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If you’re ready to ditch your step-counting gadgets and distance-tracking apps, you might be in good company this year.
Fitness is in full swing in 2018, and the trends we’re seeing say a lot about what people enjoy most about getting into shape. Some incumbents have stuck around. But we’re also seeing a fairly large shift in the way people approach exercise. This year people are passing on the tech for a return to basics, and they’re doing it in group environments.
While we’re only a few months into the new year, here are some of the biggest trends we’re seeing. We highly recommend trying any or all of these out.
Time is more valuable than ever, and fitness is following suit. We’re busier than ever, and people are forgoing longer workouts in lieu of those that deliver results in a fraction of the time. This is particularly evident in the rise of high intensity interval training, or HIIT. These exercises combine short spurts of high intensity activity followed by even shorter periods of rest.
Because HIIT combines aerobic, as well as anaerobic exercises, in routines as short as 4 minutes, they’re becoming increasingly popular. But don’t let that time frame fool you. “Intensity” is in the title for a reason. We’re big fans of HIIT, but most of the workouts leave us begging for mercy. Several studies show that just five to 10 minutes of high-intensity exercise can deliver the same results as 45 minutes of moderate exercise can.
Back to the Basics
For years, we’ve seen the rise of wearable tech. Silicon Valley promised better results with a “quantitative life” where you could measure everything from sleep patterns to steps. A host of new, wearable technology followed suit. But this year people are starting to ditch those apps and watches and opt for a return to the basics instead.
Group classes that center on basic movements like jump rope have become more and more popular. These classes forego equipment and keep things simple. The reason? People are starting to understand that expensive equipment doesn’t deliver better results. Basic movements that don’t require a long learning curve tend to also be more fun and less intimidating for participants.
It’s also becoming clear that people prefer working out in groups to exercising alone. This could be related to our built-in tribal instinct. Group classes offer what individual exercises don’t—a connection to others, motivation, and professional supervision. A common fitness goal shared by an entire group plays a huge factor in being able to adopt and stick with a routine. And because people are being coached and supervised by a professional, they tend to see similar benefits others get from personal training, but at a fraction of the cost.
Yoga Isn’t Going Anywhere
Yoga has dominated the fitness world for a while now. And if you’re a fan of the total mind/body workout that comes with it, we have good news: it’s not going anywhere. Yoga’s popularity stems from its ability to simultaneously decrease stress while toning the body. But that’s just half the story. Yoga has remained popular because yoga professionals have found new ways to introduce different styles and routines into the practice, so it remains fun and challenging for participants.
Move More, Stress Less – 7 of the best stress-reducing activities
Bodyweight Training is Back
Nothing is quite as intimidating as walking into a gym and facing a bunch of fancy weight machinery that you need an instruction manual to operate. That might be part of the reason why bodyweight training is making a comeback. Bodyweight training has been around for ages. The Spartans were big fans. Push-ups, sit ups, and lunges are all part of bodyweight training, and none of them require any equipment to get started. When you use your own bodyweight, you can work multiple muscles at once while working out wherever and whenever you want. And because you can mix and match the different moves however you want, it hardly ever gets boring. Bodyweight training can also lead to excellent six-packs.
Get more out of your workout with circuit training – here’s a guide to get you started.
Functional fitness is basically using strength to improve your balance, coordination, and power in order to better perform the activities that come with daily life. And it’s turning into a big trend. Lifting groceries, walking up the stairs, and moving furniture are all functional activities that require you to use your entire body. Functional fitness tends to focus on basic movements that replicate how you move in real life so that you’ll continue feeling strong even after you’ve left the gym.
Mixing up the Movements
It’s becoming increasingly clear that people don’t like being bored during their workouts. Exercising has become something that people want to look forward to during the day—not a checkbox item that they have to sweat through. This year, people are mixing up their workouts with different types of classes. Doing a spin class on Monday and a barre class on Thursday is helping people reach their goals quicker without getting bored in the process.
Whether you want to stick with your tried-and-true routine, or you want to give something new a try, the good news is: they’re all good. It’s ok to be trendy here. No matter how you choose to exercise, you can’t go wrong—unless your idea of exercising is sitting on the couch. In that case, we’d highly recommend trying something new.