Get smart about social trends. Not all wellness crazes on your feed are worth a like. Enter our hit-or-miss guide of what to follow.
The trend: Sauna therapy
Expert take: Hit. Frequent hot-box visits can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, possibly by lowering your blood pressure and raising your heart rate, similar to a low-intensity exercise session. And spending just 15 minutes in a sauna boosts white blood cells, a marker for immune strength.
The trend: Activated-charcoal toothpaste
Expert take: Miss. #charcoaltoothpaste may have over 14 000 Insta hits, but a recent review found no evidence the gritty black paste is safe or effective for cleaning and whitening teeth. In fact, it may actually rough up your enamel, attracting bacteria that can lead to decay and cavities. Chat to your dentist about a whitening treatment.
The trend: Vibrating foam rollers
Expert take: Hit. Rollers with a power switch are better at improving your range of motion and nixing soreness than regular foam ones. They may also minimise the ouch that comes with foam rolling – the vibes disrupt pain signals sent to the nervous system. Build up to rolling a few times a week for five to 15 minutes. Try the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 (R3 500, Hyperice.co.za).
The trend: Intermittent fasting
Expert take: Worth a shot. Time-restricted eating plans – a popular version: fasting for 12 to 16 hours a day (mainly while you sleep), then divvying up your normal kilojoule intake among the remaining hours – are backed by some strong science. Research suggests fasting can lower body fat, bolster insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, possibly by putting your cells under stress, which strengthens them and makes them more resistant to disease.
Warning: women with a history of eating disorders (or even those who tend to get hangry easily) should pass, since the limitations can trigger bingeing or an unhealthy relationship with food.