10 Fitness Trends From Around the World
Here are 10 fitness trends you've probably never heard of.
UnicyclingGreat Britain 1 of 11
Similar to its more traditional counterpart, unicycles come in all shapes and sizes. In addition to touring unicycles, there are mountain, trials, freestyle unicycles, and even an ultimate wheel that's seatless. Not only does this sport require more balance than a traditional two-wheeled bike, but riders must pedal continuously while moving.
ParkourFrance 2 of 11
Born out of military obstacle course training, this non-competitive activity is a combination of running and gymnastics. The goal is to propel yourself forward in an urban environment using techniques such as jumping and climbing to navigate obstacles. Mind and body coordination are important for fast, efficient movement.
CastellCatalonia 3 of 11
A Catalan tradition dating back more than 200 years, castell, or human tower, is exactly how it sounds, but bigger. Not your standard pyramid, these complex human structures can get up to 10 levels high and require up to 500 people to construct. As their motto suggests, this sport requires huge amounts of "strength, balance, courage and common sense."
AikidoJapan 4 of 11
A modern day martial art, Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century. The objective is to take on the movement of your attacker and redirect it, instead of trying to oppose or fight it. As with many forms of martial arts, Aikido requires both mental and physical mastery, including whole-body movement and balance.
Live Action Role PlayingWorldwide 5 of 11
Live Action Role Playing (LARP) consists of players acting out physical, action-packed story lines from books, movies and video games. Brush up on your medieval accent and your acting skills, but don't forget your cardio as you may find yourself slaying dangerous creatures or dodging an evil nemesis. Although people play all over the world, LARP is most common in the United States and Canada.
Roller DerbyUnited States 6 of 11
Roller derby is an intense contact sport, generally played between women, that requires strength, speed and agility. Each team has five players on the track at a time. Four players are blockers, and one player is the jammer. The jammer tries to skate as fast as she can around the track to lap the other team's blockers. Each time she passes an opponent she is awarded a point. Roller derby has a large fan base, and the sport continues to spread worldwide.
CapoeiraBrazil 7 of 11
Capoeira originated in the sixteenth century when African slaves in Brazil created a way to conceal martial arts using music and dance. Capoeira experts can execute acrobatic moves such as high-flying kicks and flips. Because the moves require coordination, strength and flexibility, the fighting style has caught on as a fun and effective fitness activity.
Aerial YogaUnited States 8 of 11
Yoga has been around for ages, but aerial yoga is fairly new. Michelle Dortignac took her practice to New York City in 1991. After studying dance and yoga, she learned to incorporate tissues and silks. She took her dance moves into the air in 2002 and the hybrid of aerial yoga began. Aerial yoga strengthens the core muscles, increases flexibility, and prevents back strain...to name a few of its benefits.
TrapezeFrance 9 of 11
Trapeze may remind you of the circus act—people swing, fly, and dance through the air. But this sport is much more than an act; it's dynamic movement that requires precise timing, strength and flexibility. Jules Leotard developed the art of trapeze in the mid-nineteenth century in France. To perform tricks people must develop a strong core and upper-body strength to swing, swivel, and fly. The tougher the trick the more muscle and strength is required to complete the task.
Belly DancingMiddle East 10 of 11
The origin of belly dancing is actively debated among dance enthusiasts. But, the dance form of belly dance comes from the Middle East. Also known as Rak Baladi, it's a social dance form that is performed among all ages and genders at social gatherings.
The basic technique requires making a circular motion with one isolated area of the body while moving in tune with a musical rhythm. One must engage the core to isolate each muscle group and control it to perform such movements.