Tag Archives: trends

No Shoes, No Problem?

Barefoot, minimalist, “born to run” running has become a new trend in the running world… but it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. With Vibram 5 Fingers and New Balance Minimus shoes bombarding the market place, it is easy to think that this footwear is a lighter and more viable option to help you run faster and get stronger. While many runners rave that this is the way our ancestors ran, others rebute, finding running barefoot or in minimalist shoes can lead to serious injuries.

The Greatist (an amazing, science-y health and fitness blog) took a look at what these shoes (or no shoes) can do for your feet, referring to doctors who have studied them over the past few years. I loved the post written by Jordan Shakeshaft on the topic of these minimalist running techniques. Shakesaft not only talked with experts, but also went and tried out barefoot running for herself.

Here are a few takeaways from the post:

  • For some runners, going barefoot can be beneficial, encouraging a “biomechanically-efficient forefoot strike” which builds leg muscle.
  • For other runners who have had injuries in the past, more problems can be caused from taking away the support shoes provide.
  • Start slow and build muscle to train in running sans-shoes. Runners need to practice on different terrains for short increments of time and strengthen the muscles around your feet and calves. This will help prevent injury.

At Your (Sweaty) Service

In fitness-dense cities such as New York and LA, one of the hardest parts of your workout is choosing your workout. There are dozens of studios, schedules, online logins and passwords to keep in the back of your mind and it’s a wonder anyone actually makes it to their workouts.

FITiST is here to change that. Think one-stop shopping for all your workout needs. The founders of FITiST have built relationships with the hottest pilates, cycle, dance, cardio and yoga studios in NYC and LA to create single sign-in packages for FITiST members.

There are “Flex” plan options (5, 1o and 20 packs that you can use at any of the networked studios) or customized “Expert” plans that are customized for marathon cross-trainers, new moms or brides-to-be.

The best part is the simplicity of it all. All studio schedules, sign ups and information are available on FITiST. The packages and studio feedback are compiled by local experts: nutritionists, doctors, personal trainers and semi-professional athletes.FITiST packages and plans definitely don’t come cheap, but what can you expect when you’ve turned Manhattan into your own personal gym?

Even more details in an article posted in the Time Magazine Health & Family section.

Getting in-shape is now in-style

The world of fitness is changing; changing in a fast-paced, house music, neon lights kind of way. The idea of gym memberships, treadmills and trying to find the motivation for another set of crunches is now a thing of the past, as those who want to get fit are looking toward instructor-focused fitness classes and training sessions. These classes, however, are far from a traditional workout. You can now find boutique fitness classes not only focusing on yoga, pilates and indoor cycling, but less traditional forms of exercise, ranging from self-defense to Zumba and even pole dancing. There has also been a boom in “fun runs” around the country, where you can choose to be covered in paint, chased by zombies or taste different beers at every mile. All of these “new-age” forms of exercise promise one thing – you will sweat and you will have fun doing so.

Post-run hues at the Color Run, New England.

Boutique fitness classes are popping up around the country, but they don’t come cheap. Courtney Rubin of the New York Times found that clients will pay $35-$40 per class for a 1-hour boot camp or barre workout. But why? Simply because this is no longer a trip to the gym with your iPod. The moment members walk into a studio, the lights dim, the music blasts and they begin to forget they are even working out.

If the music, light shows and motivating instructors aren’t enough to encourage you to join, celebrity endorsements may do the trick. Vanessa Grigoriadis of Vanity Fair took a look at the “cult-like” following of Soul Cycle, one of New York’s most popular indoor cycling studios. Grigoriadis reported Soul Cycle has a high-profile crew including “die-hard followers such as Chelsea Clinton, J. Crew’s Mickey Drexler [and] Katie ­Holmes”. Lady Gaga reportedly threw her birthday party at one of Soul Cycle’s Hollywood studios and brought two $2200 bikes on her tour.

Southwest Airlines’ Spirit Magazine published their feature article on some of the wildest runs taking place around the country. The story reported that costume-required races and runs that will leave you covered head-to-toe in paint have been drawing in a crowd of people who had never had an interest in running or exercise before – all because they’re a lot of fun.

Through this blog, I hope to look deeper into these boutique fitness classes and studios. What makes them as successful as they are? Who is coming back day after day? And why? I plan to look into the Boston fitness studio culture, as well as those in other major cities across the country and even internationally. There are many advocates of these trends, but also a lot of professionals who disagree with them. I look forward to investigating what health and fitness experts have to say about the safety of some of these classes.