The New Year is a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make. Health-related goals such as losing weight or exercising tend to top the list of New Year’s resolutions in America.
And so for the past 12 years, the American College Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Journal annually surveys worldwide fitness trends. This survey is electronically circulated to thousands of professionals around the world to determine health and fitness trends.
Here are the top 5 fitness trends for 2018:
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Pros: time (< 30 minutes)
- Cons: higher injury rate
- Personal thoughts: Interval training has long been known for the cardiovascular health benefits in improving speed and endurance as well as weight loss. I would recommend this for the more experienced exerciser, for the novice person a moderate-intensity training program may be more appropriate (https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf)
- Group Training
- Pros: motivational, different fitness levels, variety of classes
- Cons: lack of personal attention to form, group classes can be competitive
- Personal thoughts: Group training can be very motivational and great if you’re looking to start something new, however I always recommend to start this with caution especially if you have an injury. It’s always a good idea to let the instructor know of an injuries at beginning of class, they often can show you modified exercises
- Wearable Technology (i.e. fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices)
Examples: Apple iWatch, Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone
- Pros: motivation, increased awareness of activity level throughout day
- Cons: lack of accuracy of calories burned/hours slept
- Personal thoughts: Many different types and brands out there, do you research and know your fitness goals. If your goal is to increase the amount of steps you take throughout the day, a basic fitness tracker can get the job done.
- Body Weight Training (“back to the basics”)
- Pros: minimal equipment, affordable, convenience (can be done anywhere and anytime)
- Cons: may not be challenging enough for the more experienced
- Personal thoughts: I’m a huge supporter of body weight training aka Calisthenics. It’s a simple effective way to improve balance, flexibility, and strength without any extra equipment. It helps you develop the basics, which are crucial in injury prevention!
- Strength Training
- Pros: strengthen bones, weight loss, improves balance/coordination
- Cons: increase risk of injury with improper form/weight amount/rest and recovery
- Personal thoughts: Strength training has so many benefits. When it comes to starting a strength program, start slowly, choose an appropriate weight, and make sure you give your muscles enough time of rest/recovery prior to training the same muscle group. And when able, make the activity functional!
To summarize, establishing what your fitness goals are is an important first step. Whether you enjoy taking group classes in a gym setting or the outdoors for exercise. I am a huge supporter of staying active throughout the lifespan. So get up and get moving! Make it fun– change up your routine, cross train or try a new activity. Make it a personal commitment to a healthier and more active you in 2018!