Staying healthy and in tip top fitness is a priority for many, but as humans we still have a need to try something adventurous and new every now and then. Tried and tested ways of getting fit and staying healthy don’t always appeal to everybody – especially those who simply don’t want to put in the time and effort. And then there are full-blown diseases for which any cure or treatment could be considered. Here are some of the strangest ideas in the health and fitness sector:
In science fiction writing, ions are one of those genuine pieces of science that is brought in to beef up anything scientific sounding. “How does it work? Oh, Ions”. Meanwhile in the real world, we’re a lot more sceptical about unproved science than we used to be (though perhaps not nearly enough). So can you get away with putting scientific words into a product name and trying to profit of it?
The FTC didn’t seem to think so, bringing Q-Ray, the most well known of the ‘Ionized bracelet’ manufacturers to court over claims that it gave relief from pain and arthritis. The court found that the positive effects were no greater than the placebo effect and that claims of links to traditional Chinese medicine were just exploitative marketing talk.
What list of bizarre health and fitness fads would be complete without an entry for Shake Weight, a phenomenon so strange that many readers will think that I’ve mistaken a South Park episode for reality (and perhaps it wouldn’t be the first time). But no, these vibrating dumbbells are a genuine fitness innovation designed to increase muscle activity by the use of ‘Dynamic Inertia’. In essence, they’re simply an application of the same principles as vibration plate technology. But the infomercials are still bizarre.
Stationary exercise bikes have been a mainstay of the Gym (and home gym) for years – they offer effective, accessible exercise indoors and without a lot of fuss. Spinning provides a more intense version with a flywheel specifically weighted to emulate (variable) road conditions. But well aware that things are better under the sea, someone had the bright idea of putting the bikes underwater. Water obviously offers far greater resistance so it gives you a good workout.
Far more bizarre is the idea of underwater scuba-cycling, which probably takes the idea a little too far. Judge for yourself in the following video:
Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. So perhaps whatever could kill you, but doesn’t, could make you into some kind of superman? Perhaps thinking along these lines (and remembering that Peter Parker became Spiderman by being bitten by a radioactive spider), Henry Heimlich created Malariotherapy, wherein patients are treated by having them contract Malaria. You know, the disease that kills about 780,000 people a year. This particular fire has been advocated for use in the fight against several even worse sounding fires: cancer, Lyme disease and HIV.
And yes, Henry Heimlich is the creator of the Heimlich manoeuvre. Does that make his Malariotherapy idea sound any less bizarre? No. The Institutional review board have not overseen any of the Heimlich institute’s experiments into Malaria treatment on HIV subjects and two separate studies into co-infection suggest that HIV could spread more quickly when in combination with Malaria.
Steph Wood writes for JTX Fitness who provide Cheap Treadmills to the UK market.
- Exercise Variety Is The Key To Being Super Fit (freeacaiberry.org)
- Sports Carnival Ecstasy – October 13, 2011 (efilmroom.com)
Bizarre Fitness Fads and Full-blown Cures by Steve