all at the same time. The most popular is TRX by Fitness Everywhere, there are also a lot of YouTube videos of people making their own.

1: Low-Fat vs Low-Carb: This debate has been raging on since the 70's book from Dr. Atkins hit the bookstores. Conventional doctors have been calling the low carb craze as dangerous ever since. But is it? Low-fat diets have been part of our popular culture since the 80's yet , we are getting fatter and still dying of heart attacks. The "no or extremely low" carb diets like Atkins are just as harmful. However, this year the debate took a new twist. A slew of new books and scientific studies are now promoting the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that humans had for hundreds of thousands of years before agriculture. Alot more fresh fruit, vegetables and grass fed beef have been on American tables this year.

What was your favorite trend of the year?