Stay in shape with the latest fitness trends

July 24, 2012

You want not only to get fit, but to keep with the times in your workout routine.

Look no further. We found that some new trends are in vogue, and many of them are new twists on the old standards.

According to the experts at medicine.net, a few exercise and diet trends appear to be fading away. These include high-impact aerobic workouts and expensive home gym equipment.

Experts say other health trends seem to be on the way up. These include:

  • Back-to-basics exercise plans
  • Functional fitness
  • Mind/body workouts
  • "Buddy systems" of working out

Getting back to basics

Experts say that people are moving back toward the basics for getting in shape.

Ken Locker is a spokesman for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). "Everybody in America now has a little treadmill in the corner with clothes on it. Now, there is a trend away from that, a trend back to basics," he said.

By basics, he means using the body, and not much else, to get in shape. Remember those push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and sprints from grade school? If trend forecasters are right, that could be the workout of the future.

Phil Black is a former Navy Seal instructor who is now a personal trainer. He said another emerging trend is functional fitness. These are programs that help you move through daily life with greater ease.  "People don't care so much about becoming a pro athlete," Black said. “They care about whether they can pick up their child without hurting their back. Or do things around the house without getting injured or sore." Black invented the Fit Deck, a type of flash cards for everyday workouts. "We're looking towards workouts that increase flexibility and core strength. And help you live a healthier life overall," Black said.

Exercises that help both your body and mind

One of the most popular fitness trends involves combining what might seem like opposite exercises. These include mind-body movements plus aerobics.

Among these popular new workouts are:

  • Cy-Yo is a one-hour workout. It combines 10 minutes of yoga, 40 minutes of speed cycling on a stationary bike, then 10 more minutes of yoga. Then, exercises take time to cool down and refocus the mind.
  • YogaFit workouts combine traditional yoga with a variety of other activities. The other activities include strength training, core muscle building, and butt firming.
  • PiYo, a Yoga and Pilates combination, is another hot combination to watch, say the trend watchers at IdeaFit, a membership and training organization for fitness professionals.

The top trends in staying healthy

The American Council on Exercise conducted a survey recently. They surveyed personal trainers, exercise scientists, group fitness experts, health providers, and others. ACE wanted to find out what are the most significant trends for 2012. Here are ACE's Top Fitness Trends for 2012:

Obesity awareness

Losing weight will continue to be the primary reason consumers seek personal-training support. People are responding to the expanded messaging concerning the dangers of physical inactivity and obesity.

Whole-life training

Lifestyle coaching will become a bigger trend in 2012. More personal trainers are expanding their education and training to help improve their clients' lifestyles. Fitness facilities are also hiring nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. These additional experts will offer wellness, nutrition, and stress-management programs.

Community partnerships

Access to fitness services and education will continue to expand in local communities. This expansion includes activities in gyms, parks, and recreation centers. It also includes school-based education programs and engagement with low-income and at-risk families.

More technology

Technology is starting to play a role alongside in-person fitness services. Technology can provide additional motivational support. In the coming year, social media and mobile-based apps will continue to change the industry. Fitness organizations are creating more interactive and online-based programs and classes.

Senior and youth specialties

Aquatic and group fitness classes will be the most popular forms of exercise for older adults. Also expect to see more physical fitness in schools and youth-based classes at fitness centers.

Workplace support

Employers will look to outsource wellness programs to local fitness facilities and health clubs. Employers are looking for places that can provide total health management. They also want employee discounts and reduced membership fees to increase access for workers.

New styles of working out

Zumba, boot camp-style workouts, TRX Suspension Training, and interval training are popular workout trends. Balance and core training also will become more popular.

The most popular ways to exercise change from year to year. Sometimes, you need a new exercise to get you back on track. Other times, a new exercise is a better way to reach your health goals. But one thing never changes. The best exercise for you is the exercise you love to do most.