I have talked on some of the fitness gimmicks out there. Check out these posts if you want to see some of these crazy contraptions.
3 Crazy Fitness Gimmicks
3 More Crazy Fitness Gimmicks
Crazy Fitness Gimmicks Revisited
Crazy Fitness Gimmicks...Again
But what about a few of the hotter products and programs that seem to have some merit? After all, every one of them was a trend or fad at some point.
Case in point: Step classes.
Step has been around for 20 years and I am sure there were a few nay sayers at the time who thought that marching up and down on a platform was a pretty silly idea. Granted step classes are not quite as popular as they used to be, but I know most gyms still offer at least one class a week on their schedules.
With that in mind, I wanted to weigh in on three hot fitness trends, which I feel may stand the test of time.
Many of you might be surprised that I have included this on my list. While I have admitted that I Zumba is not my thing (although I am very open to giving it another try), I can absolutely see the appeal for many.
It is a dance-based pre-choreographed workout, which encourages participants to focus on having fun while getting fit. I admire this. I have often talked about how we need to bring the joy back into exercise and if Zumba can do that, I am all for it.
Many exercise variations are all also offered including classes in the water, muscle conditioning and fitness for older adults.
Dance fitness has been around for many years, but Zumba seems to be breathing new life into the genre and encouraging people to get up and and moving. I think there is a market for this and that Zumba is going to stick around.
The cost of classes vary from $10-$20 per class, check out there website for one near you.
Foam rollers have been around for quite some time, but I am noticing them popping up everywhere lately, from fitness studios to offices.
A foam roller can be used in exercise for balance training and conditioning in practices such as pilates and yoga. It can also be used to assist in stretching and muscle release in the form of self-massage.
I purchased a roller and few months ago and I have to tell you that is has been a life saver. It is fantastic for relaxing and massaging the muscles (especially if you have any injury or suffer with chronic pain).
I think it is a versatile and useful tool that is here to stay and well worth your investment. They cost anywhere from $15 - $75, depending on their size and firmness.
In the Toronto area alone, there are over 10 CrossFit facilities and it has become an increasingly popular form of exercise. So what is it? Directly from the Element CrossFit website:
"CrossFit workouts are comprised of large, functional, and multi-joint movements such as: pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, throwing, and jumping performed at high intensity. The workouts themselves are completely scalable, which means that a new participant and a CrossFit veteran can complete the same workout with changes in load and intensity."
Crossfit is a no-frills workout. No fancy equipment, no complicated choreography. I have taken one class and let me tell you, it was no walk in the park. It was intense, quick and definitely gave my entire body a workout.
However, I could see how it might be intimidating to some, especially those new to exercise. There are also those who feel that always performing multi-joint movements does not allow us to work any one muscle as effectively as we could.
The verdict? Think it will be around for a while. I have seen some fantastic results from CrossFit and though I am still not sure if one could keep up this type of regime over time, it is can be a very effective way to, well, cross train.
I couldn't find the cost on any sites that I visited, so if you are a Crossfitter, I would love your input.
What do you think? Are these just fitness fads or are they here to stay?