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Exercise Fads

Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2011

I heard about Nia about three years ago. I have been a Nia Teacher for almost two and a half years. Nia has been around since the early 80s, so about 28 years. Jazzercise has been around even longer than that, since 1969—if you can believe that. And Zumba, it has only been around 10 years. All of these dance workouts could have, at one point been considered exercise fads. But they have proven to be here to stay. This is a good thing. They will adjust and change over the years and probably be around for another 28, 42, and 10 years or more. But what about some of the fads?

A lot of exercise fads have been equipment. Do you remember the Thighmaster? The Gazelle sold by that huge guy with long hair (Tony Little)? The Ab -blaster, -rocker, -roller, you name it there was/is an “AB”-something or rather? What about the shake weight? What is up with that?

What about Tae Bo? Still around? Rollerblading? Yes, a lot of these things, these “fads” are still around. But at one point they were HUGELY popular—-seemed like EVERYONE was doing them (whatever the “IN” thing is at the time)–well that is what a fad is. But you know what is kinda cool? Some people continue to do them. So while not everyone you know is out rollerblading there are people who still do it. It is something they enjoy doing. It is how they get their exercise or just relax. There are people who still do Tae Bo. And if not Tae Bo one of the hundreds of other classes like it. Tae Bo might have started it. It was a fad, but it is still going on. Someone somewhere is still doing it.

What I am getting at is unless the fad is actually dangerous or unhealthy they are good.  They get people moving.  Most of the “machines” or equipment won’t actually do what they promise, but some of it can get people moving.  If they are really worth anything they will be proven to be worth it.  If they stay around for any length of time they will also adjust because in order to last they need to change as things change.  We learn new things about exercise and the body all the time so a long-lasting workout or exercise machine/equipment will have to adapt.  But in the mean time a lot of the fads just get people up and moving and that really is a good thing.

Have you bought anything you are brave enough to admit?  Is there a fad that you joined in on, but then really love it so you still do it?

6 Responses to “Exercise Fads”

  1. niachick said

    I used to buy them all when I was younger. I had every piece of ab or muscle building equipment around. It was so silly. In my loft (which is my Nia studio) I have an “ab roller” which sits on the floor unused. It’s actually a nice way to do some ab work, I just don’t do it. In my younger years I also bought every video there was on Yoga, Pilates, Aerobic dancing, etc. They all just sat on the shelves.

    There’s just nothing like Nia as far as I’m concerned for building community, for exercising, for relieving and releasing physical, emotional and mental stress. I’m sure some thought it was a fad when it first started out in the early 80’s. I’m certified to teach Zumba and Yoga. Of those two, I would lean way to the Yoga side. Zumba doesn’t work well for my joints so I don’t teach it nor do I take Zumba classes. I do some Yoga every day — and used to teach for several years. I would never consider Yoga to be a fad — however, some of the break-off Yoga classes — like Aerial Yoga, Dancing Yoga, etc. are what I would liken to fads. Those are not Yoga as far as I’m concerned.
    If you’re moving your body though, that’s a good thing. Through Movement We Find Health — and that would be Nia for me.

    Thanks for your posting!!!


    • I am not so much a “machine” person. I have weights, a body blade, a stabilty ball (which I am sitting on right now), a bosu, and bands I received with DVDs. I use what I buy (except I never really got into the blade).

      I love Nia too, but I also like other things. I would guess that Nia might not have been thought a fad because from what I understand Debbie and Carlos didn’t just walk in their execise classes and say, “This is what we are doing now.” I thought that they added things and tried new things as they went a long. I thought they first took off their shoes and then while they were learning they would bring new stuff into the classes. At least that is how I understand it from reading the book. Maybe a step or a change might have been viewed as a fad. Maybe when they first took off their shoes some thought, “Oh this won’t last.” And then a new element was introduced?

      Yoga as a whole, is not a fad because it has been around for many, many, many years. But just like you said, some of the things that are called Yoga or that have yoga in them might be fads.



  2. Ab roller. I think I used it once. HA.

    I really wanted to get into Boot Camps, but never did. I DID get into the Turbo Jam, but I follow Chalene on Facebook and still LOVE her.

    One of my old workout buddies got in touch with me. She lives down the road from me (now that I’ve moved). I am excited we hope to start going to gym classes and doing workouts again.



    • I think that the ab roller might do something IF people used it. I am not sure because I don’t know that I have tried one.

      “Boot Camps” are funny because I believe they started with a specific idea and now there are so many “boot camps”. Its almost like Yoga. Anything can be called a “boot camp”. I LOVE Turbo Jam. I haven’t do it lately because of my foot but I will get back into it. I LOVE Chalene. I have done my DVDs over and over and over and she still makes me laugh. Yes, I’m a dork, I laugh at the SAME joke on the same DVD that I have watched over and over. She makes me smile. I need to finish my “reviews” of the DVDs I have.

      YAY! It is great to have a workout buddy. Helps keep you on track!

      How is your ankle?


  3. suzicate said

    do you remember that the Gazelle and I are NOT friends?!


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