By Justin Thomas

As we enter the New Year, almost everyone’s annual resolution is to get in better shape. In the internet crazed world we live in today, social media is a way that many of us get all sorts of information. So it’s no surprise many people take to social media for fitness tips and #Bodygoals.I t’s a true sign of the times in realizing how much social media affects the day-to-day life of everyday people. Luckily, trends are only here today and gone tomorrow as some of social media’s biggest claims to fame are silly at best. Not to be confused, social media and the internet at large are great innovative tools when we use them appropriately. Social media is also the common thread in many of these trends we’re shaking off this New Year.

Here are some of 2016’s failed fitness trends to steer clear of in 2017:

1. Fitness teas:  If you’re one of those who finds yourself spending time scrolling through Instagram, it’s safe to say that you’ve seen pictures of some of your favorite celebrities or Instafamous bloggers posed strategically with a cup of tea. No doubt you’ve thought to yourself, “What’s the big deal about this tea?”. Turns out, the answer is nothing! The celebrity endorsement fitness tea ploy was a marketing goldmine. These fitness teas promise to promote fat burn, weight loss, and to get rid of stubborn belly fat. Here are the facts. According to Health.com, you’re actually only losing water weight from drinking the tea. The way it works is the tea filters out the excess salt in your body allowing retained water to be flushed out which then makes your stomach appear less bloated. Subsequently the more tea (water) you intake, the more your stomach feels full and so it’s expected that you’re eating a lot less. Many of the teas often come with many unwanted side effects. And if you thought this meant you could cut down on the cardio, but think again! Many of the teas clearly mention on the labels that exercise is still necessary to see results.

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2. Waist trainers: Squeezing into corsets with literal bated breath isn’t anything new. Since the 19th century, women have been essentially “waist training” their bodies with tight lace-up corsets in hopes of having that “perfect” feminine curvature to their bodies. Now due in large part to social media, the trend is bigger than ever. Marketing, marketing, marketing! Waist trainer brands have teamed up with countless celebrities like Kim Kardashian and sister Kylie Jenner to have them sport (endorse) their waist trainers on Instagram as a way of helping sculpt their hourglass shapes. The idea is to progressively wear the corset enough hours to permanently take inches off your waist matching that of the corset. Some waist trainers even promise to help drop a few lbs. The flaw in this concept is that, according to Dr. Oz, “There is no clinical proof that this is effective or beneficial to a woman, and in fact, it may be harmful to a woman’s body over time.” Scary, right? It gets worse! “As a corset squeezes a woman’s outsides, it is also squeezing the insides. If the lungs are prevented from properly expanding, it can increase risk of pneumonia. As the stomach and colon are prevented from moving its contents, heartburn and chronic constipation can occur. Forcing the ribs and muscles into a tight and restrictive garment can cause chronic pain and bruising. The corset can also prevent return of blood flow to the heart, which can affect blood pressure and may result in dizziness and even fainting. Homes in the 18th century had “fainting couches” for this very reason.”

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3. Social media work-out routines:  5 words… “Leave it to the professionals”. This is more so targeted towards the social media bloggers turned trainers than the actual fitness trainers turned social media bloggers. Just because someone has a large number of followers doesn’t mean they have the slightest of clues on training and fitness.Be careful where you get your fitness information and always fact check your sources. It’s best to get an actual trainer or visit a local gym than to try to keep up with social media hype.

4. Fancy workout gear: Expensive workout clothes like “toning shoes” and gym suits are definitely a trend to leave in 2016 and all the years to follow. Instagram has been operative in helping promote some of the latest gear available. However,  a new study, released by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), shows that toning shoes from brands like Sketcher and Reebok do not “help exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improve your muscle strength and tone”.

5. Body shaming: Body shaming in the gym, on social media, at work, at school, and body shaming everywhere needs to stop. The definition of body shaming is “the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size or weight”. Body shaming could affect all genders, all ages, and and all sizes even those who are considered “too thin”. People sometimes even body shame without realizing that they’re doing so which is why it’s so important to get the message out there. It’s easier now for body shamers than it was 20 years ago because social media is so pervasive. Hiding behind an online profile doesn’t hold the same accountability as face to face interaction.  Many celebrities like Demi Lovato, Emma Stone, Tyra Banks, Kelly Clarkson and Amy Schumer have fought back against body shaming and their own struggles with the issue. In last November’s issue of Glamour, Demi Lovato discusses how she handles body shapers online in saying “If somebody calls me fat, even in a vulnerable moment, I laugh to myself and think, I’m doing everything I can, so there’s nothing I can do about it,” she told the magazine. “I don’t have a six-pack. Maybe I don’t even want a six-pack. It doesn’t sound very appealing.” You should know there is no perfect body but only being the best version of you. Live and let live! 2017 is about living happy and healthy lives filled with positive energy.

What are some trends you wish would be left in 2016? Share your opinion below!