As we are approaching the end of the 1st quarter of the year, I dare to ask, how you are doing with your New Years’ Resolutions? One in particular that I am referring to is your goal to get healthy with adding exercise into your lifestyles. Well, if you are doing well and accomplishing what you have set out to do, congratulations! Change doesn’t come overnight. It takes persistence and dedication. Remember: Fit is not a destination, it is a way of life. Whether you’re into bodybuilding, cardio, strength training or just getting started (or thinking about starting an exercise routine), these fitness trends will help you reach your goals.
At the top of the list is bodyweight exercises. Trainers say it’s a year defined by a return to the basic exercises. Health experts expect people to gravitate toward workouts they can do anywhere, because they don’t require any equipment. This type of exercise is great for everyone, economical and a time-saving option. “Pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups remain the foundation of these effective workouts”, says Walter Thompson, a professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University. Other exercises include burpees, planks, squats, and more.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) alternates between short but intense bursts of activity followed by periods of rest or low intensity moves. The entire workout can usually be done in under 30 minutes. This is perfect for those of us who want to workout but only have a limited amount of time. How much of a payoff does HIIT really offer over traditional, steady-state (slow and steady) cardio that most people do at a moderate intensity for 30-60 minutes? Some studies have shown that HIIT burns up to nine times more fat than traditional cardiovascular exercises and keeps your metabolism elevated for more than 24 hours afterwards. This means you’re going to keep burning calories long after you have finished exercising.
Exercising under the supervision of a certified professional is still important to many people. Working with a personal fitness trainer is very helpful for beginners who may not know where to begin or what type of exercises will be beneficial for them or if you need that extra push to get and keep you going. You can get exercises individually tailored to meet your goals (one workout doesn’t always fit all). This option can be expensive for some but well worth it if you need someone who will keep you motivated and accountable. If individual personal training is too expensive for you, give group personal training a try. Sessions involve just 2 to 3 people who get the same one-on-one attention as they would in an individual session but at a lower cost (makes more economic sense for the trainer and the client). Also, with this type of training you are more motivated to go to the gym knowing there is a supportive group of friends waiting. Check out this link to see if a Personal Trainer is right for you.
Strength Training remains the central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all activity levels and genders. It can be added to most workouts to improve and maintain strength, but the benefits go beyond the gym. Some of the benefits include boosting your mood and energy levels, improving memory, and protects bone health and muscle mass as we age. After puberty, men or women, we begin to lose about 1% of our bone and muscle strength every year. Adding strength training to your workout is one of the best ways to stop, prevent and even reverse bone and muscle loss. Strength training can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures. If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. Along with other healthy lifestyle changes, strength training can help improve glucose control in the 14 million Americans who have Type 2 Diabetes.
Yoga is based on ancient tradition, utilizing a series of bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. Some types of yoga are Power Yoga, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu and many more. Improving flexibility and lowering stress are its well- known benefits. Some fitness benefits are helping to build lean muscle mass and improving flexibility. Reducing stress and improving focus are mental benefits. New research reveals that yoga can help your heart. Not usually thought of as a cardio workout, the practice is actually as good for your heart as aerobic exercises like brisk walking and biking, according to a report in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers found that both types of activities reduce BMI, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and heart rate. These are 4 key factors of heart health. Other benefits are improves sex life, curbs food cravings, boosts immunity, makes migraines less frequent, eases PMS cramps and helps reduce stress incontinence.
This is just a short list of the different types of exercises (and ways to access them) that are trending right now. There are so many others that may be the right fit (no pun intended) for you. So go out there and do something! Remember: No Matter How Slow You Go, You Are Still Lapping Everyone on the Couch! Until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself, be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal!
*We strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.