The Latest and Most Popular Fitness Classes and Devices
As with most things in life, monotony leads to boredom. The same goes for exercise and fitness routines. If you keep doing the same old thing, you may find yourself in a rut, or worse, unknowingly doing something that’s actually causing yourself bodily harm.
It makes sense, therefore, to keep abreast of fitness trends. That’s why the most avid of fitness buffs are always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to keep fit, amplify their stamina and stay terrifically toned. If you’re in the market for innovative workout options, check out this list of the latest and hottest fitness trends:
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Having been around for several decades now, High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, isn’t really something new but it has enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years. As its name suggests, HIIT is famed for being a super intense workout that lasts for about 30 minutes or under. A typical HIIT workout usually consists of short bursts of peak activity, alternated with brief periods of rest, which are also known as “recovery.” HIIT’s recent fame has to do with it being well-suited for young fitness buffs, who love a workout challenge. Be warned, however, that HIIT isn’t meant for everyone. If you’re older or out of shape, it’s best to ease into something less challenging first.
You may like working up a sweat to keep the heart rate up and stretch to stay flexible and limber, but let’s not forget to do your muscle-strengthening exercises. Though this form of exercise, which helps to build and tone muscles, has been popular for quite some time, it’s gaining an even bigger following. This boost in popularity is due to its versatility, making it a favoured choice not just among the young set, but seniors too. To start strength training, you can choose from a range of free weights and resistance bands, and then graduate to resistance exercise machines. This means, each person can choose a level of intensity that’s just right for them.
Small Group Classes
If you’re an avid gym goer, you’ll know that not all fitness classes are created equal. For one thing, some gyms try to fit in way too many people in one class. This often results in confusion and chaos, because you can’t really see or hear the instructor. Not ideal when you’re hitting the gym partly to work out the day’s frustrations! Thankfully, the trend is now to have smaller groups, which offers more personal attention from the fitness instructor. Another plus point is that small group classes don’t cost as much as one-on-one training sessions, so you’re getting the best out of both worlds. You can work out with friends, but keep your gym expenses down.
Body Weight Training
Think you need loads of pricey gym equipment to get great results? Think again. With Body Weight Training, the emphasis is on using minimal equipment, whilst practicing back-to-basic workouts. Sounds too good, to be true? Well, the lack of equipment doesn’t mean this form of training will eventually become mundane or obsolete. There are plenty of moves to learn, like Spiderman push-ups and lunge-to-dragon squats, and these will keep challenging you. So when you’re ready to take things to the next level, just learn a few new moves and increase the intensity of your workout.
People used to keep track of their fitness levels by hopping onto a bathroom scale or reaching for a tape measure. But, in recent years, things have gone decidedly more high tech. Today, the trend has truly found its footing, as wireless connectivity also enables you to synchronise the fitness device to your computer, iPod, Android and phone – gadgets that have become a crucial part of our daily lives. But what are fitness devices? Well, they are devices you can wear that will help keep track of when you’re walking, running and cycling, as well as activities such as steps taken, stairs climbed, distance traveled and calories burned. There are also gadgets to check on your quality of sleep and heart-rate. With all these options, it’s no wonder why more fitness buffs are turning to wearable fitness devices to help them reach their goals.
This fitness trend hasn’t hit our shores yet, but it seems inevitable. Since our society has become increasingly dependent on the Internet and going digital, we may soon see local gyms launching their own online platforms, like some of their overseas counterparts. The trend, which has gained a growing following abroad, taps into the at-home workout market. Thanks to broadband and excellent digital streaming, you too may be able to join a fitness class without even having to leave your home or office. Due to the freedom this trend provides in choosing when and where to work out, we may just see it taking off here too.
Fitness trends may come, go and even make a comeback, but the most important thing is to keep up-to-date. This is so you can make educated choices in your pursuit of fitness. It’s not really about keeping up with emerging trends, but rather to understand the latest exercise innovations that could give you the most benefit.
While it’s perfectly okay to stick to an exercise routine that you’re comfortable with, just be sure that it continues to be safe and beneficial for you. Lastly, do keep an open mind for other forms of exercise that can help take your fitness to the next level.
What’s No Longer Cool
Some fitness trends may be all the rage one minute and fall out of favour the next, but why does that happen? Check out some of the fitness fads that have become outdated and the reasons behind it:
Once upon a time, aerobics was the “in thing” and it was believed that it’s all you needed to get fit. Now we know that a complete fitness programme combines aerobics (or cardio), with strength, flexibility and balance training. Focusing on just aerobics may put you at risk for injury and age-related muscle, strength, flexibility and bone loss.
People used to believe that the bigger the weights, the better the results. However, heavy weights ended up causing more harm than good in the long run. Today’s strength training is better for the body, as it builds muscle and boosts metabolism using lighter weights, resistance bands and proper technique.
Endless abdominal crunches
In the quest for a flat tummy or washboard abs, fitness fiends have been known to crunch their abs like crazy, unwittingly causing themselves neck and lower back injuries. Today, the focus is more on core muscles found in the back, sides (obliques) and abdomen. A combination of abdominal, back, shoulder, and leg exercises are used to build strong muscles, while protecting your neck and back.
When done right, jumping can be a great way to work out the entire body and burn off calories. However, in some circumstances, jumping can actually do more harm than good. If a person is overweight or a beginner to fitness regimes, for example, jumping can cause excessive stress on joints. Low impact exercises, like lunges, squats and stepping are much kinder on the knees.
If you’re concerned that your current exercise routine might be out of date or even harmful, do talk to your fitness instructor or personal trainer and ask for advice.