4 weird ways to improve your health and fitness
The search for new ways to get fit is never ending, with fresh fitness crazes creeping onto the scene every week. Some are stranger than others, with some workouts perhaps seeming a little bit pointless at first.
We’ve picked out a quartet that may require some explaining. Though whether these weird workouts have the desired effect is ultimately down to the individual. Give these very different exercises a go and see if they work for you.
Prancercise founder Joanna Rohrback became somewhat of a Youtube star when a video surfaced of her interesting workout in 2013. This is no new-found exercise though; Joanna has been practising prancercise since 1989.
Described as “a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation”, the Florida resident swears that this is the way she has stayed in shape into her senior years. You may get some odd looks in the local park if trying this one out, but if it works for Joanna, some may feel it’s worth a go. Here’s the aforementioned Youtube video that brought prancercise into the public eye four years ago.
We’re carrying on with the animal theme here, with Zuu combining HIIT with the application of movements most associated with various members of the animal kingdom. Originating in Australia, Zuu has made it’s way to these shores recently with a Glasgow-based gym offering up sessions.
If you’re looking to spice up your workout, why not add in a few frog squats or bear crawls into the mix? Throw in a period walking around on your knuckles like a gorilla and this becomes very different from your usual cross training session. Though with a focus on the primal movements of pushing, pulling, bending, twisting and squats, you will certainly know you are exercising!
There are no international boundaries for this exercise. It sounds unbelievably simple, if a little ridiculous, but running backwards actually out-performs running forwards. A study in 2011 suggested that jogging in reverse actually uses up to 30% more energy than going in the ‘right’ direction.
You can also improve your posture, as it is more difficult to slouch or drop your head than when running forwards. As long as you do it well, you can also improve your muscular balance. Herein lies the big thing to remember when running backwards – be careful! Start off slowly, somewhere clear (a local running track, perhaps) and avoid any potential hazards and you’ll soon be wondering why you didn’t live your life in reverse before.
Blue sunglasses (yes, really!)
We have to travel to the Far East to dig out inspiration for this one. While donning a pair of blue sunglasses alone isn’t going to do anything, dieters in Japan have previously turned to shades to help provide a psychological boost in their quest for good health.
The idea is that wearing a pair of sunglasses takes all the colour out of food. This then makes it look dull and to our mind, far less appetising. No more unnecessary snacks and we can go longer when the time comes for our prancercise session. The logic isn’t too crazy, though whether it works for everyone is another thing!
So there we have it, four of the oddest fitness suggestions to hit the mainstream; for when a ‘normal’ workout just isn’t delivering the gains you were after.