Article source: http://calgaryherald.com/health/diet-fitness/whats-hot-in-global-fitness-trends
With the new year comes a new outlook on health and fitness. There will be new technology, classes, and ways of thinking. From speaking to the top educators in fitness and looking at a global industry fitness survey, I have identified some of the most prevalent trends for this coming year.
Unlike fitness fads which come and go faster than one can keep up, fitness trends are movements in the industry as a whole that have taken hold and are being seen on a global scale.
Based on a wide range of research, both formal and informal, there are two strong trends that are in contradiction with each other. On the one hand, we are seeing a very clear trend toward fitness going back to the basics. Circuit-style workouts using minimal or no equipment and incorporating body weight exercise and callisthenics, such as squats, push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks and burpees. These exercises have been around forever and first became popular in the 1950s with television fitness gurus such as Jack Lalanne and Ed Allen. They are now back in vogue and super trendy! The great thing about body weight exercises is they can be done anywhere as they do not require specific equipment. If done correctly, these exercises build a solid base and are good for all fitness levels.
Other body weight workouts that have gained popularity are unique variations of traditional Pilates, yoga and dance. These classes come in all kinds of variations from barre to fusion workouts and more. Popular equipment such as suspension trainers, BOSU, stability ball, elastic bands, ViPR and EQualizer bars are all considered body weight training equipment.
On the other hand, the global fitness industry is being influenced by technology. The use of technology continues to rise in popularity as a highly effective way to measure results or stay engaged with your workouts. Personal wearable devices that measure heart rate, exercise, movement, diet and sleep are highly effective for exercise adherence and progression. Seeing real numbers and charting them through simple software programs gives invaluable information regarding fitness gains.
Downloadable workouts allow for easy access to a variety of training at the touch of your fingertips. These workouts are a great supplement to your gym workout. The positive is they can be done anywhere. The downside is there isn’t any guidance or feedback as to your technique while exercising.
Group fitness classes of all kinds have resurfaced as one of the most popular trends. The combination of group motivation, high energy instructors, unique class formats and inspiring music have made the attraction to group classes move into the top five global trends. There is a resurgence of popular workouts from the ’80s and ’90s with aerobic style workouts and Tae Bo style boxing making a comeback.
Topping the list of fitness trends for 2018 is HIIT. High-intensity workouts are based on extreme, short bouts of cardiovascular and strength exercises, typically involving full body movements. The workouts may involve the use of equipment or are done with body weight exercises. HIIT training has good reason to be popular as the workouts are time-efficient and give great results. The downside is stepping into this type of workout before having a solid fitness base can lead to injury. Often these exercises are done at a fast pace and performed to failure which can contribute to a higher risk, especially for newcomers. Building up to this level of intensity and learning proper technique is critical for HIIT workouts.
A quickly growing trend is restorative methods. This may have evolved in popularity due to the extreme efforts in HIIT workouts. A wide variety of techniques ranging from fascial stretch methods, Yin yoga, myofascial release techniques, and massage have gained popularity. With a greater understanding of how the body functions and restores itself, we are seeing more restorative techniques being offered on an individual and group bases. This is a positive movement in the fitness arena where things have been all about maximum effort and going extreme for the past few years. Ultimately, hard workouts need to be balanced with restoration for optimal performance.
The final trend is conscious movement and mindfulness. Traditional practices of meditation are finding their way into mainstream fitness. With more research showing the positive benefits of brain fitness through meditation, this emerging trend is predicted to continue to grow.
Each of us begins the new year with specific goals. With so many choices in health and fitness available, I wish you a happy and healthy 2018.
Helen Vanderburg, co-owner of Heavens Elevated Fitness, Yoga and Spin Studio, Global Fitness Expert and Celebrity Trainer, Author of Fusion Workouts, 2015 Canadian Fitness Presenter of the Year. Motivational and Corporate Health and Wellness Speaker. Find her online at heavensfitness.com and helenvanderburg.com. Follow her on Facebook/ helenvanderburg, Instagram: @helenvanderburg