Sitting is the new smoking.
Our chairs seem to be the new lean-mean killer machines. And the money we spent buying those clean running shoes (that ehm . . . still need to be broken in), the brand new gym clothes and the determination to lay off those extra pounds are all praiseworthy goals.
But then again, we live in an age of fads. When one sizzles out, ten new are already making their way across social media pages. Fitness groups that keep each other motivated through the first few days of gym-induced pain, some people even have “global groups” as if we did not have enough people in our country to begin with.
So what is all this fuss about fads? Are they even worth following?
Let’s discuss five such fitness fads that must not be followed blindly.
1. Intermittent Fasting as Fitness Trends
This fad has taken the world by storm, with many people claiming to have shed several kilos within months. Now the thing with intermittent fasting is that it is not one formula that fits all. To begin with, there are six different types of fasting-
- Spontaneous meal skipping where you have the freedom to skip any two meals every week
- An alternate day fast
- A 24-hour complete fast that you must follow twice every week
- A 5:2 fast where you restrict your calorie intake for two days in a week
- The warrior diet where you eat nothing all day and have a large meal at night to spontaneous
- And the 16:8 diet where you pick an 8-hour window in the day to have your meals.
The problem with these types of fasting is that you cannot sustain them for long. For the first few weeks, you will see symptoms of weakness, fatigue, headache and lethargy. This may prompt one to give up the diet trend soon. Plus, every person is different — their body type, immunity levels, metabolism ratio and even work routines. Thus, fasting intermittently does not work for all.
Try going for low-calorie foods instead that will keep you full for a long time without adding on to your calorie count. Flax seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds are some excellent examples of such snacks.
2. Use Exercising Equipment Under Supervision
The new treadmill at home or the bench press machine in the gym, these equipment require an expert to guide you, at least, in the initial phases. Gyms and hardcore equipment are all the rage, yes. But don’t follow the trends blindly without proper supervision.
Injuries, and muscle strains are inevitable if you try out new equipment with no training. Now, minor muscle pulls or aches are alright, you can deal with them. But why risk a serious injury when all you wanted was a fit body, right?
Also avoid exercises and training places that don’t give you certain happiness after the routine. Some exercises are just not for you and you can try out something that actually makes you feel rejuvenated instead of joining in a fitness trend that increases mental stress.
3. One Size is Not Fit For All
I have a friend who does yoga every day. Fit as a fiddle and very flexible, she is also conscious about her diet. She isn’t slim as per the “standards” set by society and marketing gurus, and does not have abs. But that is not the criteria for fitness.
People come in all sizes and shapes and your goal need not always be to sculpt your tummy in the perfect 6-pack. Exercising is all about fitness – to keep your muscles young and your bones strong. So, be regular in your fitness regime without giving yourself an x-day goal to get abs.
In addition to exercise, make sure you eat healthy. Oats, millets and nutritious seeds can help you cut out the extra sugar and carbs from your diet. Substitute fried potato chips with healthier snack options and maida with gluten-free options.
4. Beer Yoga/Goat Yoga or Any such Yoga as Fitness Trends
Goats and dogs are cute, no doubt and they can very well join you in your yoga routine. But there’s no reason to pay more to have an animal climb on your back when you’re trying to perfect the poses. Such yoga trends may lure you into starting the practice but are not wholesome in the long run.
Go instead for certified classes and instructors who ensure the progressive development of your body.
If you wish to go a step ahead in this mindful practice, check out sustainable yoga mats that help your posture.
5. Supplements and Pills
Deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals or proteins should not prompt you to run to a drug store for expensive supplements. Pills and artificial supplements may have side effects and unless the deficiency is severe and the supplements prescribed by your doctor, they do more bad than good.
Change your diet habits instead and include foods that provide you with the vitals naturally. Beetroot, Amaranth, jaggery, amla, nutmeg are simple additions that will improve your health without risking any side effects. This year, try for fitness trends that are genuinely good and not body-harming. Make wise choices for a fit, healthier you!
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)