With the turn of a new year you’ll probably by now be thinking about hitting the gym, changing your diet and improving your lifestyle.
For many of you, the start of 2017 will symbolize a new starting point for self-improvement. And whilst you might already have ideas about what and how you’re going to start, the industry has new and fresh ideas that you might never have heard of.
Each year, the health and fitness industry changes the way that exercise and physical activity is provided – this year, there’s a number of über cool approaches, classes and products that will help you shape up in no time.
So whether your goal is to lose weight, shed fat or improve your general fitness, this list of the trendiest ways to get a better physique is all you need to get going.
#1. Body Weight Training
Portable, adaptable, no space needed and easy to learn. It’s easy to see why body weight strength training maintains it’s status as one of the most popular, minimalist methods of training this year.
With an endless number of exercises to choose from, the only limiting factor is your imagination. You can adapt routines to improve both strength and endurance, and pairing different exercises together as part of a superset is a great way to boost heart rate, metabolism and fat burning.
As a method of body weight training, calisthenics is fast becoming popular as the pinnacle of body weight training. This artistic training approach is great as it can be made simple and easy, or advanced and tough. It’s ideology is based around movement patterns similar to gymnastics so you can expect to see more difficult versions of body weight training here – one-arm pull-ups, muscle-ups, human flags, planche push-ups and dragon flags are just some of the brutal things you can work up to.
It’s becoming so popular in fact that many outdoor parks are installing pull-up bars, dip handles and rigs to help you get fit.
#2. Exercise for Weight Loss
Any exercise can be for weight loss can’t it? Well yes, but with the ever-increasing weight issues we are facing, there is even more of an emphasis on weight loss than ever before.
Although it’s a general category, and whether it’s a group class based around burning calories, the latest diet aimed at shedding fat, or just hitting the gym and lifting weight, there are more and more support networks than ever before for those wanting to lose weight.
Integrating physical activity with a calorie-conscious diet is the way forward. But you can also choose a support group or digital tracker app to help you on your way – this is your best year yet for changing your body composition and physique.
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#3. High-Intensity Interval Training
This fast-paced, intense method of training has become better known as HIIT in recent times. As an adaptable method of training it can implemented into either a cardio session or weights-based workout with minimal set-up.
The beauty of HIIT is that it burns a high amount of calories during the workout, but also continues to ramp up the metabolism for hours afterwards, as your body works hard to replenish lost energy stores.
Whilst it might not be suitable for those of you with injuries or illnesses, it can be catered to both new exercisers and elite athletes. Simply complete repeated bouts of high intensity work followed by periods of recovery. The timings range and vary but previous research has suggested work intervals of between 30 seconds to several minutes, separated by rest intervals of 1-5 – all you need to do is vary it according to your level of fitness.
#4. Outdoor Training
There’s no better way to get motivated than hitting the great outdoors for a workout. You can quickly enhance your weight loss and fitness by taking part in anything from jogging and circuit training, to structured sports such as climbing and surfing.
Choosing a workout with breathtaking views, forest trails or even just the local park can give you the pick me up you need to get on track this year.
Alternatively, with the rise of the bootcamp- style group class takeover, you can join a class with like-minded people and enjoy being put through your paces by qualified instructors who’ll soon have you shedding the pounds.
#5. Functional Training
The idea behind functional fitness training is that it gives you strength that transfers to everyday activities. Improving your motor skills as well as your endurance and body composition are all important aspects of total health and wellness.
Lifting weights in the gym using one muscle isn’t very time efficient – it’s not a great calorie burner, nor is it how the human body wants to move. Loaded carries, lunges, presses and kettlebell training focus on multi-joint, multi-directional exercise that allows the body to move how it should. Use these to really ramp up the intensity.
It’s a great calorie burner and helps to improve both body composition and function. Not only will you be strong, but you’ll improve in everyday tasks too, be it carrying groceries, playing with the kids or simply stacking a shelf.
#6. Corporate Exercise
With ever-increasing restraints on leisure time, entrepreneurs have realised that not every person can get to the gym – but if the gym comes to the person they are much more likely to exercise.
Employee health is quickly becoming part of any decent employer’s agenda. Whether that’s just to reduce sick days and boost productivity or genuinely to support the well-being of the workforce, who knows. But one thing is for sure – corporate exercise is on the increase.
Whether it’s a lunch break, on-site circuit class, a quick half hour in the company gym, or an early morning outdoor bootcamp, now’s the time to get involved. Add to that the increase in standing desks and exercise workstations and this year may well see a boom in integrated ‘active work’ initiatives.
The trend for incorporating mental well-being is also on the rise too, with meditation and yoga classes, mind and body activities and funded wearable activity trackers all available through some employers.
#7. Mobility Training
Not all exercise trends are about high intensity exercise, or smashing your body to pieces on a daily basis with weight training. Many hardworking exercisers often suffer from niggling injuries and stiffness from weight lifting.
Subsequently, the fitness industry has realised that part of health and wellness initiative is self-preservation – you can’t train if you’re injured. And when done properly, mobility training will support your weight loss goals too.
Exercising to improve range of motion is a way of preserving muscle and joint integrity. With a focus on corrective activities and movement patterns that promote flexibility, mobility training is another trend on the 2017 horizon.
So whether it’s taking part in flexibility classes, spending time on a foam roller or getting a deep tissue massage, looking after your body will help you improve blood circulation and work intensely in the gym with minimal chance of injury. It’ll help you decrease levels of cortisol – the belly-fat causing stress hormone that is any weight loss trainer’s worst enemy.
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