Four unfortunate fitness trends that will continue in 2012

Welcome to 2012 and all it has to offer, including the garbage. What garbage is that? Well, the stuff that promises to help you be healthy, lose weight, get fit, etc. — but doesn’t deliver.

James Fell 0

Masterfile

Welcome to 2012 and all it has to offer, including the garbage. What garbage is that? Well, the stuff that promises to help you be healthy, lose weight, get fit, etc. — but doesn’t deliver. Snake oil has been around for generations and shows few signs of going away. Here are some unfortunate trends in fitness that will likely continue for 2012.

1. Abdominal-focused devices

There have been a lot of these. Without even resorting to Google there is battery-operated belts that electro-shock your abs, something called the Ab Circle Pro that looks like herniated lumbar discs waiting to happen, ab rollers and rockers, and even creams you smear on your abs to make them stand out. Just two months ago I saw a commercial for a ridiculous-looking product called the T-Core.

These things come onto the scene, millions are sold, they go away and then are rapidly replaced with something equally a waste of time. Look out for the new onslaught of useless ab products this year, coming soon to an infomercial near you.

2. Other products that do nothing

Remember the Shake Weight, the calorie-burning underwear or the rocker shoes? We have not seen the end of them. If it sounds too good to be true, remember, it is.

3. Pills and powders

There is a book by celebrated skeptic Michael Shermer called Why People Believe Weird Things and he explains that many people believe outlandish claims because we find it comforting and consoling. We think weight loss can be achieved via some pill or powder because the alternative is lots of exercise and caloric restriction, which don’t sound nearly as much fun.

Expect to see more of this and expect it to work just as well as past products. Or in other words, it won’t work at all.

4. Weight loss reality TV/game shows

Names are being withheld to protect the guilty. You know the big one that has many knock-offs. I hate these types of shows because they set a bad example. They reveal precisely the approach not to take for weight loss, health and fitness. Having someone yell at you to stay on the treadmill until you vomit or die is not the answer to getting healthy.

These shows develop a toxic mindset of exercise and healthy eating as a punishment to be endured to achieve a desired end. There is one exception I know of, and that is X-Weighted, which is in re-runs. X-Weighted was good because it actually did focus on finding exercise that people liked and it offered practical and safe advice. I also admire the show’s trainer Paul Plakas. I’ve interviewed him twice and can attest that the man knows his stuff.  

If you want to learn about a better approach to take towards fitness for 2012, read my latest LA Times column.

Get your free metabolism report at www.bodyforwife.com

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