What’s What in Health for 2014

Written by Alex Bruce-Smith, Co-Founder & Editor of Social Sneaker

Show me a person who hasn’t proclaimed – usually in the throes of an awful hangover – that they’re turning over a new leaf and getting back into the fitness game, and I’ll show you a liar.

Let’s face it: we’ve all been there. If our health and fitness goals were reached purely by our Sunday-night proclamations and jotting things down on a to-do list, then Michelle Bridges and the rest of the industry could call it a day.

I’m currently at that tipping point between my second chocolate of the morning, and eating kale between yoga classes. It’s usually around here I reach a brick wall of new superfoods and in-the-bizz lingo, because there’s nothing people like more than a health fad.

Because I am a kind soul, but mostly because I’m constantly baffled by the next big trend in the health industry, I’ve decided to jot down some notes for you. Just in case.

Xtend Barre. A cross between ballet and Pilates, this is a fancy-pants workout. You’re in a well-lit studio wearing socks instead of trainers and doing pliés at a barre. You might feel silly because this isn’t Centre Stage, but it’s fantastic for your gluteus maximus.

Fermented foods. The latest trend in healthy eating, because foodstuffs like kimchi and kombucha are great for your gut bacteria. (How’s that for an appetising sentence?) Get some natural probiotics into you by looking out for the dishes with a little sauerkraut on the side, or head to your local Korean joint.

CrossFit. A workout invented by demons who want to see even those at their physical peak suffer like the scum they are. I’m kidding. Sort of. My trainer comes back completely knackered from CrossFit, so do not enter into it lightly. Imagine doing burpees for twenty solid minutes, and you’re somewhere close.

Coconut water cocktails. It’s true. Coconut water has entered the mainstream. What you might not know is that at this very minute a bartender is probably mixing a coconut water cocktail. As coconut water is a great source of potassium and will keep you hydrated, it helps combat the subsequent hangover. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

Oil pulling. Putting a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swishing it around for 20 minutes is supposed to do all sorts of amazing things, like improve your complexion, boost your immune system, reduce your risk of diabetes, and cure your hangover (because nothing helps my hangover like a spoonful of gloop first thing in the morning). Dentists say you can have the same effect from flossing for twenty minutes, so it’s up to you.

Workout gear as everyday wear. Have you noticed an increase of people sporting (‘scuse the pun) three-quarter leggings and sports bras to work, preferably with a high-intensity fabric singlet over the top? No, they haven’t just come back from a run. They’re exercising at some point in the day for a solid thirty minutes, but will wear their gear for up to eight hours beforehand. I’m a big fan of this, for three reasons: 1) I want the most use possible out of the fitness gear I spend money on, 2) it’s comfy as all hell and 3) even a trip to the office kitchen feels like a warm-up when you’re in a sports bra. What’s that about incidental exercise, hmmm?




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