STORY BY ELAINE SIR
Sitting is the new smoking. That is the big health headline making the rounds across all media. From our office job to the hour-long commute, our sedentary lifestyle is leading to increased risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. As Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, inventor of the treadmill desk, and author of Get Up!, explained to the Los Angeles Times, “We are sitting ourselves to death.”
So let’s get off our butts, eat better and take control of our health. There are more and easier ways than ever to get healthy, from new workout techniques to the beverage of the moment. Here, a list of the hottest health and fitness trends you need to know.
1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Whether you are a partner at a law firm or a stay-at-home mother of three, time is a rare commodity. HIIT is an exercise strategy where short periods of intense anaerobic exercise are alternated with less intense recovery periods. These workouts, which can last as little as 20 minutes, promote post-workout fat burning, stimulate the body’s production of human growth hormones and reduce the risk for chronic disease. “When doing interval training, try to focus on challenging, full body movements, and crank it up to work at full capacity during your work cycles,” says celebrity trainer Ashley Borden, whose workout DVD, “6 Weeks To Sculpted,” was voted Fitness Magazine‘s top fitness DVD of 2015. “You must give 100 percent of effort during your 20 seconds. It is guaranteed to give you great results with a good post-calorie burn.”
That’s right, that black sooty stuff is the new green juice. Activated charcoal is appearing in our health food stores’ water bottles, juices (like Juice Served Here’s charcoal lemonade) and skin care products. The idea is that it operates like a magnet, cleaning out the body’s impurities.
3. Bodyweight Training
Push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, planks and squats – old-school P.E. moves are making a comeback. This surge in popularity is due to the efficiency and convenience of these moves. Allie Cohen, celebrity trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp, says that bodyweight workouts are a perfect no-excuse regimen because you can do them anywhere. “Squats, burpees, mountain climbers and push-ups are great moves to incorporate into the routine. Try combo moves alternating between two push-ups and six mountain climbers.”
4. Gut and Digestive Health
Gone are the days of calories in, calories out; the term “gut ecology” has entered our vernacular. Today’s modern science is shining light on the importance of digestive health and demonstrating the connection between weight gain and an underlying imbalance in the gut. It is said that a healthy bacterial ecosystem leads to weight loss by allowing the body to absorb fewer calories from food, reducing cravings and storing less fat. Better up your intake of Greek yogurt and kimchi (just maybe not together).
5. Foam Rolling
The layperson is now incorporating the rehabilitative secrets of professional athletes everywhere. Called self-myofascial release, these self-massage exercises incorporate massage balls and foam rollers previously only seen in physical therapy; now, they are making their way into every gym rat’s routine. Borden says the methods deliver an increased metabolic rate, increased flexibility, reduced inflammation, deeper muscle contractions and reduced appearance of cellulite.
6. Bone Broth
This ancient remedy is being touted as the miracle potion to reversing aging, reducing inflammation, detoxing liver pathways and repairing your gut lining. Essentially, it’s a soup made by simmering any animal bone for hours. So while you’re getting your kimchi fix, order up some Korean oxtail soup to go with it.
7. Bulletproof Coffee
This first hit the psyche of subcultural biohackers and fitness enthusiasts five years ago. Now celebrities like Jeremy Piven, Shailene Woodley and members of the L.A. Lakers swear by it. In a nutshell, it’s French press-made coffee mixed with grass-fed butter and coconut oil or MCT oil. A cup of this concoction in the morning is touted to increase mental alertness, drop the pounds, kick-start your metabolism and give you all-day energy. Los Angeles’ Erewhon Natural Foods Market, which also offers organic grass-fed bone broth by the cup, has been serving the beverage for years – look for it to come to a trendy cafeÌ near you.
This story was originally published in our Spring 2015 issue. Get your copy here.