‘Tis the season for reflection, and while 2015 has had its ups and downs, we can’t help looking forward and getting inspired for the year ahead — especially when it comes to fitness fads.
Fitness is a lot like fashion; trends come and go. New products and workout classes enter the industry all the time, and while some of them are long-loved (think about the uptick of yoga and Spin classes), some only stick around for a season or two before being relegated to dusty DVDs for “nostalgia” workouts. (Remember Tae Bo? Yeah — we vaguely do too.)
However, nutrition and overall wellness will never go out of style. As for specific workouts that will complement a healthy lifestyle; the news is in. For 10 years, experts at the American College of Sports Medicine have weighed in on what professionals, doctors, industry leaders and researchers have assessed as being the top trends in fitness, year after year. Let’s have a look, and get excited about what’s trending into 2016!
#1. Wearable, trackable & must-have
2016 fitness trends won’t involve a whole new wardrobe, nor will it necessitate buying the latest less-than-8-minute abs video. However, the number one trend does cost money: wearable fitness devices.
Interestingly, devices for tracking miles, counting steps and monitoring heart rate have been around since the 80s, but in the last several years, when coupled with your data plan, these technologies have gotten smarter, stylish and are widely available. Wearable fitness has topped the list for 2015 and will continue its upward velocity into the New Year.
#2. Intensity & rest in intervals
High-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) held the number one spot for workout trends for the past two years. It’s still here to stay, so if you haven’t tried it, ‘tis the season for a resolution to do so! H.I.I.T involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short periods of rest. The cycles last 30 minutes or less which is valuable for people “squeezing” workouts into busy schedules.
“Pairing different exercises back-to-back helps to keep the intensity bursts of cardio really torches calories,” says fitness model Jen Jewell. A note of caution about H.I.I.T – it does carry potential for high injury rate. Honor your body, your limits and use good judgement when you’re new to any workout.
#3. Personalized, professional & inspired
The availability of certified trainers and teachers of health and fitness has grown exponentially in the past five years. Not only is it easier and more affordable than ever to hire personal trainer, there’s a surge that won’t stop — training to be the trainer.
“To teach is to learn” is a very powerful concept. That attitude has led thousands of Americans to seek certifications and accreditation in all different types of exercise. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted the employment of fitness trainers and instructors will have grown by 13% by 2022.
Another facet to this trend is inspired training. Americans have a durable admiration of celebrities. From Jane Fonda videos to Dancing with the Stars on TV, icons will always influence people to get up and move. In 2015, wellness retreats and fitness vacations were increasingly popular. As celebrity workouts become brick and mortar businesses, people will come there for their workouts. David Jack’s Activlab is the perfect example of this trend — a celebrity directed facility with Amazing Race inspired workouts.
#4. Functional & fun for all ages
As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement, more discretionary money is being spent by seniors than their younger counterparts. Age-appropriate fitness programs geared towards keeping older adults healthy will thrive in 2016. Improving balance, coordination and endurance are the keys to the functional fitness trend, meant to enhance a person’s ability to perform daily activities.
#4. Food + fitness
More and more convenient, healthy options became available in 2015. Not only has Chipotle spearheaded the “fast casual” dining trend, companies like Blue Apron and local CSA boxes (community-supported agriculture) have made it even easier to eat healthy, even when you have minimal time to shop for and prepare elaborate meals. Plus, a growing number of online resources make getting inspired as easy as clicking a button. 2015 was truly a turning point in health, demonstrating it’s not enough to simply eat healthy or work out — both are essential cornerstones for overall wellness.
#6. Mindfulness & meditation on the mat
The 3,000 year old practice of yoga continues to dominate fitness and wellness industries in America. The purpose of the practice isn’t in fact meant to be a workout, but nobody’s complaining about the physical byproducts (all those planks do flatten your abs!) The many styles of yoga offered prove its accessibility to all. Yoga classes trending for 2016 include Bikram (hot yoga), ashtanga, vinyasa, kundalini, Sivananda and more.
Overall fitness will definitely be trending in 2016. Whatever your fitness goals are for the New Year, stick with them and keep your eyes open. Emerging trends are always on the horizon. Which ones will you pioneer, partake in or pass on?