5 of Pinterest’s Top Health Trends for Runners

Whether you’re stuck in a rut or just starting out, these hot trends can help you take your running game to the next level.

Pinterest, the online mega board where runners can organise everything from favourite training workouts to the best shoes and gear, has released its yearly trending topics. Based on over 313 million monthly users’ pins, the top 10 trendiest healthy topics this year represent some of the coolest new ideas that fit people are getting excited about.

Whether you’re just starting out or stuck in a rut and looking for ways to take your running to the next level, these trends may give your athletic goals the boost they need. We’ve hand selected five of the most runner-friendly trends – including one that may surprise you – and sought advice from the experts on how you can start incorporating them into your fitness portfolio in order to accomplish your goals and run your best:


What It Is: A complementary medical practice that entails stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.

Why Runners Should Try It: Acupuncture can have healing effects on all those sore muscles after a race and can help with healing an injury in the months and weeks leading up to it.

Elite runners Deena Kastor and Shannon Rowbury have been using the technique for years, and Matt Maneggia, a licensed acupuncturist, knows why.

“We treat a lot of runners and they tend to be excellent patients because they are motivated to get back to running,” he says. “Patients see improvement in 3-6 treatments on average. Acupuncture is very effective for pain of any kind.”

Maneggia says acupuncture works for a myriad of running-related injuries because the needles produce large quantities of anti-inflammatories, something your body produces naturally. Acupuncture also stimulates blood flow to the affected area. “It’s basically quality and quantity,” Maneggia explains “acupuncture improves the quality of the blood and the quantity in the area, which ultimately leads to healing.”

Most patients start out in Maneggia’s care doing one session per week for one hour. “We schedule the hour but the time on the table is usually about 30 minutes,” he says.

Innovative Ab Exercises

What They Are: Just like your old ab exercises, only much more effective.

Why Runners Should Try Them: Most runners know that core training can only enhance running performance but how long have you been doing the same ab workout? This trend is all about changing it up and thinking about new and different ways to strengthen your entire core, including the obliques and lower back.

Known as “the athlete’s doctor,” Dr. Jordan Metzl has three go-to innovative ab exercises he feels are best for runners: The isometric plank, the isokinetic mountain climber, and the plyometric burpee.

“It’s important to remember that the core muscles, the centre of gravity for all runners, are comprised of both the abdominal and lower back muscles,” says Dr. Metzl, “together, these muscles support the spine and pelvis and help keep running safe and injury-free. By focusing on both the front and back core muscles, instead of the the 6-pack abs, runners can keep themselves on the road and out of my office!”

Cold Therapy

What It Is: Chances are you’re familiar with cold therapies like ice baths and cold showers, used after hard efforts to help tired muscles feel better and recover faster.

Why Runners Should Try It: Because it works!

Emily Harrison, accomplished runner and McMillan running coach uses cold therapy “during heavy training,” and says, “my recovery time after a hard workout is quicker and I tend to have less muscle soreness.”

As a 2:32 marathoner, Harrison knows a thing or two about heavy training and the importance of recovery. She does have one caution to those looking to try any cold therapy saying, “it is important to make sure your body responds positively before implementing.” Harrison suggests trying it early in a training cycle to test the effects.

Lastly, she adds that a cold shower won’t necessarily target legs as specifically as an ice bath. But “it does cause the nerves in the body to start firing, and triggers an adrenal gland response which can also aid in recovery.”

Morning Stretches

What They Are: While runners are relatively familiar with the idea of stretching before and/or after a run (though we don’t always do it as much as we should), many people are now getting into a regular morning stretching routine.

Why Runners Should Try Them: Although the benefits of stretching have long been known and well documented for runners, the expert advice is changing.

We reached out to Matt Fitzgerald, lifelong runner and author of numerous training and nutrition books. “I stretch everyday, “ he admits. “I think most runners should. However, the purpose of stretching shouldn’t be flexibility, but to improve movement efficiency.”

As he sees it, runners have two big problem areas: hip flexors and range of motion at the ankles – the achilles tendon and calf muscle complex, specifically. Fitzgerald suggests runners may be better off stretching for just five minutes, and he suggests a few stretches that are most likely to help protect from injury. His choices? Focus on the “achilles tendon, calf, and hips, hands down”.


What It Is: Pronounced “hue-ugh” – the Danish term has blown up all over the internet. In practice, hygge means enjoying things in life, fully and presently, without modern technological distractions.

Why Runners Should Try It: At first blush Hygge, which has been largely publicised as a movement about coziness and friendship, seems to have little to do with running. Even Dr. Jeppe Linnet, Ph.D, a Danish expert on Hygge admits that hygge and fitness are not commonly connected. “Most Danes would laugh at the idea of combining running and hygge, or associating them in any way,” he says. However, running does in fact have elements of hygge, especially when it comes to group runs and home routes.

“Routine runners who really have it as an everyday habit in their lives, or those who run in the same places or with people whose company they enjoy” are embracing the concepts of hygge,” says Dr. Linnet. Jeppe also notes that hygge is all about “feeling good” which, let’s face it, is why most of us enjoy running in the first place. (Though maybe not the interval training.)

Ready to experience hygge on your next run? According to Dr. Linnet all you need is to make it:

  • A social experience that gives you a sense of community
  • A habit that fits nicely into your everyday life
  • Enjoyable

And what runner doesn’t need a little more of that?


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