I admit it, I love top 10 lists! And, as this decade draws to a close, I especially love top 10’s of the decade.
The 2000’s certainly had a nice blend of the progressive, the questionable and of course the utterly ridiculous. The 2000’s could be defined as the decade where we waffled over carbs, incorporated technology and took exercise and dieting to new extremes.
So, here are the trends and a brief commentary on each one:1. Low Carb Diets:
It was an up-and-down decade for the low carb proponents, with Dr. Atkins making a comeback in the earlier part of the decade. In 2004, low carb diets began to wane in popularity, with low carb stores and products eventually taking a tumble, and Atkin’s Nutritionals declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy (only to re-emerge shortly thereafter).
Low carb did manage to get some more legitimacy in the scientific community, shunning its image as “dangerous,” and in the process continues to enjoy a very strong following that won’t disappear anytime soon.
Most of the science, however still points towards calories as being the most prominent factor in weight regulation.
2. Technology (web-based and other applications):
Technology has permeated every facet of our lives, with health, fitness and nutrition being no exception. Some of the more prominent trends of technology include forums and support groups from Sparkpeople to Fit Day to millions of other forums where people can share experiences, tips and
post annoying spam products.
- Fitness applications such as ipump and ifitness.
- GPS technology, an add-on to the now-archaic heart rate monitors.
- Metabolic sensor devices such as GoWear fit, Sensewear and Bodybugg, which track your basal metabolic rate and your caloric requirements.
- Pedometers, a less technological and much cheaper offering became a popular tool for tracking activity.
3. Video Game-Based Activity:
This was the decade that the video game industry saw a massive opportunity in activity-based gaming.
Nintendo’s Wii were the frontrunners in the fitness-based gaming, with their standard wii Sports and Wii Fit. Dance Dance Revolution was fun and as a side benefit, many lost weight while playing it. Games have since become more user-friendly and sophisticated.
4. Dance-Based Fitness:
A few years back, striptease and pole dancing classes starting to spring up in commercial gyms and private studios alike. Less-risque dance-based classes such as Zumba, and reality TV shows such as Dancing With the Stars and Dance Your Ass Off also helped spark the trend.
5. Exercise Gadgets:
There are always a ton of new gadgets that enter the marketplace. Most of them range in quality from mediocre, to a couple of steps below utter crap.
Some of the better gadgets include:
— TRX suspension system. This one is a little more cash, but it is VERY versatile and can be very effective.
— Kettlebells. This tool actually pre-dates the dumbbell, but only experienced a surge in popularity this decade. Its different casting provides an option to perform certain exercises more effectively than with a dumbbell.
Some of the less desirable are as follows:
— Just about any abdominal machine/gadget.
— Shake weight.
And, then there’s the “good-under-the-right-circumstances-but-overused” category:
— Stability balls.
— Balance implements (balance boards, discs, BOSU’s, Bongo boards).
— Ballast balls
7. Moderate Carb Diets:
Where many people couldn’t stick with Atkins, moderate carb diets such as South Beach began to surface in 2003. Other moderate carb diets such as the Sonoma Diet and diets based on the glycemic index would also fall into this category. Again, these diets also happen to be lower in calories.
While there was extreme dieting there was also extreme fitness. CrossFit gained a cult-like allegiance by many across the globe who swear by the methods.
Like any trend there are good things about it, namely it takes the typical gym elements out and focuses on big lifts, full body movements and incorporates gymnastics and other body weight exercises.
Unfortunately, CrossFit certification is flimsy at best with coaches not expected to have any knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and movement screening. The result is a certification mill that has (in many cases) inadequately qualified coaches putting people through high-risk exercises. While the lay public praise their system, their methods remain under scrutiny from reputable strength and conditioning coaches, and rehab specialists.
9. Boot Camp Style Workouts:
With personal training out of the financial reach for many and extreme workouts in vogue (read above), hundreds of thousands of people are turning to boot camp style workouts to fulfill their fitness goals. This trend picked up steam in the second half of this decade and shows no signs of slowing down as we enter the ’10’s.
10. Mind-body Exercise:
The tandem of Yoga and Pilates, and various combinations thereof continue to calm, stretch and “posture-ize” millions across the world. These styles of exercise can be great complements to strength training and targeted mobility (but should never replace them).
Which trends do you think were good? Bad? Neutral? Anything else you think should be on the list?