Fad or Trend

Monday February 18, 2013

At a time when most people seem eager to jump on the latest “fitness band-wagon” and new workout fads and complex training systems are popping up by the minute, it can be challenging to sort through it all and find out what really is effective versus what is fluff.

There are many popular fitness trends that need to be challenged.  One should be wary of blindly following the newest fitness fads just because “everyone is doing it,” just as one should be cautious about pursuing an exercise routine simply because “it’s been done that way for years so it must be right.” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/330409-acsm-and-ace-contraindicated-exercises/)

So what is the difference between a Fad and a Trend? According to an article about fitness trends from The American College of Sports Medicine( http://acsm.org/), a trend is described as a “general development or a continuing change in the way people are behaving ” versus a fad described as “a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period”.

As the group fitness coordinator, my responsibility is to offer classes that are safe, fun and effective.  I must remain neutral and not become obsessed with every fitness fad that comes along.

Before we introduce a new program, we always take a look at the research. We assess the class moves according to a “risk vs. benefits” scale, making sure benefits outweigh the risks.  Our commitment is to make sure we do not compromise safety for creativity.  Some activities can be monitored safely one-on-one, but are not appropriate in a larger group setting.

The UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont continuously strives to keep well-informed of the latest research and exercise techniques essential to provide effective and safe group exercise classes.

Written by: Paula Brennan, Group Fitness Coordinator