The year ahead in fitness

Oklahoma marathoner Adam Cohen lists fitness trends for the new year.
BY STEPHEN PRESCOTT AND ADAM COHEN Modified: January 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm •  Published: January 7, 2014

Dr. Prescott's journal

Last week, I offered my prognostications for health and medicine in 2014. But you're the guy who considers heading somewhere to run 26.2 miles a dream vacation. What do you foresee as fitness trends for the new year?

Adam answers

10.CrossFit.

I've never worked out in a “box,” as CrossFit gyms are known to their adherents. But these days, I think I'm the only one who's not taking part in this or other forms of high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) that combine disciplines like weight lifting, gymnastics and endurance training.

9.Live free or die.

Gluten-free. GMO-free. Cruelty-free. Seems as if every food with an eye toward healthy eaters now advertises itself as being rid of some culinary bogeyman that needs to be avoided at all costs. Yet, how do we explain the parallel rise of the maple bacon doughnut (aka the “flying pig”)?

8.Time to dump those vitamins and supplements?

One in two adults takes a daily vitamin pill, and Americans spend tens of billions of dollars each year on supplements. But a December editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine has urged people to “stop wasting money” on vitamin and mineral pills. The rationale? “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.”

7.Goodbye, minimalist shoes.

Sales of Vibram Five Fingers and other minimalist running shoes have plummeted, while traditional fat-soled models have regained market share and then some. A new study now shows fewer injuries in runners using conventional kicks, which boast a healthy amount of cushioning in the midsoles. So it looks like maximal may be the new minimal.

6.Goodbye, trans fats.

In November, the Food and Drug Administration took the first step toward banning trans fats. Created by bubbling hydrogen gas through oils to turn them solid and make them less likely to spoil, these “partially hydrogenated” fats have been linked to heart disease. If the FDA continues down this path, your doughnut (and french fries, cookies and cakes) will get a little bit healthier. Emphasis on “little bit.”



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