Fitness Trends – The Latest Buzz
I have always felt that one of the biggest challenges of sticking to a fitness routine wasn’t committing my time or energy, but rather battling the boredom that eventually comes with same old, tired workout. Apparently, I am not alone in this thought because it seems there is always a new hot trend to tempt us off the couch and into our workout gear. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Fitness trends from the Thigh Master of the nineties to Hot Yoga of the new millennia, have sparked renewed interest and commitment to fitness for decades. Whether you are the type who likes to have your finger on the pulse of what is new, or if you are just looking for a way to help mix things up a little, these hot fitness trends are sure to get you moving.
Who doesn’t love the idea of having their very own personal trainer to keep them on track and moving in the right direction? The problem with personal trainers is that they can be cost prohibitive or require you to commit to an expensive gym membership. Once you get past that obstacle, there is the fact that you actually have to schedule a time to meet with them. Let’s be honest -- sometimes life requires some rearranging and you are more likely to stick to a fitness routine that allows some flexibility. While it might be difficult to reschedule a missed session with a personal trainer, a virtual trainer is available anywhere, anytime and costs little, if anything at all. Virtual trainer apps can help you analyze your fitness goals, create workouts, keep track of your progress and some even give you verbal encouragement or advice along the way. Some virtual trainer apps are specifically geared towards specific sports or fitness goals, such as marathon training, while others are more general fitness oriented. BodBot and Freeletics are two virtual training apps to try out that are currently hot on the fitness trend scene.
Wearable fitness technology has been around for a while now and it is safe to say that it isn’t going anywhere soon. As wearable technology has advanced, so has the intelligence of wearable devices. No longer are your fitness wearables only for keeping track of your heart rate or how many steps you took on your lunch hour walk. New wearable technology not only keeps track of your progress, but monitors it in a way that allows your device to deliver advice on altering your workout, and ways to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Plus, wearable technology also has expanded beyond the wristband. Awareable technology can even be found in items such as swim caps that keep track of your performance and help guide you through the water, for instance notifying you when you are close to the end of your lap or need to make a turn. New, high tech wearable devices can enhance your workout and even act as a personal coach. Pretty impressive for something that barely takes up the space in the palm of your hand.
It seems that some form of yoga always tops the list of fitness trends every year. Yoga remains a favorite for people of all ages and fitness levels because there is something for everyone. Some styles are more meditative, while others are aimed at increasing flexibility. Hot yoga practices such as Bikram yoga that will leave you drenched in sweat and purified. If you love yoga and are interested in adding a fun and challenging aspect to your practice, try a session of floating yoga. Floating yoga involves taking a large paddle board to the water and performing a series of yoga poses on it while floating. Floating yoga is said to increase your sense of confidence and self-empowerment while strengthening your muscles with the small subtle movements that are required for keeping your balance while changing and maintaining positions. While floating yoga might be more strenuous than other forms of yoga in some ways, the gentle floating motion of the water is soothing for stiff, swollen and sore joints. You can do floating yoga in a swimming pool, but you can also head out and enjoy floating yoga in a natural environment such as a lake, lagoon or even the ocean on a calm day.
Bodyweight training has been a growing trend, especially in men’s fitness, for a couple of years now. It is becoming even more popular this year for one very basic reason; simplicity. Bodyweight training uses your own weight for resistance rather than free weights or machines. Think of exercises such as squats, push-ups, planks, crab walks and lunges. Bodyweight training routines are developed to include a variety of resistance exercises for both general fitness and special target areas. This type of training fits into one of the biggest fitness trends which is eliminating all the gimmicks, all the glitter and just getting back to basics. As motivating as a good gym can be, it can be nice to exercise in the comfort of our own homes, without the expense or clutter of free weights and other fitness equipment. Bodyweight training brings building your strength back to the basics.
