Not only are many of these trends likely to cost you a significant amount of money and time, there’s often very little evidence to show they will improve your health in any way.
So we’ve taken a look at some recent health trends to see which ones are worth holding onto, and which we should leave behind.
1. Ridiculously hard obstacle races
While you’re spending your Sunday morning crawling under the doona, a growing number of fitness freaks are crawling under barbed wire, trudging through mud and even risking electrocution – all in the name of good health.
No longer content to get up at 5:00am and head off for a bike ride or run, these weekend warriors join their mates for a 20-odd kilometre obstacle course that traverses land, water, mud and an adult-sized jungle gym.
But is this really a good idea for Average Joe the office worker?
Carly Ryan, exercise physiologist at Exercise and Sports Science Australia, says for many people this can be a great way to set fitness goals and shake up a sedentary lifestyle. However, she strongly urges you use common sense – as going from zero to 100 too quickly can be a fast track to more than bruised knees and a bruised ego.
“Make sure you’ve been regularly active for at least a few months beforehand and get checked out by your GP,” she urges. “These courses are designed to be a test of everything, so do a mix of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.” That means regularly walking, running, lifting weights, doing group fitness classes and even yoga… you want to be flexible enough to move quickly when crawling through live wires.
The verdict: If you’re already fit, go on and get muddy. If not, start with a weekend walk, ride, run or swim.
2. Activating your nuts
If you haven’t heard about activating almonds this year, you’ve been living under a rock.
Proponents of activated nuts say you need to soak your almonds for 12 to 24 hours and then dry them at a low temperature (in an oven or a food dehydrator) for another 6 to 24 hours. Why, you ask? Almond activators say there are chemicals in nuts called phytates, which help the germination process, and these are anti-nutrients that cause digestive issues and can stop us absorbing minerals from our food. Soaking is supposed to reduce the amount of these phytates and make your nuts more nutritious and easier to digest.