Below are some of the predicted fitness trends for the New Year.
Wearable Technology – topping the list is wearable technology like fitness trackers, pedometers and heart rate monitors. The market for these products is booming and shows no signs of slowing down; in fact, sales are expected to hit over $4 billion during 2017. But if you’re buying wearable technology to lose weight, you might want to hold off. A recent study found that overweight participants in a randomized clinical trial who wore a wearable device actually lost less weight than another group who followed the same food and fitness plan without a fitness tracker.
Bodyweight Training – yep, the secret is out. Bodyweight training is one of next year’s top exercise trends, and for good reason. You don’t need fancy equipment, an expensive membership or very much room for these workouts, so bodyweight exercises sure are appealing and effective. Bodyweight training helps increase lean muscle mass in individuals, especially when combined with aerobic activity.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Most of us are short on time these days, so it’s no wonder that high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is one of the major exercise trends of the coming year so Instead of spending a long time exercising at a moderate pace, with HIIT, you’ll engage in short bursts of exercise at maximum or near-maximum heart rate. That means you’ll burn more calories in 20 to 30 minutes than you would in a longer session.
Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals – working with a fitness professional, like a personal trainer, can be a great way to get tailored guidance and accountability to reach your fitness goals. In fact, working with a trainer on a one-to-one basis can actually change an individual’s attitude toward fitness, helping to increase their physical activity.
Strength Training – strength training is seeing its time in the limelight. While people, particularly women, sometimes shy away from the weight room, strength training is critical to keeping our bodies healthy, especially as we age. It helps preserve muscle mass and increase your metabolism to burn more calories even when you aren’t working out. One study found that in 10 weeks, inactive adults could see an increase in lean weight of more than 3 pounds and a reduction in fat weight of nearly 4 pounds, while increasing metabolic resting rate by 7 percent.
Group Training – do you usually workout solo? 2017 could be the year to try group training.Group training makes trying a new exercise, like spinning or boot camp, more fun. Having an experienced instructor can help keep you motivated and push you to go that extra bit. And bringing along a friend or making new ones in class has an effect, too. A little friendly competition can increase motivation to work harder, like in this exercise bike study. So grab a friend and get to class.
Exercise is Medicine – my personal motto — and the one of this site— is that food is medicine. Well, it might be time to add to that, because exercise is medicine, too. This is one of the upcoming trends I’m most excited about. The benefits of exercise go so much farther than how you look physically. From boosting happiness levels to reducing your risk of heart disease, exercising can help. Tossing and turning at night? Find yourself forgetting where you’ve placed your keys? That’s right, exercise is the answer. In fact, doctors are going so far as to prescribe exercise to patients in an effort to get them moving.
Yoga – Yoga certainly isn’t new, but it’s just as popular as ever. And it should be because the benefits of yoga are vast. It helps to decrease anxiety and stress, improves sleep quality, allows blood to flow through the body better, helps digestion and so much more. In fact, practicing yoga changes your brain. It increases the “chill-out” neurotransmitter in your brain, a chemical that’s in low supply for people who suffer from depression and anxiety. It also helps counteract chronic pain.
Personal Training – this trend isn’t the same as number four, educated and experienced fitness professionals. Instead, this exercise trend references the amount of college students studying kinesiology, an indication that they’re planning on going into health fields.
Exercise and Weight Loss – while nutrition is important to weight loss than exercise, fitness does play a key role in any weight loss program. What’s critical is finding workouts and healthy lifestyle activities that you like. One study found that when participants thought of an exercise as pleasant, they had increased aerobic capacity and improved their physical health.
So, whether you enjoy yoga, strength training or just going for a walk, enjoy it!
Resources: Dr. Axe (Food is Medicine), ACSM, IDEA and SCW