Summer is on our doorstep which means there is no excuse NOT to kickstart your active and healthy living lifestyle. It’s all about finding what works for you and your schedule and with all the weird and wonderful fitness trends buzzing, there really is something for everyone.
The field of fitness is constantly changing and evolving; be it the nature of our workouts, the sophistication of active wear or the ever-growing diet and exercise app’s, there’s no lack of inspiration or motivation to get moving.
And while there is no right way to get sweaty, fitness trends certainly influence the way people work out these days. Here are some of the top fitness trends of 2018:
1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is all about bursts of maximum-effort, challenging work (typically about 20 -90 seconds) that is followed by a low-intensity recovery. The goal is to recover enough that you can go hard again during the next high-intensity interval. Hiit work-outs usually last about 30 minutes but can go up to a maximum of 45 minutes. A major part of the appeal is that they are a super-efficient way to get in your cardio and burn calories in a short space of time. Just don’t go overboard with the HIIT workouts as this could lead to overtraining and increased risk of injury.
2. Group fitness Training
Haven’t you heard, solo training is out! Taking part in group fitness classes at gym or finding a running group is a great way to boost your fitness. Some other pros to group exercise is that you tend to push yourself harder because you’re committed (and probably comparing yourself to the person working out close by), it’s a lot of fun working out with other people and you may even find yourself making some new friends. These types of classes could be anything from HIIT sessions to step classes all the way to dance classes. This means you also get to try new workouts and mix up your routine. There’s no such thing as a boring exercise session anymore!
3. Strength and Bodyweight training
Although these types of exercises have been around for a long time, they have become re-popularised by the fitness world. Bodyweight training requires minimal space and pretty much no equipment so it’s very convenient. Some typical exercises include push-ups, squats, planks and lunges; accessible for any fitness level and easy to modify too. What are you waiting for?
It’s no surprise to see Yoga high up on the hottest fitness trends list. Its consistent popularity can be accredited to the abundance of styles to choose from, including power yoga, Iyengar yoga, Bikram yoga and more. Not only does it work to improve flexibility and balance but can also have a positive impact on muscle building and endurance. And let’s not forget how great yoga is for improving mental clarity and managing stress. It’s a win win.
5. Technology Active Wear
Smart watches, activity trackers, heart rate monitors- the list goes on- have gained huge popularity over the last couple of years. There is literally a gadget for every fitness level, be it that you enjoy a daily evening stroll and want to know your stats or you’re in training for the next Comrades marathon. These devices give you interesting feedback about your workouts like your steps, calories used, heart rate, pace, distance and more. The sophistication of wearable technology allows us to get more in tune with our body, our limits and they encourage us to get moving.
These are just a few of the hottest fitness trends that are hip and happening in 2018 but what about those fitness trends that turned out to be giant stinkers? Here are some trends to avoid.
1. Electric Muscle Stimulation
While there was belief that quick zaps of electricity to individual muscles helped to stimulate them to a greater extent, it falls short with the fact that you can’t train with progressive overload. So, while it may be cool to try, you’re better off going to that group fitness class and working out.
2. Ball Balance Moves
Those clear or blue bouncy ball bubbles you see athletes balancing on in the hopes of strengthening their muscles and improving posture, apparently don’t do all that much. According to experts, there’s no real benefit to them. Guess we can cross those off our lists then.
3. Smartphone exercise apps
Although the study on this doesn’t say why, smartphone exercise apps have fallen out of the list of top fitness trends. It could be due to the rise in group class training or the fact that we can wear our fitness gear on our wrists.
So, as long as you don’t fall into the trap of creepy fitness fads and extremist workouts then keeping up with the latest fitness trends is the perfect way to get inspired to start or maintain your active, healthy living lifestyle. They get you amped to try new workouts, show you how much fun you will have while doing it and help you to get the best out of your exercises. Time to dust off those running shoes and pull out the gym wear.