This is the age of the “feel good” generation. Feel good about yourself, your career, your appearance, and no less important your health and wellness. One of the fastest growing fads—or trends—in wellness and health are extreme exercise workouts.
Already, consumer sales of exercise videos and DVDs top $300m a year and are growing annually by 8%. A plethora of exercise equipment and apparatus are sold to fitness centers, while fitness-related items for home use include electronic monitoring devices, footwear, gloves, and hydration packs.
The latest trend, extreme exercise, is geared towards achieving a “hard body” and reaching the peak of wellness. It entails sweating, heart pumping, muscle straining maneuvers, and core strength development, according to fitness and wellness gurus.
The hard body workout plan also includes stretching, maximal muscle contraction, and muscle building with heavy weights. Many of these extreme exercise programs recommend drinking or eating their proprietary powders and pill supplements for health maintenance.
Additional examples of extreme exercise workouts include Bokwa, promoted as cardiovascular stimulating, calorie-burning intense workout which is trying to unseat Zumba dancing from its perch. Yoga and “hot yoga” proponents claim they are better than aerobics. There are plyometric push-ups, pole “dancing” for soccer moms, AMRAP workout (as many reps as possible), and CrossFit devil exercise.
In turn, marketers are packaging and selling extreme exercise programs and accompanying nutritional supplements as wellness and healthcare essentials.
Latest Diet and Fitness Trends and Fads
Not every fad in wellness healthcare maintenance is highly intense and body wracking. There are wellness spas offering diet, spirituality, life coaching, and sensible fitness classes for holistic wellness treatment. This market is estimated to generate $94b in revenues from more than 105,000 spas worldwide.
Alexander Plessier, reporting on The Global Wellness Summit (October 17, 2014), claims:
- Wellness tourism is nearly a $500b worldwide market and growing
- Revenues of $50b are generated from wellness tourists at thermal/mineral springs
- Spending on alternative medicine is up 65% since 2010
- Anti-aging spending is a $103t global segment
Dieting Trends: Fasting for Dextoxification
Another recent trend in healthcare and wellness is extreme dieting or “fasting” as a means of detoxification and for the purposes of spiritual and physical wellness. These fasts can last three days, five days, or seven days. They involve voluntary abstinence from food and drink with only the slightest nutritional intake to prevent sickness, hallucinations, or life-threatening organ shutdowns.
A University of Southern California 2014 report claims a three-day fast potentially regenerates the immune system, having stem cells produce new white blood cells that fight off infection. Enzyme PKA (linked to ageing) and a hormone increasing risk for cancer and tumor growth are reduced with prolonged fasting. Health and lifestyle advocates claim a water-only three-day fast under supervision of a physician intensely cleanses the body from toxins emanating from the digestive system and intestines.
Some researchers at the National Institute on Ageing advocate a five-day diet that cuts calorie intake by one-half to one-third of normal, with results expected in biomarkers for slowing the pace of ageing, boosting the immune system, and cutting risk for heart disease and cancer. There are also those who propose seven-day water fasts that require days of preparation and slow return to food intake totaling 11 or 12 days. Some proponents recommend following these fasts with regular enemas to keep the intestines clean.
Health and Wellness in 2015: Living Longer and Healthier