As we mentioned above, recent fitness trends have seen a turn towards the more basic. We are more interested in using our bodies for weight resistance than high tech equipment. Our long-standing love affair with yoga is being blended with the soothing aspects of nature and we are learning to fine tune our workouts by listening to our bodies and following a more natural rhythm. With all of this, there are few things more basic than one of the latest fitness trends; crawling. As infants, crawling is one of the first coordinated physical movements that we learn to master. Crawling requires balance, core strength and coordination. It turns out that crawling for fitness, as an adult, provides some incredible, unique benefits. Some research suggests that crawling resets your nervous system, allowing you to relearn the mobility patterns that you used when learning to crawl and eventually walk. As simple as the activity of crawling seems, it actually builds some serious core strength. Other benefits of crawling include improved spatial orientation, balance and stability. Crawling builds your core muscles, but also strengthens back muscles, can ease hip pain and is a solid workout for your shoulder girdle area. If you are interested in trying crawling, you can research many crawling routines online. You just might discover your new favorite exercise.
Have you been looking for a workout that meets your cardio requirements, but also builds endurance, strength and flexibility while balancing your body composition? Wouldn’t it be great if you could address all of these areas in just a single workout? Let me introduce you to the Megaformer. While invented and designed more than a decade ago, it has recently become a hard-core fitness trend with a celebrity following that includes Michelle Obama, Sofia Vergara and Kim Kardashian. The Megaformer is built off the concept of a Pilates reformer, but also built to include some of the more intense aspects of body building and high impact fitness. If you are familiar with the Pilates reformer, then you have a bit of a picture in your head of what a Megaformer looks like. It is a fairly large piece of equipment, basically flat, that is built with spring loaded components that supply a degree of tension that allows for peak muscle contraction and the most efficient range of motion. Megaformer classes are popping up in fitness centers across the country. Each workout typically lasts for about forty minutes, which is said to be enough time to completely rebuild, shape and sculpt your physique while gaining strength, endurance, flexibility and stamina.
Spinning is one of those workouts that provides great cardio, but it can be less than gentle on your joints, muscles and bones. If you love spinning, or have wanted to try it but have been worried about the effect of the intense impact on your knees and hips, you might want to give underwater spinning a try. Underwater spinning takes one of the most popular fitness exercises, spinning, and combines it with the impact-reducing aspect of water. Don’t take this to mean that underwater spin is a light workout. It isn’t by any means. In fact, most people who try it claim that it is more of a workout than they expected it to be and that it works entirely different muscular regions. The spin part of the workout takes you from low speed to max speed, and during the slower paced recovery periods, you move your arms around in the water, mimicking different types of swim strokes. It is like the most effective spin class combined with the upper body strength building effects of a few laps in the pool. Underwater spinning is one trend you probably can’t do in the comfort of your home, so for this one, you need to head to a fitness center that has a decent sized pool and specialized spin equipment.
I have always felt that one of the best things about a good, intense workout is that it releases stress and tension in a way that just makes me a nicer person to be around. We all know that boxing is a sport that has been around for ages, and for most of the time, it has been fairly male dominated. All that is changing. Boxing has expanded from the spectator sport genre and made its way into fitness clubs. Along the way, it has garnered a large female following. Fitness boxing is empowering and encouraging women to not only be their strongest and healthiest physical self, but enabling them to relate to the primal side of their nature and become stronger in mind, body and spirit. Fitness boxing includes learning footwork, along with building strength, coordination and balance. It is a solid cardio workout that focuses strongly on leg, core and arm strength. And in addition to that, sometimes it just feels good to punch out that stress and aggression, so it makes for a solid emotional workout as well. Look up fitness boxing classes in your area for a high energy activity that will quickly shape up your body, clear the cobwebs from your head and get you feeling empowered and beautiful in no time at all.
Regular exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. It is impossible to be your healthiest self without including some regular movement in your life. While a regular fitness routine will help you to achieve your health and fitness goals, prevent disease and amp up your self-confidence, it is important to not overlook the emotional aspect of frequent exercise. Being physically active just makes you feel good, especially when you commit to a regular routine. Don’t dampen those feel-good vibes with a tired old workout. Try one of these hot fitness trends and discover new ways to strengthen your body and fuel your soul.