If you find yourself less than motivated to keep exercising, it might be time to switch up your workout. Participating in a new activity can make exercise more fun, especially if you involve your friends. Trying a new type of exercise is also good for your body because it can challenge different muscle groups and reduce your risk for overuse injuries.
For a little inspiration, check out these top fitness trends predicted for 2018 from the American College of Sports Medicine. As always, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): You’ve probably seen a HIIT class in progress at the gym. HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.
Many people shy away from trying HIIT classes because they worry about getting injured. Those who take HIIT classes say it’s a great way to burn fat.
The survey from the ACSM ranked HIIT as the No. 1 fitness trend for 2018.
“HIIT offers participants a good workout that can be done without a lot of time or equipment,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, president of ACSM and the lead author of the survey on fitness trends. “Research shows that with proper precautions, like working with a certified personal trainer, HIIT can be a safe, effective and fun way to exercise.”
- Group Training: HIIT isn’t for everyone; some people prefer to work out at their own fitness level. In group training, instructors teach, lead and motivate individuals though intentionally designed group exercise classes. Have you ever taken a cycle class or a Zumba® class? Both are types of group exercise.
Group programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals. Before you take a group exercise class, make sure your instructor has a national group exercise certification such as those offered by the American Council on Exercise and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America.
- Wearable Technology: Fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices can help motivate you to keep working out. Not only can you track your progress to reach 10,000 steps every day, some devices let you compete against friends for taking the most steps. Heart rate monitors – particularly ones that work with a chest strap – can help you burn fat by making sure you’re not working out too hard or not hard enough.
- Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment, making it one of the most affordable forms of exercise. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness. Personal trainers and certified athletic trainers can help you learn proper form for body weight training.
- Strength Training: Strength training helps build muscle, which in turn helps burn more fat. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.) Many gyms have staff on hand to help teach you the basics of strength training if you need guidance.
- Yoga: Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific body poses practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others. Although you won’t burn as many calories taking a yoga class as you would by taking an aerobics class, yoga reduces stress and anxiety, both of which can affect your weight. Yoga may also help alleviate chronic low-back pain.
- Personal Training: Do you need a little accountability? Many people find that paying for personal training sessions forces them to stay consistent with their workouts. Working out with a personal trainer can help you prevent injuries and increase the likelihood of reaching your fitness goals.
- Functional Fitness. Do you have trouble balancing or worry about falling? Function fitness classes can help you improve your balance and make it easier to go about routine daily activities.