Why We're All Suckers For Fitness Fads

Tae Bo. The vibrating belt. Jane Fonda videos. Who has a Shake Weight in their closet? These fitness fads surged until they didn't. Businesses within the fitness industry compete with one another so they can stand above the rest. According to RunRepeat, revenue in the fitness industry is projected to reach over $434 billion by 2028, and digital fitness apps and fitness trackers are expected to grow by about 33% every year. What makes us hop on the next fitness fad?

According to Vox, fitness is just like any consumer product. Like fashion, fitness fads come and go to meet the demands of consumers to find something new. Although you can find many ways to do cardio or strength training, fitness companies seek to sell a shiny, new way to get you moving. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, a fitness historian and professor at the New School, told Vox that it's all about standing out in a crowded marketplace. "It's not so much a different exercise modality that's being sold to you as much as it is a different way of doing it or a different package," Mehlman Petrzela said.

Fitness fads are about jumping on the bandwagon

According to Adcock Solutions, marketing and advertising use the "bandwagon technique," which leads us to believe that if someone else is doing something, we should, too. This preys upon our fear of missing out and our need to be part of the "in" crowd. We see people jumping onto a new workout or diet on social media, and we want to get in on the movement. Health and wellness writer Rina Raphael toldĀ Vox, "There's no money in telling people to go for a walk, right?"

The Joint Chiropractic tells us that these fitness fads aren't necessarily bad because they can serve to motivate us to get moving. When starting a diet or exercise program, there's something exciting about trying something new. Seeing other people's success makes us believe this new fitness craze is magic. However, many of these trends don't emphasize lifestyle change, so when the 90-day program is over, we go back to our old patterns. Or we get bored with the plan and seek out something fresh. The honeymoon is over, and we look again for something better.

According to Active.com, fitness success comes from exercising daily, eating a healthy diet balanced with your energy needs, getting enough sleep, and staying motivated. The Joint Chiropractic says the fitness basics are much better than any fad.