Popular fitness trends leave long-term health problems

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Staying fit is often a battle about which many college students are pressured to worry. As a result, one might turn to trending fads that can actually do more harm than good.

Fitness fads include popularized ways of achieving weight goals, including weight-loss pills, waist trainers, juice cleanses, extreme carb cutting and more. The problem is that following these trendy fads can produce harmful side effect.

Many people turn to weight loss pills in the hope that they will simply solve all their problems. Nevertheless, weight loss pills have been known to contain harmful chemicals and increase risk of heart problems and strokes.

Weight-loss pills provide short-term results and people end up wasting money on something that can be harmful.

Aaron Logerstedt, personal trainer at the CBU Recreation Center, said some weight-loss pills can work specifically for people with diabetes or other prescription-based health problems.

“The majority of weight-loss pills are just hype and marketing fads,” Logerstedt said. “Most of them are thermogenic-based, which basically means you sweat more, giving the illusion that more calories and fat are being burned.

Waist trainers, which have been popularized by celebrities in recent years,  are basically modern-day corsets but people are actually wearing them to workout and achieve a specific body image.

Waist trainers can be harmful to organs and cause permanent damage because the human body is not designed to be squeezed and molded into different shapes.

Wearing a waist trainer can also limit the flow of oxygen and blood within the body, resulting in difficulty breathing and fatigue or dizziness. This method of losing weight is unhealthy and can cause serious long-term problems for the body.

Juice cleansing, another popular trend, refers to a week-long process of substituting meals for health juices. These cleanses are designed to detox and flush out the body.

However, Logerstedt said cleansing has side effects of which people should be aware.

“It can cause your body to form oxalate, which is an organic acid found in many plants and if consumed in large quantities can be damaging to the kidneys,” Logerstedt said.

Some resort to extreme carb-cutting to lose weight and maintain a fit body image.

Jazmin Oseguera, sophomore biology major, said fitness trends like this can have negative effects.

“Diets like extreme carb-cutting will make you become tired, fatigued, and you will have headaches because you are depriving your body of the nutrients that will provide you long-term storage and energy,” Oseguera said.

“Finding a long–term fitness plan should be personal and something that works for your mind, body and soul so your journey through this area of your life can be healthy and last a lifetime.”

Lia Mayerski, junior public health major, said people often resort to popular fitness trends as a quick fix to their problems.

“I want to know all the facts before I try something like what are some of the ingredients, what are the long-term benefits, what are the long-term consequences,” Mayerski said. 

Fitness trends often only portray the short-term benefits as opposed to the long-term side effects. 

People should look closely at the pros and cons before being persuaded by the delight of instant gratification as this could be harmful to one’s health later.

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