There have been a ton of fitness trends exploding on to the scene lately. I have been into fitness for a long time but I feel like it’s become more trendy lately to be “fit”, especially with the social acceptability of yoga pants as streetwear. Finally! We’ve been rocking that trend in Vancouver for years, but back then it was just known as the “lazy” look.
As someone who started hitting the gym in high school, working out is as much of a daily ritual as drinking coffee. I have tried many things and thankfully I’ve learned what works for me. I know how to alter my diet or workouts to meet different goals depending on the time of year or situation, and my runners go everywhere with me.
So, I feel like I have something useful to say about the latest fitness trends and I always pay attention to what’s in the news. Since they are usually things that have been around forever but are just getting hyped now, I’ve probably given them a try. Here is my opinion on three of the latest and greatest:
Juicing and Juice Detoxes
The hype: People love the idea of juicing to eliminate “toxins”. We’ve all read the pro and con articles in fitness magazines, where a doctor and a dietitian face off about juice fasts. There is a great WSJ article here which highlights the fact that no one has ever been able to identify those toxins that juicing supposedly gets rid of.
Opinion of a fit girl: I’m a member of the camp who believes a super clean diet is all you need to “detox” – low on added sugar, chemicals, and processed food. However, if a juice fast helps someone who struggles to eat healthy get into fruit and veggies, I’m all for it. I have personally never found a juice fast to be a useful part of my fit lifestyle, or useful contributor to maintaining a lean physique.
Personally, I love the taste of juice and I could drink it non-stop. But I prefer to get my calories from whole, healthy food and I like the full feeling that fiber gives me. Due to the concentrated nature of juice and lack of fiber, it’s usually high calorie and not filling. Suja, my favorite juice brand, just came out with Suja Essentials Uber Greens which has only 50 calories. At this caloric level, the juice compliments a meal versus being a meal in itself!
The hype: A wearable tracks how many calories you burn throughout the day my monitoring your movement, body heat, and more. As some of you may know, I did a post a while back about my experience testing out the most accurate fitness tracker (according to studies) which had surprising results.
Opinion of a fit girl: I believe fitness trackers are essential tools for people who don’t workout regularly and who rely on daily steps to get enough activity. For fit people, I think they are a fun accessory but should not act as a distraction from a well planned fitness routine, or turn into an obsessive numbers game. Based on the experience with fitness tracker accuracy that I posted about, I think that everyone should use fitness tracker results only as a guideline and not as an excuse to eat more calories.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – Resistance Training
The hype: HIIT resistance training is similar to HIIT cardio in that you move from one resistance exercise to the other in a circuit with a small break in between rounds, elevating your heart rate and creating an effect similar to cardio. The fat burning and muscle building effects of HIIT have been well studied and documented. Google will pull up a ton of results.
Opinion of a Fit Girl: I feel there is a place in every workout routine for HIIT resistance once or twice a week. I find that this type of exercise builds muscle for me extremely quickly, but it can also be strenuous on the body. I have also found that there is no better trick to losing body fat than steady state cardio, so I will never remove that from my routine despite the fact HIIT fanatics will tell you it isn’t necessary. Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide is a great example of workout plan with a combination between HIIT and steady state exercise, and her routine seems to be effective for thousands of women.
Let me know if you agree, disagree, or have had a different experience with any of these trends in the comments section!
I have many more of fitness trends I’d like to give some thoughts on, but I’ll save that for the next one! Happy Monday everyone, and remember to smile.