New Fitness Trends

Top Ten New Fitness Trends

What's the hot word in workouts?

   1. "Buffet-Style" Fitness. Fitness today is a smorgasbord of choices. Take a spinning class, an adventure vacation, a Chi Kung course or a plain old walk around the block. Better yet, take turns and do them all. Instead of restricting people to rigid guidelines, fitness experts are telling people to have fun, try new things, take risks and change fitness routines often.
   2. Pros In the Know. Remember when the guy on the block with the home gym was the weight lifting expert? Not anymore. Most of today's professional personal trainers and group fitness instructors are educated and certified. They keep up with research, industry news and professional standards. They may specialize in areas such as injury rehabilitation, special medical conditions, pre and postnatal fitness and more. Today's fitness pro has to stay on top of things -- because today's exerciser is also more knowledgeable about health and fitness than ever before.

   3. The Way to Weigh Less (And No Nasty Side Effects). Weight control is a big problem and getting bigger all the time, as the world's population ages and sedentary living takes its toll. Over and over again, researchers continue to prove the benefits of physical activity for managing weight. It's not as easy as taking a diet pill, but it's safer -- and all the side effects (more energy, less risk of disease) are positive!
   4. Getting Personal. The right personal trainer can educate you, motivate you, inspire you. And they're really not just for celebrities anymore. The personal training business is booming because highly-skilled guidance and individual attention can mean the difference between an activity program that fades out after six weeks and one that lasts a lifetime.
   5. Only the Strong Survive. Strength training may be the single biggest trend, bar none, due to increased awareness of its long-term health benefits. It's popular for men and women, young and old, at home or at the gym, one-to-one with a personal trainer or with a group, using free weights or machines or exercise bands. Why? Stronger muscles generally mean better health, higher metabolism and slower aging, not to mention a better profile and a confidence boost.
   6. More Mindful, More Meaning. Can fitness help you concentrate better, become more alert, enhance your personal growth, improve your productivity and organizational skills - even provide spiritual benefits? Some fitness experts think so, and an increasing number of exercisers are interested in experimenting. Lifestyle and wellness programs, yoga, tai chi and other martial arts, ethnic dance forms, relaxation programs and exercise with visualization or meditation components are some of the options.
   7. Convenience + Fun = Fit. Exercisers want the convenience of working out at home and the fun of the Great Outdoors. More people will opt to have it all - buying home equipment for efficiency and planning outdoor walks, hikes and climbs when schedules (and weather) permit. Speaking of convenience, shorter workouts and classes are becoming increasingly popular. More fitness classes these days are coming in 30-minute formats, and more experts are advising 20-minute strength training sessions.
   8. Sporting Around. Sports are skyrocketing for girls and women, the "weekend warrior" trend is popular for baby boomers, and programs that teach sports skills and sports conditioning are becoming more common.
   9. Box, Cycle, Stretch. Indoor cycling, boxing-based classes, and stretching and flexibility programs are all on the fitness "hot" list. Water fitness, programs for mature exercisers and non-intimidating classes for the underactive are also growing.
  10. How You Live, Not How You Look. Oh, looking better is always going to be a plus, but feeling better and living better may be even more appealing to many people in the future. Baby boomers want to stay healthy and live vigorously for as long as possible. Great abs and hard biceps are nice, but so is reducing stress, staying agile, lowering blood pressure, and being able to romp with grandchildren or play basketball without getting hurt.

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