The last decade and a half have brought some of the most unique fitness trends to hit the world. Along with weird sports superstitions there are plenty of weird health superstitions and the two feed each- other as athletes are always looking to give the self a better edge. Many of these fads and practices started with athletes and then moved to the mainstream later.
Technology has made a lot of changes to the way we work out and even eat. Here are some of the top fitness fads from the last 15 years:
- Low Carb Diets
Carbs got a really bad rap in the 1990s when the Atkins Diet got really popular, but in the 2000s we began taking a more critical look at what actually constituted bad carbs (refined sugar) and good carbs (whole grains, fruit,and vegetables). Now we aren’t kicking carbs to the curb so much as limiting the amounts and where they come from.
- Exercise Games
Whether it’s Dance Dance Revolution or Wii Fit, the video gaming world has gotten a lot more physical. You can now burn calories while still trying to beat your high score. In the last 15 years, gamers have definitely gotten off the couch.
- Fitness Technology
Along with exercise gaming has a new level of tech in the fitness world. Heart rate monitors and pedometers have gotten a huge upgrade with the introduction of devices that track everything from calories burned to sleep cycles. Fitness apps are also all the rage, as simple as interval timers to full-on GPS tracking. As fitness apps and fitness trackers have continued to increase in popularity so have new supplements. Pre-workout supplements are a recent occurrence in the fitness industry, with some of the best pre-workout supplements starting to surface in recent years.
The last 15 years have been all about dancing. Dance Dance Revolution is probably one of the most popular fitness games ever created. However, the rise of Zumba can’t be ignored. Seems like everyone was headed to the gym for their Zumba class after work. Dancing with the Stars has also sold their share of fitness DVDs since the show first aired in 2005.
High Intensity Interval Training is incredibly popular, though it often is disguised in fancy workout brands like Beach Body in the Insanity and P90X series. HIIT seems pretty effective and easy to adapt to many ability levels.
- YouTube Fitness Channels
Do the names Cassie Ho, Jessica Smith, or Adrienne Mishler ring any bells? They are some of the hottest YouTube fitness stars of the generation. Amazing to live in an age where you can get famous, make money, and help people achieve their goals, simply by uploading a video of you exercising. It doesn’t matter if you love yoga, aerobics, pilates, or any combination of exercises. There is a fitness channel for you.
- Evolving Fitness Shoes
Remember when the basic tennis shoe was just about your only option? Yeah I don’t either. In the last 15 years, we have seen at least two big trends in fitness footwear. Toning shoes were claimed to give you a work out just by wearing them. They activate more muscles than regular shoes. Now we are all about the barefoot shoes. Some of our fitness shoes today provide little more than a barrier between rocks and your foot while others provide some support but maintain plenty of flexibility.
- Healthy Living
Most of us have memberships to some kind of food/exercise tracking website. We count calories. We know how much carb/protein/fat is in most of what we eat. We can estimate calories burned in most of our workouts. We read food labels. While all of this isn’t paying off in ridding us of the obesity epidemic, at least we are more aware of it now.
- Functional Training
There are plenty of fitness gurus who have started touting the advantages of functional training. The idea here is that training specific muscles isn’t really useful for everyday situations. It is better to train for things you will actually do. If you are a functional trainer, you are more likely to go to the gym to play a game of basketball than to get on the elliptical for an hour.
- Extreme Weight Loss
Reality shows like The Biggest Loser have fueled this fad. People are resorting to extreme diet and fitness programs to get the fat off fast. Crossfit is a favorite exercise class for these individuals as are diets than involve more air and water than actual food. It’s not the safest way to lose weight, but it is certainly popular.
Fads may come and go, but the underlying reason behind these is people just want to look and feel good. There is some definite science behind what we find attractive, and most of it has to do with body shape. Maintaining a good body shape ultimately sends the message of being healthy. And healthy is attractive and ironically…healthy. So whatever fad you choose remember to stick with it and be healthy.
About the Author
Paisley Hansen is a part-time freelance writer and a full-time mother. She specializes in writing on home improvement blogs and when she isn’t writing she loves spending time with the family. Check her out on Twitter.