There seems to be a new fitness craze that sweeps gyms and exercise classes across the world annually as people look for more creative ways to get fit. But, what are some of the strangest fitness fads that we’ve seen over the past decade?
A fairly recent fitness fad – it made its way into our lives at the start of 2018, and some people haven’t looked back since. It’s a Scandinavian based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.
The unusual term ‘plogging’ comes from the word jogging and the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’ which means pick up. The exercise part comes from running with intermittent squatting and lunging so you can pick up rubbish from the ground. It is an effective calorie burner too — fitness app Lifesum estimates that a typical user will burn 288 calories from 30 minutes of plogging.
This new fitness trend is also making its way onto social media platforms too — with people showing images of themselves in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?
It’s nothing new that high-heels are known to help shape posture but working out in them is a relatively new form of exercise. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.
By performing all the usual exercises of a normal workout such as lunging, squatting and lifting small weights while wearing high-heels, balance can also be improved. It hasn’t been fully determined whether wearing high-heels for a workout can result in weight loss, but it can help you learn how to walk better in them.
Jogging without shoes
In 2010, an unorthodox trend came along that saw runners trading in their running shoes for a form of running ‘sock’.
The individuals who are in support of the pattern say that running in trainers or running shoes can make you more inclined to sustain injury as it encourages running with unnatural form. It’s also said that running barefoot strengthens the tiny muscles found in feet, ankles and legs which can also reduce the risk of injury.
Although some people still practise the art of running without shoes, it is somewhat of a dying art. Experts have said that switching to barefoot running without properly transitioning makes you prone to injuries. Only try this one if you’re willing to practise walking barefoot before running.
The FitWet bike is a unique piece of kit that blends an exercise bike with a personal hot tub with hydrotherapy jets. It’s no shock that submerged workouts are of added benefit than normal routines and this is no exception. Cycling whilst relaxing your muscles is surely a more pleasant way to burn off those extra calories!
Americans aren’t shy from introducing new exercise art forms, and so with many weird and wonderful fitness classes, the trend of ‘hot barre’ first took off in New York and Los Angeles.
It involves combining classical ballet moves in a room heated to 40 degrees and it took off around 2015. Advocates of the fad say that hot barre encourages you to gain a deeper stretch while helping you release toxins and feel detoxed. Then, as the body has to work hard to cool itself down, you can expect your metabolism to boost and number of burnt calories to increase.
Over the last few years there has been a rising trend in healthier eating, as consumers become more educated about nutrition and look at what they are eating to fuel their bodies. During this time there has been a big rise in those who now class themselves as flexitarians (those who are predominately vegetarian, but will occasionally eat meat), while those switching to standard vegetarian diets has also risen.
However, the biggest growth seems to be those adopting a vegan diet, which has seen a 700% rise in the UK alone over the past year and has no signs of slowing as consumers move away from animal products completely.
Protein is an important nutrient for the body and are a key building block for body tissue. Protein can also serve as fuel and is especially adept in the growth of muscles. This has been well known for decades in the fitness industry and is why protein powders are the most popular form of sports supplements today. Taking protein powder after training or working out can help you to recover faster, grow muscles and serve as a fuel source for the body.
Because of the move away from animal products to plant based products, nutritional supplement manufacturers are now offering a range of plant based protein alternatives for those who want to train, workout and gain muscle without consuming animal products.
Can I build muscle on a plant based diet?
In short yes, you can build bigger muscles, at the same rate as people who are eating animal products on a plant based diet, however it does take a bit of preparation and planning to get right. Research is key to maintaining and growing muscle while consuming only plant based food, but as you learn what foods provide the right nutrients and vitamins it will become second nature.
Here are some tips for those looking to transition to a plant based diet:
The number one factor to consider is whether you are getting enough calories. Whether you are bulking up or losing weight, making sure that you are consuming the right amount of calories is key to reaching your goal.
Because plants usually contain lower calories than animal products it is important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Not only will a good mixture of fruit and veg provide your body with a variety of vitamins, it will also provide antioxidants to help keep your immune system strong.
Legumes are a great source of protein and eating a range of soy, beans and peas alongside grains such as buckwheat, rice and quinoa helps to ensure that you get the essential amino acids your body needs.
Make your plates colourful. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make your meals as colourful as possible. A mixture of natural greens such as broccoli and kale, reds from tomatoes and peppers and yellows from sweetcorn and beans complement each other perfectly and provide a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats for your body to use.
Nuts are a great source of fat and are proven to provide a long lasting form of energy just when you need it. Eat a handful of nuts before your workout to boost your calories and provide energy, or sprinkle some onto your breakfast to keep you going till lunch.
Depending on your goals, your lifestyle and your diet in general you may want to look into supplements to complement your plant based diet. Tracking what you eat on an app or website will give you a good insight into the vitamins and nutrients that you may be lacking, meaning that you can add more into your diet. Many nutritional supplement manufacturers now offer plant based proteins, BCAA’s and multi-vitamins to help you reach your nutritional targets.
Leading the way in plant based sports nutrition
Scitec Nutrition is one of the leading global brands of sports nutrition supplements with over 20 years of experience of aiding elite athletes and bodybuilders to reach their goals. Through its ongoing development in the sports nutrition sector, Scitec Nutrition has created a range of plant based supplements ideal for those looking to move away from traditional dairy based products.
Scitec Nutrition’s 100% Plant Protein is specially formulated to promote lean muscle growth while aiding recovery. Made from Pisane Pea Protein Isolate, it is proven to have a high absorption rate, as well as being comparable to whey protein in its branched-chain amino acid content.
Scitec Nutrition’s 100% Plant Protein is GMO free, dairy free, lactose free and gluten free, making it an ideal solution for those who are looking for a whey alternative protein source to add to their diet and workout routine.
Another plant based product from Sitec Nutrition is its Vita Greens & Fruits range. We all know about getting your 5 a day, but this can be hard especially for those with busy lifestyles who eat on the go. Vita Greens & Fruits contains a blend of 37 natural ingredients that provide key vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C which aids the nervous system, Vitamin D to maintain skeletal calcium balance and Zinc to help boost the immune system.
Sitec Nutrition Vita Greens & Fruits is an ideal supplement for those who struggle to get their 5 a day or are looking to add more nutrients and vitamins to their existing diet.
As with any training or diet regime, having a healthy, balanced diet is key to performing well and recovering faster. These supplements are designed to help you reach your goals, but are not intended as a sole source of nutrition.