By Natalie Stein, BS Food Science, BS Nutritional Sciences, MS Human Nutrition, MPH Public Health
December 13th, 2017
Are you ready to get fit? How are you planning to do so? If you are drawing a blank or are bored with your current exercise routine, it may be time to see what is trending so you can gather ideas and join the fitness fun. For the 12th consecutive year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released its ranking of the top 10 trends in fitness. These are the popular ones going into 2018.
HIIT. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves alternating higher-intensity intervals, or periods of about 20 to 60 seconds, with lower-intensity ones. After a good warm-up, you can do up to 10 to 15 high-intensity segments, then follow with a cool-down. HIIT can increase calorie burn and improve endurance in less time.
Group training. Group exercise classes, such as strength training, aerobics, zumba, cycling, and kickboxing, can give you the benefits of a qualified fitness professional’s expertise without the higher cost of a personal trainer. Your instructor can show you new moves, teach you proper form, and encourage you while you enjoy the camaraderie of the other people in your class.
Wearable technology. Fitness bands and watches can count steps, monitor heart rate and calories burned, and keep a record of your workouts. They can motivate you to get started and to keep up the good work.
Body weight training. You do not need to lift heavy weights to build strength. Body weight training can get the job done with a minimum of equipment. Push-ups, one and two-legged squats, pull-ups, planks, and tricep dips are a few examples.
Strength training. No longer is strength training only for bodybuilders. The general population is learning what fitness buffs have known for years: that strength training can make you stronger, less injury-prone, and more toned without bulking you up. It can even lead to more weight loss, since muscle burns calories all day. You can use body weight, machines at the gym, barbells, dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, and more.
Fitness professionals who have earned the title. There is an increasing number of fitness professionals who have the education or experience to warrant your attention. They know how to get you to your fitness goals and can work at your level and within any limitations you might have.
Yoga. What could be better than exercising your body? How about exercising your mind at the same time? Yoga devotees enjoy gains in strength, flexibility, and relaxation. If you are not confident about your ability to do headstands, and most yoga poses look like contortions to you, start with a beginner’s class.
Personal training. No longer just for elite athletes or the super rich, personal trainers are increasingly common among the common folk. They know their stuff, and can guide you whether you need them to motivate you to get to the gym, you are looking for a weight loss boost, or you are working towards a specific fitness goal.
Fitness programs for older adults. As the baby boomers age, they drive this marvelous trend of keeping fit at every age. This trend mirrors the patterns of workout programs designed for specific populations popping up everywhere. If you are in this age group, take advantage of programs that can get you fit while keeping injury risk low!
Functional Fitness. Wouldn’t it be nice if your exercise program paid off in everyday life, and not just 20 years down the road in terms of your long-term health? Functional fitness is designed to improve your daily performance in the game of life. Workouts often use only body weight, not heavy equipment, and could include balance training to prevent falls and injuries.
These trends give you many options for putting together a fitness program that will help you lose weight and improve your health, so you might want to consider looking into one or more of them. No worries if they are not for you, since you can always put together your own fitness program that includes the exercises you love. Your Lark Health Coach can help you set goals and track progress, not to mention remind you of the most important things: getting started and keeping it up!