I know I've heard a lot about Wii Fit this year, and I've seen enough about acai berries to make me turn purple. So now it's official, here are the 10 hottest health trends you've been seeing or will see soon from Redbookmag.com.
Wii Fit. With the help of Nintendo, you can get in shape in your living room during naptime. It's been a hot idea, so hot, that it's still hard to find Wii Fit in stock several weeks after Christmas. Stay tuned, though, we'll be giving away a Wii Fit soon in Healthy Living.
Shoes that multi-task. Workout shoes like FitFlop claim to tone muscles and reduce cellulite with every step. (Don't know if I buy it, but it sure sounds good.) Fitflops have sold more than 1 million pairs since 2007, and women say they have better-shaped calves.
Superfruits. Acai berries may keep cancer away, improve heart health and slow aging. Other popular berries are gogi berries and pomegranates. Look for more this year in juices, teas and even candy. Experts say that whole fruits are usually better than juices, so stick to those over processed products no matter the health claims.
Food Outlaws. It's not illegal to eat Outback's 1,580-calorie Bloomin' Onion, but the Outback must tell you how unhealthy it is. Or they're breaking the law. Last year, New York City became the first to require chain restaurants to post calorie info on their menus. California followed suit in September. We can expect even more legislation banning trans fats or at least requiring companies to tell us what is in our foods.
Skip salt. Salt may become the new sugar, meaning it may be the ingredient to avoid. With food companies limiting sugar and trans fat in their products, they may be moving to salt for flavor. But it's just as harmful. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Expect to hear more.
Health records on the internet. Storing medical records on the internet is more convenient than keeping them in files. That's where Google Health comes in. It's an online database that holds all of our files, drug interactions, appointment reminders. There will be more services like this one: Microsoft's HealthVault and Revolution Health. It's like online banking for our bodies, privacy issues included.
Vaginal workouts. Have you done your Kegels? Vaginal fitness, including tightening of the pelvic muscles like with Kegels--is a new kind of exercise goal. In New York City, you can take Kegel classes at a Manhattan spa called Phit. Or you can do them for free: First, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds. (To get the move down, try stopping your urine flow when you're peeing. That's the feeling you should have.) Then release them. Do this 10 times, then repeat.
DNA diets. Nutrogenomics--the concept of using your genetic makeup to decide which diet plan is best for you--is the hot topic amoung nutritionists. Some scientists believe that chemicals found in our foods can affect our health by changing how our DNA works. Using family history and genetic testing, nutrogenomics could identify which diseases we may be predisposed to, such as diabetes or heart disease, and teach us how to use food to prevent them. "Most people wait until they develop a problem before they do something about it," says Taub-Dix. "Nutrogenomics will help us predict early on which problems you may encounter later on and take every step to keep them from happening." Wacky.
Bike nation. Cash-strapped drivers started biking last summer when gasoline hit $4 per gallon. In Fairfax County, Va., for example, there's been a 160 percent increase in cycling even though gas prices are back down. Bike-sharing programs — in which communal bicycles are made available for riders to borrow for a fee — are popping up in places like Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C., and are expected to hit at least five more cities this year.
Detoxing. Ever since Oprah did a 21-day cleanse last year, women have been lining up for detox diets that rid the body of toxins and help you lose weight. Oprah's diet cut out caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten and animal products. But there are even more intense detoxes, like the Master Cleanse. There may be more on the way, though nutritionists generall say they are unhealthy.
I'm definitely interested in detoxing, and I'm also watching my salt. What are your favorite health tips lately?