Getting fit, or at least in better shape, seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds this year, whether you are a teen, millennial or baby-boomer. There are seemingly countless fads and trends that are popular right now. First, though, it is important to distinguish between a “fad” and a “trend,” because, while they are related, they are inherently different.
A fad – a diet, practice or exercise – gets people energized and excited and seems to come from nowhere rather quickly. It’s also known as a “craze.” Fads are often short-lived and fade away, like fidget spinners and Tae Bo.
Trends come along like fads and may appear to only last for a brief period but have more staying power and can last for years. Fads can even become a trend over time. YouTube and Barre are great examples.
Regarding fitness, there are many standards that have developed over the past few decades. Things like eating whole foods rather than processed, burning more calories than you consume, overall health is better with more movement and the value of walking as exercise are all valid to both feel and look better no matter what age the participant may be.
Many fitness activities that may seem like fads now are on the fast-track to become trends in the future. Here are the top 5 exercise fads for 2019:
HIIT or High-intensity Interval Training
The appeal for this popular exercise regimen is high. Burning calories quickly so you can get on with your day is an exciting prospect. The premise is that there are alternating short bursts of arduous exercise and brief periods of rest. The heart rate is elevated rapidly and fat burns for hours after your workout is complete. Some sessions can burn as many as 500 calories, making this the “go-to” for individuals who are eager to maximize their workouts. Check out these HIIT workouts for beginners.
Building muscle has never been easier – and you don’t need expensive and heavy equipment to do it! Using the weight of your own body as resistance safely builds muscle and eliminates fat. This is a great example of a smarter training method, rather than pushing harder. This type of exercise enhances strength, endurance, power, coordination, flexibility, speed and balance. Try these bodyweight exercises to get you started.
Fitness Activities for the Older Generation
Building muscle can be more difficult for those over 40 but there are a variety of exercises available to keep older adults healthy and in better shape. Shifting a ball from hand to hand, low impact aerobics that increase heart rate, using resistance bands and stretching exercises all help to increase flexibility, mobility, strength and minimize the chances for injury that plague inactive seniors. Many programs like SilverSneakers® are free with certain insurance plans. Learn more about SilverSneakers®.
Since yoga has been around for thousands of years it is not really a fad but there has been a resurgence in its popularity in the last few years. Classes in Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga and more offer participants the opportunity to stretch, increase flexibility and balance and ensure that the muscles and joints are working as they should, irrespective of age. Find out about yoga basics here.
Functional Fitness Training
A practical approach to exercise, functional fitness helps maintain the ability to do everyday tasks. It improves coordination, endurance, strength, balance and daily living activities. For example, a squat simulates the movement of bending and picking something up from the floor. Anyone can complete functional fitness training but it is particularly applicable for seniors.
Even though there is no single, simple answer to being fit, exercise can substantially reduce health risks. More health care providers than ever before are recommending not just to “exercise,” but to join a gym or fitness center. Classes abound at these facilities and personal trainers can assist you in finding the right exercise program for your specific needs.
2019 holds much promise for encouraging individuals of all ages to eat better and be healthier by following some type of regular fitness routine. Not only is it an efficient way to burn calories, it improves overall mood, keeps the heart and lungs strong and increases our enjoyment of life. Jim Rohn says, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Getting more exercise is a fad worth joining; let’s make it become a trend!