The Dangers of TikTok Fitness: Are the Workouts Safe and Effective?
Today, many people are turning to social media for their fitness routines, with TikTok being one of the most popular platforms. Its fitness category, known as FitTok, has amassed an astonishing 300 billion views. However, recent studies are warning users to exercise caution when following the workouts, exercises, and challenges posted on TikTok.
Lack of Credible Information
According to a 2023 study published in BMC Public Health, nearly two-thirds of the top Instagram “fitspiration” accounts did not provide credible information. Similarly, an analysis of 1,000 TikTok posts related to food, nutrition, and weight loss, published in the journal PLOS One, found weight-normative content that glorified weight loss. A 2022 review in Frontiers in Public Health also raised concerns about the quality and accuracy of fitness influencers’ content, stating that while they can encourage physical activity, the information they provide may not be reliable.
Unrealistic and Unsafe Workouts
Certified personal trainer Jess Brown warns that there are many unsustainable and unrealistic workouts on TikTok, some of which offer dangerous advice. Monica Jones, another certified personal trainer, adds that much of the fitness information on TikTok is not backed by science or posted by professionals. The workouts are often generalized and fail to consider individual factors such as health, family history, flexibility, and range of motion.
Problematic Challenges and Spot Reduction Myths
Some of the most popular TikTok videos include challenges promising quick weight loss or the development of a specific physique in a short amount of time. However, Brown dismisses these claims as unrealistic and click-bait to attract attention and make money. Spot reduction myths, such as the promise of achieving a six-pack through daily ab exercises, are also debunked. Brown explains that spot reduction is not possible, and targeting abdominal fat is particularly challenging.
One recent TikTok fitness trend, known as “dry scooping,” involved consuming pre-workout powder directly instead of mixing it with water. Experts warn that this practice is dangerous and can lead to respiratory or cardiovascular distress. Another trend, the 12-3-30 workout, which involves walking at a 12% incline on a treadmill for 30 minutes, is considered relatively safe and effective. However, experts caution that walking on a steep incline may cause tension in the lower back or put pressure on the joints.
Separating Quality Workouts from Dangerous Fads
To determine the quality of a workout, experts advise checking the credentials of the posters and ensuring they are certified fitness professionals. A focus on improving strength and cardiovascular health, rather than body type, is also crucial. A quality influencer should encourage a balanced approach to fitness, emphasizing mental well-being, self-care, and listening to your body. If possible, working directly with a personal trainer is recommended, as they can tailor workouts to individual needs and goals.
In conclusion, while TikTok may be a popular platform for fitness inspiration, it is essential to exercise caution when following the workouts and challenges posted on the app. Many of these routines lack credible information, promote unrealistic expectations, and may even be dangerous. It is advisable to seek guidance from certified fitness professionals or personal trainers who can provide personalized and reliable fitness advice.
Original Story at www.cnn.com – 2024-01-05 16:35:00