Fitness Fads Throughout History
Written by Allie Castro on Tue Aug 28, 2012
With obesity on the rise for years, thereâs been a large and constant demand for a new and fun way to stay in shape. From people-shaking belts to the shake weight here is a list of our favorite fitness fads.
- Vibrating Belt. Popular in the 1960s, users would loop an elastic belt connected to a machine around their waists, thighs, or love handles, and shake, shake, shake, right into a smaller size. The only problem? This machine did little more than simulate a small earthquake.
- ThighMaster. Touted by spokesperson Suzanne Somers, this popular â90s product claims that with âa few squeezes a dayâ users will âtone, shape and firmâ inner thighs.
- Aerobics. Thanks to such high profile advocates as Jane Fonda, these musical workouts were the thing to do in the â80s. Â Not only did this fad spawn many a book and video tape, it also inspired the leg warmers/neon/leotard look that has now become synonymous with â80s fashion.
- Sweatinâto the Oldies. The famously enthusiastic Richard Simmons developed these workout tapes after spending his childhood and young adult life being obese. Setting them to upbeat songs such as âItâs My Partyâ and âPretty Womanâ, Simmons crafted his workouts so people of all levels of fitness can get involved.
- Tae Bo. A seasoned martial arts veteran, Billy Blanks designed the Tae Bo workouts to include martial arts elements in his high-energy, cardio-intensive workout. Â Unlike some of our other favorite fads, this workout definitely packs a punch. (Pun intended!)
- Toning Shoes. SKECHERS and celebrity promoter Kim Kardashian are to thank for this fad that was never quite proven to be effective. SKECHERS Shape-ups claim to âincrease lower leg muscle activation and increase calorie burnâ just by walking in these shoes.
- Wii Fit workout games. âFun and fitnessâ in one product? Itâs no wonder this trend took over the technology generation. Using the Wii remoteâs motion sensor technology as well as the added tool of a motion-sensing balance board, these games focus on balance, strength training, and aerobics; it even has a trendy yoga training feature. Two particularly cool features are the Feedback and Calories Burned data.
- Shake Weight. Made popular by their seriously amusing infomercials, this 2.5 lb. weight claims to use âdynamic inertiaâ to increase muscle activity by 300 percent more than a standard dumbbell workout. In keeping with its infomercials, its website confidently proclaims, âIf your arms arenât on fire after just six minutes, return the Shake Weight for a 100 percent refund.â