Exercising is inherently risky. Depending on how fit you are, even exercise as “easy” as walking and jogging can cause discomfort or even injury. However, there are some workouts that are more dangerous than others, and people are always looking to push the human body further and further. There are five dangerous workout trends in particular that can cause serious bodily harm, so before you think about trying any of them, look at the risks.
Hot yoga is literally doing yoga in a room that’s 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is that all that sweating releases toxins from the body (which isn’t 100% true), and the heat increases limb flexibility. While you may feel more flexible because of the heat, you are also at risk for overstretching yourself without feeling it right away. The last risk is that in a room so hot, you could get dehydrated and even suffer from heat stroke. If you start feeling sick or dizzy, leave the room. Also, if the instructor tries to tell you to stay and “work through it,” the instructor is not smart. If you feel too hot, your body is trying to tell you something, so take a break.
Pole dancing as exercise has been very popular for quite a few years now. However, if you are new and still getting used to the routines, you can fall and seriously injure yourself. Injuries include cracked ribs, sprained and broken wrists, and even skin infections from poorly-sterilized poles. If you are considering pole dancing, be sure to get a really good trainer who knows what they’re doing and won’t encourage dangerous risk-taking.
CrossFit is one of the most controversial workout trends. It’s based in high-intensity, fast-paced exercises that switch up daily, so you always have variation and push yourself physically. The worst stories talk about extreme dehydration, broken bones, serious strains, and more. However, the dangers of CrossFit seem to be rooted less in the actual exercises, and more in the trainers. Pretty much anyone with a weekend and $1000 can become a CrossFit trainer, so if that person has a “pain is good” mentality and pushes their clients too hard, CrossFit is extremely dangerous.
Barefoot running is running without shoes or just minimalist footwear meant to simulate no shoes. A study looked at 36 experienced runners over 10 weeks. Half ran with regular shoes while the rest used minimalist running shoes. The runners who used the minimalist shoes had more foot inflammation and more stress injuries, like bone fractures. These type of injuries can prevent a runner from working out for weeks or even months if the injury is bad enough. The biggest issue is when runners transition too quickly so if you consider barefoot running, be sure to consult as many authorities as possible, like a fitness expert and doctor.