Trends seem to sneak their way into all areas of our lives, including health and fitness. We have fad diet dilemmas, space-age technological advances and upscale fusion-fitness classes that make us feel like we’re cycling on another planet. Trends can be overwhelming to keep up with, but not all of them are useless. We’ve consulted our expert Group Exercise instructors to see which fitness trends are worth trying out.
1. Keeping track of what you eat
“Food tracking. It may not be a new trend, but the technology is getting easier and easier to use.” –Barry Septer (GRIT Series)
Tracking has become a big part of many workout plans, with both exercise and food. Smartwatches and wristbands can measure your heart rate, sleep schedule, steps, stair climbs, weight loss and activity levels.
On the nutrition side of things, several national diet companies use food tracking to help users count calories and stick within their body’s parameters. With more Americans opting to know the data, the technology is becoming easier (and cheaper) to get your hands on.
2. High Intensity Interval Training
“For me, it's HIIT. You can convince your 'tribe' or [class] to work hard knowing that it's only for short periods of training. And, you can achieve an 'after-burn' that continues once you leave the class… win-win!” –Wynedka Palmer (SPRINT, CXWORX, BODYPUMP)
“I love High Intensity Interval Training and body-weight formats like barre and core classes.” –Audrea Webb (Cycle/Barre Fusion, Cycling, Basic Step/Interval Fusion, Abs Express, Just Weights)
If you’re not familiar with High Intensity Interval Training, stop into a Y near you to join a class like boot camp, BODYCOMBAT or Abs Express. This workout technique takes participants through intense, short cardio sessions where they can push themselves to the limit in a set time-frame. These intervals–which usually last only up to 90 seconds–get your heart racing.
3. Unconventional runs
“I’m into Ultra Marathons (marathons that are longer than the traditional 26.2 miles) and trail-running.” –Valerie Fowler (Cycling, Sculpt/Core Fusion, Just Weights)
Trail-running has become more popular over the past few years, but it’s always been an exercise favorite. These runs bring you into nature on an uneven course with built-in obstacles like tree roots that will challenge you every time (think: running hike). If you really love to trail-run, this trend has special gear, workouts, and consistently rewarding views.
4. Functional Fitness
“I don’t like to refer to changes in the industry as trends. I'm a girl who loves the science of fitness, and I back any new program that is scientifically established and data-driven. That being said, I love functional fitness. I love to challenge myself and my participants with specific mobility drills and weight exercises that drive performance. Tailoring the class content to include common movement deficiencies is key and leads to incredible gains in strength and visible changes in movement patterns.” –Mary Evelyn Henderson (Boot Camp, Family Yoga)
If you know what works for your body, stick to it. Our Group Exercise instructors, personal trainers and registered dietitians are focused on the science of why something works, as Mary Evelyn says, rather than adopting something new and flashy just because it’s trending.