Is your choice of exercise on the upswing? Does it really matter? Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine publishes its “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends 2016.” It ranks what exercise professionals predict we’ll see that year.
A trend is a movement that gains momentum with the potential to create long term impact in the way people think or behave. A fad can fizzle and last for only a short time.
Below are the top five fitness trends 2016 and our quick take on each of them.
- Wearable technology like smart watches, heart-rate monitors and GPS enabled gadgets, as well as smart fabrics are hot. They’re so hot that, according to Juniper Research, the wearable technology market will be a $6 Billion industry by 2016.
Our take: As long as their intended use is for a sustainable period of time and you don’t find yourself studying them minute-by-minute, we say go for it. For those with “desk jobs,” counting steps can motivate you to get up from that desk and get your blood flowing. It is good for your body to move every 15 minutes. It can help prevent back pain, prevent digestive problems, slouching and muscle fatigue. Furthermore, research has recently proven to increase energy and send a strong signal for furthering your career by showing a more confident posture while at the desk or on your next interview.
- Body Weight Training continues to rank high on the list. This is training that uses only your body: no equipment for its movements. Push-ups, squats, pull-ups and Burpees fall into this category.
Our take: When taught with the safest standards, body weight training is exceptional. It’s a movement (no pun) that is portable, and can be applied to the beginner or professional athlete. It is “functional.” It shows your body how to move correctly for all of its daily movements, like sitting, standing, getting up off the floor, walking, pushing and pulling doors to list a few. We love it!
- High Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) pronounced like the word “hit.” These are classes/workouts that include a period of work followed by a period of rest or recovery – repeated a certain number of times. They feel good, are great for your heart, and challenge every muscle fiber in your body. Can you say Tabata, P90X?
Our take: As long as your “inner athlete” isn’t pushing you beyond your limitations, HIIT training is fantastic. It contributes to healthy body composition (weight, fat, waist, and hip circumference). Combined with strength training, HIIT training can help reduce belly fat and make you feel good. Many of our clients love to see a ring of sweat on their caps. We assess clients with a movement screen (to prevent potential injury). Remember, your body understands time; it doesn’t count reps. I caution you about too much of a good thing. Observational research and clinical trials have sounded the alarm cautioning against chronic and excessive cardio.
- Strength Trainingcontinues to be in the top 5 this year. This includes free weights, machines, barbells and other means for pushing/pulling/pressing a load.
Our take: It just works. Building muscle burns fat, strengthens bones, and helps keep your posture aligned. The Medical community continues to challenge patients young and old to engage in it. Combining strength training with internal and metabolic conditioning is the recipe for a sustainable results-driven program.
- The market for fitness professionals has become crowded. There is an exponential growth of Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. The good news fitness professionals are easy to find almost anywhere you live/travel.
Our take: Take your time choosing your fitness professional. Make sure they are CPR/AED certified and hold at least one certification from a reputable and licensed fitness standard organization. Ask for their teaching style to make sure your journey with him/her/them will be lasting and fun.