By Lacy J. Hansen for DietsInReview.com
Every year brings its fads and trends to the health world and 2011 was no exception. It’s possible that 2011 was dedicated to the over-scheduled, yet highly educated. Good solid fitness and diet information was more accessible than ever, and the ever-present excuse of being too busy for exercise was hard to use thanks to all the options that were available. Before 2012 brings its new trends, here’s a look back at some of the hot health topics of 2011.
Gluten-Free Diets were no longer an obscurity of health food stores. 2011 brought the mass labeling of major food brands’ products. Walking the cereal aisle and reading “gluten free” is now a common sight. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance affects more than three million people and is a disorder that has received much more understanding this year. The disease or intolerance affects the digestive process due to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and has afflicted many for a long time. Due to more research and mass publicity, living on a gluten-free diet was easier than ever in 2011.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) robbed many of excuses in 2011. It became possible to get intense and effective workouts this year in as little as 20 minutes. With programs such as P90X, Insanity, Jillian Michaels, and the new PINK Method many people were reaching their goals. HIIT focuses on a quick burst of intense exercise followed by brief periods of recovery. These brief series of exercises often replace the typical hour of cardio and weights in a traditional gym. Many found that in about 20 minutes they could get a fantastic workout and burn lots of calories. Twenty minutes in your living room verses an hour at the gym is hard to combat with excuses.
Health and Fitness Apps helped so many achieve their goals in 2011. Perhaps it was the year of the smart phone as it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t have a computer right in their pocket. While they’re useful for checking Twitter and Facebook, they also became an alternative to nutritionists and personal trainers this year. With countless fitness apps that can track your workouts and a plethora of apps that can track your calories and nutrition we all became much more informed.
Alternative Diets allowed us to accept no excuses in 2011. This year the public made it clear we want to know what we’re eating. We want to know where it came from and what process it went through before it was served to us and our children. As a result, many were frustrated with the over-processing our food goes through and began their unique journeys on raw diets, juicing diets, vegan diets, and the Paleo diet, or caveman diet.
As the public learned of many food and product recalls such as ground turkey, melon, and even Tylenol, a rise in more local consumption resulted. If the processing plant, or the middle man, is skipped there is less question about where our food came from. Farmers markets, and local farms saw a spike in popularity for products such as produce, meat, and eggs.
2011 was a busy year, but it seems we found a way to still make the best of our health. Information was literally at our fingertips along with effective resources. Here’s to 2012 breaking down even more health barriers and being our happiest and healthiest yet!