Flickr Image From: Fazal E Azeem Nisar
Currently, the fitness industry is worth billions of dollars. In America alone new products come to the market every few weeks, while store shelves are bursting with celebrity endorsed fitness trends, exercise equipment, and even bespoke diet plans you can do at home. However, you don’t need to spend lots of money on getting fit; there are numerous free resources including online tutorials, fitness blogs and even health shows. Gym membership discounts are available especially if you’re a student or on low income and payment plans are exceedingly popular. Staff are hugely passionate about helping people reach their full potential. They are also there to assist those who’ve fallen for faddy fitness trends, diet pills, waist trainers, expensive smoothie machines and bespoke athletic clothing. While a few of these products are positive, others are often a waste of money while some can even cause serious damage to our health.
Back in mid-2016 these odd, corset like contraptions were being seen on everyone from Kim Kardashian to Ariana Grande. Products that are essentially throwbacks to old fashioned girdles were rebranded, produced in modern brightly colored material and sold on every second, or third fitness website as waist trainers. They work, if you can say that, by helping to reduce the size of your waist, accentuating any curves you do have to create the once popular 50s style hourglass silhouette. While Instagram feeds became flooded with the Kardashian sisters posing in their gear health experts soon gave their opinions, and the verdicts weren’t good. Wearing a tight corset for prolonged periods of time in the hopes that it’ll replace a workout is a bad idea for a start, these constricting garments are incredibly hard to breathe in so you could end up feeling quite ill. Not only that, but historians have shown just how dangerous corsets were they squashed organs, broke ribs and compressed the lungs. Spot weight loss i.e. targeting one area of fat very rarely works, and doctors have often stated what you believe is a reduction may just be temporary as fat tends to shift anyway.
One of the strangest ever fitness trends has to be the Hawaii, or hula chair. Users buy a plastic folding chair like one you’d use for camping that promises to tone muscles. The amazing chair also comes with a book of workout exercises that can be done sitting down, but the problem with this is that unless you have mobility issues that hinder you from standing, the whole point of exercising is to move around. At the time the chair’s manufacturers made a lot of noise about the ‘special swivel base’ meaning that it promised to help you slide, rock and twist pounds away but you’re doing very little strenuous exercise whatsoever.
We’re not saying that weight training isn’t good for you. In fact, if you’re looking for a sport that’ll help you tone, not bulk up, get fit and lose weight as well as reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis when you’re older then weight, or strength training is what you’ve been looking for. Men and women swear by this sport and this year women only weight lifting classes are becoming more and more popular. No the problem here lies with home fitness equipment, first made popular in the early eighties that can still be bought today. Vibrating weights, dumbbells, belts and even thigh trainers are often far more expensive than their non vibrating counterparts, and apart from making your teeth chatter or feel like a phone that’s been ringing non-stop, they don’t do that much.
These ‘incredible’ high performance trainers retail for hundreds of dollars and promise to transform your workout entirely. Toning shoes sculpt themselves to your feet, supposedly changing the way you walk, improving your balance and helping you run for longer. Celebrities like Kelly Brook also claim that they help tone your legs, lengthen your stride and help you melt away those extra calories. Sounds promising right? According to several medical bodies including the American Council On Exercise these trainers are still just shoes, simply putting them on isn’t going to magically transform your body. In reality, you’re better off spending the money on an extra gym session, using data to learn more about piyo, taking a swimming class or even stocking up on healthy foods.
Weight Loss Pills
Stocked prominently in drugstores, and more than a little unfairly, beside women’s health tablets, sanitary products, and even birth control is a sign that says weight loss products. Now, these can mean anything from expensive meal replacement shakes, health bars and snack packs to pills and potions that promise to aid weight loss. Even though products do state ‘results dependent on diet and exercise’ many consumers are lured in by the promise of exotic ingredients like hydroxycitric acid, chromium picolinate, or ephedra. Unfortunately, at best these’ll do nothing whatsoever but in rare cases, it’s possible to develop serious health problems from taking too many weight loss pills as they can, over time, put severe strain on your heart.
Celebrity Fitness DVDs
Every year we’re inundated by new celebrity, and online personality fitness plans, workouts and exercise DVDs. Normally released in January, to coincide with post-Christmas guilt, these shiny, colorful and spray tanned individuals show pictures of how unflattering they looked before. However, it’s all ok now, because having done the DVD they look toned, tanned and in full hair and makeup. They ‘promise’ that with this ‘amazing’ plan you can lose x amount of weight while still being able to eat what you like. This is the first sign that you should look elsewhere for a good fitness guide because nobody, not even Beyonce, can eat what they like and not gain any weight.
Secondly, they’ll introduce the, slightly cheesy, fitness instructor and despite treating them like they’re their best friend, it’s clear that the instructor thinks the idea’s utter garbage too. A great way to tell if a celebrity, or online personality is serious about fitness is if they still look the same twelve months to twenty months after the DVD’s been released.
Flickr Image From: Kevin Wu