But endorphin rush aside, remember when you didn’t move unless it was for entertainment purposes? Back before your high school track coach taught you that running is pain after he chased you for an entire mile around the track throwing footballs at your head until you threw up – all in an effort to decrease your mile time? (True story.) Kids don’t exercise because they are supposed to. They do things because they are fun. Exercise is incidental. We adults seem to have that equation backwards.
Fun Is Not Incidental
After a wave of adult-themed exercise trends a la Carmen Electra’s stripper-robics & Teri Hatcher showing Oprah on national television how firm pole dancing makes your…arms, the newest trends seem to be going a more childlike direction. Less porn, more pogo-sticking. Wow, that came out dirtier than I meant it to sound. How about Less porn, more Parkour? Nope, still dirty. Double dutch? Hula hooping?? Egads I have a dirty mind.
Back to the children. A new wave of fitness products and trends that were formerly considered the strict domain of kiddies have been scaled for a grown-up crowd. Let’s just try not to ruin these by making them about the exercise, okay?
Remember how high you could fly on that little spring-loaded stick? And then remember how lethal the tiniest little pothole could be? Now, forget that second feeling and focus on the first. (Okay worry wart – they have protective gear now. Yeah I know you cherish the skin on your knees. Me too.)
“With obesity rising […], we need ways of exercise that seem like fun but burn a lot of calories in a short period of time,” Nichelle Hubley, a kinesiology student, said in a statement. She added that a pogostick version of dodgeball is a great way to torch calories while still releasing your inner kid.
“In California gyms, pogo has become the latest workout fad.” An instructor told ABC Good Morning America the activity is an all-body experience. So you know if they are doing it in California it has to be good for you. Right?? Besides, pogo sticks + dodge ball = extreme awesomeness.
This new old sport is officially about using only the human body to move efficiently from one place to another. Unofficially, Parkour is all about doing exactly what your parents used to yell at you for and why you didn’t get taken out in public a lot as a kid: climbing all over stuff. Participants wage a guerilla-style campaign on public landmarks and buildings, climbing, jumping, cartwheeling and by-and-large getting to their destination in the most dangerous way possible. It also is a lot of fun. Admit it, every time you pass that big fountain with the waterfall in the atrium of your work, you still have the urge to climb in. That’s what I thought.
Want to see Parkour in action? Just type it in to you tube. Crazies everywhere post their latest and greatest. Be warned though, it is not for the weak of stomach.
You can buy hula hooping fitness videos, weighted specialty hoops and even “hoop gear” to trick out your circle. Even major fitness mags are getting in on the trend with new hoop workouts, like this one from Health.com. If you don’t believe hooping can get your heart rate up (or if you just want to see something really cool), then you have to check out the Cirque du Soleil hoop act.
This one never really went out of style, at least with boxers (and crossfitters!) but except for the occasional double-under, we adults have managed to remove all element of fun from this playground staple. There are amazing things one can do with just a couple of ropes and a bunch of crazy people. (Okay, technically that could encompass a lot more than jump roping but I’m not going there.) Check out this video that showcases the sheer athleticism of the humble rope at all skill levels: