When it comes to staying fit, running is my go-to. It’s my “me” time, where I think about all the things. It relieves my stress, and it gives me that amazing high afterward. It’s pretty much been my main form of exercise for the last 10+ years.
I have dabbled in other things over the last decade though.
I’ve tried different forms of yoga: ashtanga, vinyasa, hatha, bikram, and yin yoga. And there was that time a friend and I tried SoulCycle. We enjoyed the 45-minute heart-thumping, spin-dancing class. Afterward, we went to the bar next door for beers, and never returned to SoulCycle again. Not because we didn’t like it, but because it was too expensive. We didn’t feel the cost of the class was worth attending on a regular basis. I also tried SoldierFit once — they partnered with an organization I work with, Girls on the Run, as part of a Women Empowerment series we put together.
Other than that, I haven’t done much else besides run.
I’m embracing diversity in my fitness now though. And for a little inspiration, I looked into the latest trends for this year.
The American College of Sports Medicine surveys thousands of professionals around the world each year to determine health and fitness trends. They released their results for 2019 late last year.
Here are this year’s predicted trends:
1. Wearable Technology — Wearable technology includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. These devices can track mileage, heart rate, calories, sitting time, and much more. Wearable technology first appeared as a fitness trend in 2016. It was the #1 trend in 2016 and 2017 before dropping to #3 for 2018. Looks like it’s making a comeback for the #1 spot this year. Personally, I love my GPS running watch and prefer not to run without it — I know it’s a mental thing, but I feel like it helps make the miles go by faster.
2. Group Training — ACSM’s survey defines group training as more than five participants. Group exercise training programs have been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until 2017 that group exercise training made the top 10, appearing at #6, and #2 in the 2018 survey. The trend appears to be holding strong this year.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) — These exercise programs typically involve short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest. HIIT was #1 in the survey for 2014 and 2018 and has been in the top five every year since 2014. The workouts typically last under 30 minutes, but can be longer, if desired. I’ve recently been doing HIIT workouts with my kettlebell, and it’s been a game changer in my strength-training routine!
4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults — This is a trend that emphasizes and caters to the fitness needs of the Baby Boom and older generations. It makes sense — people are living longer, working longer, and remaining healthy and active much longer.
5. Bodyweight Training — This exercise program is all about using bodyweight as the training modality. Examples are burpees, lunges, squats, planks, and push-ups. Bodyweight training often uses minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive functional way to exercise effectively. Who doesn’t love a good, strong plank? Here are 50 bodyweight moves you can do anywhere.
6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals — As the fitness industry continues to grow, so does the demand for fitness professionals, which makes the importance of hiring certified health/fitness professionals through fully accredited programs more important than ever. We all want someone who knows what they’re doing, amirite?
7. Yoga — It’s a classic. Yoga has taken on a variety of forms within the past year. According to ACSM, there’s been Power Yoga, Yogilates, and yoga in hot environments, among others. We’ve certainly come a long way from the humble hatha yoga. See also: Yoga – The 9 types you need to know
8. Personal Training — Personal training has been a top 10 trend since the survey was first published in 2006. It includes fitness testing and goal setting with the trainer, working one-on-one to prescribe workouts specific to each client’s individual needs and goals. It’s become more accessible now as more trainers offer their services online. Question: Have you used an online personal trainer? If so, what did you think? I’ve been considering one.
9. Functional Fitness Training — This type of training replicates actual physical activities someone might do as a function of their daily routine. The exercises are designed to train and develop muscles to make it easier and safer to perform everyday activities, such as carrying groceries or going up a flight of stairs. One type of functional exercise is a squat because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects.
10. Exercise is Medicine — Exercise is Medicine is ACSM’s global health initiative focused on encouraging health care providers to include physical activity assessments and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit, and referring their patients to exercise professionals.
And there you have it. ACSM actually published the top 20 fitness trends, so feel free to check out the other 10 here.
What do you think? Are you taking part in any of these trends this year?