From CrossFit to juice cleanses and dietary supplements, David Hayes DO, of Health First Physicians ‒ Mariemont, answers four health trend questions you've probably been wondering about.
Question #1: CrossFit seems to be an exercise platform adopted by lots of women? Is this healthy?
Answer: CrossFit is a fun sport. The danger, which is not unique to CrossFit, is that starting a high level of activity at a low level of fitness can easily lead to injury, especially if your results are being recorded and compared nationally, regardless of age.
While CrossFit is not inherently dangerous, it is meant to be a high-intensity activity with abrupt changes between components. Injuries are likely to occur when you attempt an activity you're not physically prepared for or you use poor form. This isn't a problem specific to CrossFit, however: it is a general fitness concept. If you are mindful of what is happening in the moment, don't overdo it and use proper form, then you will be just fine.
Question #2: Do 10-day juice cleanses do more harm than good?
Answer: Juicing itself is not necessarily dangerous, but I'm not convinced it is necessary. Juicing can deliver high loads of sugar and can strip away the fibrous components of the ingredients. More importantly, a short-term diet of any sort is doomed to fail in the long run if it is not integrated into a long-term plan because the root problem is not addressed.
If your goal is weight loss, you will not succeed simply by avoiding or incorporating a particular food. The bottom line for weight is calories. If you restrict calories, you will lose weight.
If your goal is to detoxify, a healthier process is to eat a well-rounded nutritious diet and couple that with moderate activity, such walking once a day.
Question #3: Is exercising with a group or a partner as beneficial as claimed?
Answer: For most people, having a partner is a great idea. A partner can help maintain motivation and can hold you accountable. Also, they will be there to celebrate your accomplishments.
Question #4: Are herbal supplements and non-regulated ingredients safe?
Answer: Some supplements are useful for specific issues. The problem with supplements is there is no regulation, which means there is no guarantee of quality or safety. For supplements, there can be a dramatic difference between what can be printed on a label and what is actually put into the product.
In addition, there is often little or no evidence a supplement is more effective than a placebo. In general, our nutritional needs should be met through our diet. Eating a variety of healthy foods is the only thing any of us should need to maintain adequate nutrition.