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The Hottest Fitness Trends of 2013—and a Preview of 2014

Exercise trends typically come and go but some fitness fads have real staying power. Here are some of the most popular fitness trends from 2013 and a look at what trends we expect to see more of in 2014:

Cross-fit

The Best of 2013
1.
CrossFit: There’s little doubt that CrossFit dominated the fitness scene in 2013. The number of CrossFit gyms continued to grow exponentially and the numbers of participants registering for that CrossFit Games more than doubled. I predict that CrossFit’s popularity will continue to rise in 2014, despite its (many) critics.


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90 Percent of NBA Players Eat Like Crap; Chris Kaman, Dwight Howard, and Others Clean Up Their Diets

“They don’t care because they’re already built to where they look good. They’re a freak show, they’re ripped, they’re lean and they can jump high, so they don’t care…”

These are the word of Chris Kamen, Los Angeles Lakers player, referring to how nearly 90 percent of NBA players do not eat properly or care about their bodies.

chris kaman

Kamen’s thoughts, along with many other NBA players’, were captured by NBA reporter Ken Berger in a three-part series running on CBS Sports this week. The first article in the series, titled Nutrition in the NBA: Part 1: Lessons Learned in L.A. Help Howard’s Career, closely follows Dwight Howard, former Laker now a Houston Rocket, and many of his former teammates as they undergo a major diet overhaul at the advisement of Dr. Cate Shanahan.

In a nutshell, Dr. Shanahan reports in the article that she watched Howard play in a Lakers’ game last season and while she saw a strong outer shell, what stuck out was how she could compare this professional athlete to a pre-diabetic patient. She said Howard looked like he was wearing oven mitts and she feared he was having a major neurological problem due to sugar intake. Her observations lead to Howard being her prime test subject for a diet change that she believed would improve the entire NBA.
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Fuel Your Kids With Better Sports Practice Snacks

Spring sports are a great way for kids to enjoy the warmer weather and get active. What is not so great are some of the snacks that are provided after practice or a game is done.

Kids do need to refuel after practice, but healthier choices can be made than the snack cakes and soda that are usually made available. Registered dietitian Mary Hartley, our resident nutrition expert, recommends fruit, yogurt, hummus with pita and vegetables, or healthy homemade muffins as wholesome foods that make good after-practice snacks. She warns against soda, candy, chips and other processed foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat. Though eating something after practice is an important step in refueling the body, it shouldn’t take priority over hydration.

After a long practice, it is most important for kids to rehydrate. “Water is fine, but if heavy sweating is an issue, have a sports drink,” said Hartley. She also recommends chocolate milk as a good drink for refueling muscles because of its ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Chocolate milk can also be a good substitute for sugary snacks by providing kids the nutrition they need and satisfying a craving for something sweet.
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Competitive Eating Grows in Popularity, and So Do the Potential Risks

The Olympic torch is still warm as many of us are still caught up in the spirit of the Games. The proof can be seen in retail, where swim, athletic shoe, and sport stores are seeing increased sales. We all have been inspired and want to let our competitive hearts seek greatness, too. But some aspire to greatness in a completely non-athletic, gut-busting way.

One event we didn’t see in London that will doubtfully ever grace an Olympic stage is gaining popularity at high rates in the U.S. That event is the “sport” of competitive eating. The roots of these types of events are nearly as ancient as the original Grecian games. A legend of a 13th century slave defeating the Norse god Loki by eating his plate is the earliest noted eating competition. However, in the U.S., these battles have only grown popular in the last 100 years or so.

NPR reported on their food blog, “The Salt,” that the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island was watched by 40,000 spectators this year. That’s up from about 1,000 viewers 15 years ago. Clearly, we’re intrigued by this gluttonous event many call “sport.” There are TV shows devoted to various food challenges, and many restaurants are creating their own variations to live up to the demand.
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ElectricFoxy’s Super-Charged Garments Zap Your Posture and Workout in to Shape

A dog can be trained to stay inside the perimeter of a fence by wearing an electric shock collar. The moment the dog gets too close to the boundary it will feel a mild current that is intended to teach the dog to stop. With a little bit of discomfort as reinforcement, the dog will learn to stay in the yard.

While people are generally more intelligent than our furry four-legged friends, some still need a little help recognizing the perimeters of their own body awareness.

Electricfoxy is the company behind the high-tech “wearable technology garment” MOVE. The wired tank works in conjunction with a mobile app that saves and tracks progress and patterns of movement. Programmed with four stretch and bend sensors, the MOVE garment, which looks like a flashy space-aged tank top, reads the body’s movements and assesses whether or not they are correct based on the desired outcome. When movements are out of sync with the data entered into the app, the wearer will feel an electric buzzing sensation in the area that needs to be corrected, keeping the body within the preferred parameter.
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