As 2018 comes rushing in, the fitness world is abuzz about reclaiming fitness trends without the bells and whistles. It all comes down to our desire to get back to the basics. A focus on eating unprocessed whole foods, exercises that don’t require costly equipment and digital detoxes: these trends are all the rage, and we’re here for it.
From wearable sports technology to post-workout meditation, 2017 was a remarkable year for fitness trends. The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal published the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018, in which they interviewed professionals in the field from all over to give their expert opinions. Here are some of the results.
- HIIT — Voted No. 1 for top fitness trend of 2018, HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a great workout routine for people who don’t have time to exercise. Workouts can take less than a half hour to actually start producing effects. The point of HIIT workouts isn’t to exert moderate energy for an extended period of time, but to get your heart rate up near 100 percent, with quick bursts of extreme exercise followed by a short period of rest before repeating the cycle.
HIIT exercises vary, from sprinting to jumping to squatting, but they are all meant to improve aerobic endurance or cardiovascular strength. Over-exercising has actually become a threat, as many still believe it is impossible. One major benefit of HIIT workouts are how short they can be. In as little as 10 minutes, the body’s metabolic rate can raise for the next several hours. Because the heart is pumping at such a high rate, more calories are being burned, too.
- Group Exercise — Working out has become a community affair for many individuals; and why not? You’re more likely to hit your workout goals if you got a group of cheerleaders at your disposal! One major benefit to this is the extra push to reach your fitness goals. The most basic tweaks in workout technique along with nutrition and diet tips can make all the difference in end results.
One major appeal to group exercise is the wide variety of classes at varying levels of difficulty. From dance classes to boot camps, a little friendly competition among people with similar health and wellness goals may just be the drive we’re looking for. During the new year, sign up for a class with a friend (or go alone and make some new ones) to start reaching your fitness goals. Double-up on the trend factor when you add active watches to your group exercise for heightened benefits.
- Weight Training — First gaining popularity in 2013, body weight training really brings us back to the basics of fitness. The centuries-old technique of using our body weight to exercise helps to build resistance. These workouts are like a high school gym class: push-ups, pull-ups, squats, burpees, etc. All that’s really needed for body weight training is, well, our bodies, making it a fitness trend perfect for those on a budget.
Some body weight trainers will include equipment into their routines, such as gymnastic rings, peg boards, ropes, and ladders. Most workouts require very little space to perform, and the workouts are typically designed to effectively increase muscle mass. Like most workouts, body strength training varies in skill level, making them great introductory courses for those new to strength training.
- Slacklining — This one isn’t exactly new, but it’s definitely poised to become one of the hottest fitness trends of the year, say the experts. Like a tightrope with bounce and elasticity, these lines are typically tied to two anchoring trees, hanging close to the ground so the activity is safer. There are many benefits to slacklining, primarily that it enhances your balance while engaging all of your muscles at once.
Slacklining has actually been found to enhance activity in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, athletes who train in special skills, including slacklining and dancing, can actually experiences changes in the brain’s activity.
- Novelty Yoga — From goats to disco, yoga instructors have been incorporating many unique mind and body techniques into their fitness routines in recent years. It’s a fact that animals help to lower anxiety and increase endorphins, so it makes sense to put animal therapy and yoga together. Yes, we’re serious: goat yoga is happening. So go ahead and bring your pup to doga or stretch with your favorite farm animals!
Overall, 2018’s electronic-free fitness trends are looking to be a lot like 2017, with some fun new twists on classic workouts. Balance some of these latest workouts with a healthy diet, positive mind and restful sleep for a happier, healthier year.