Many of 2013’s fitness trends began last year and are gaining popularity. Although fitness fads can come and go, new exercise routines are a great way to invigorate your workout. Like anything new, a new workout is exciting! But after so many repetitions, that once-fun routine loses its spark. When you get bored, it becomes easier to slack off. That’s when it’s time to try something new so that exercise remains fun. Exercise isn’t just for burning calories after all–it helps keep your heart healthy, your blood pressure and blood sugars controlled and is an excellent stress-reliever.
Whether you’re an exerciser who’s looking for something new or someone who’s just starting, here are some trendy (plus fun and effective) fitness ideas to get you going. As with any new exercise, it’s a good idea to start slowly to avoid injury. If it has been a while since you were active, it’s also wise to double-check with your doctor.
Circuit training/interval training.
This type of routine is touted for more results in less time. Some research shows that instead of “steady state” exercise, like walking at the same pace throughout your routine, using different muscle groups and varying the intensity of your exercise, burns more calories and helps build muscle. You can try interval training on your own (see below) or enlist the help of a trainer or class instructor to guide you.
- Circuit training is rotating between different types of equipment or exercises to utilize different muscle groups. An example would be rotating between the treadmill, bike, elliptical and/or weights for 10 to 15 minutes each.
- Interval training is changing the intensity of your workout throughout your routine. For example, running for one minute, then walking for two. Repeat.
Barre studios are popping up around the nation. These classes, that utilize a ballet barre or the back of a chair, and are a spin-off of ballet combined with Pilates. (I grew up dancing and am also a big fan of Pilates, so I really love this trend.) If you like group classes, look for a studio near you. If you prefer the comfort of your own home (or a cheaper price tag), you can purchase a video to use at home. All you need is a chair, a mat and some light hand weights. Get ready for a workout, though. It may be based on ballet, but it’s not easy! Although tough at first, you will get stronger quickly, so don’t give up either. The Bar Method is a studio that can be found in St. Louis and also has videos available for order.
Back-to-basics strength training.
Training with your own body weight is an effective way to build muscle. Think pushups, planks, pull-ups and squats. It’s free, you can do it anywhere regardless of the weather or if you’re out of town, and it’s a proven way to get fit and stay fit.
This type of training is centered around doing strength-building exercises for real-world activities. Look for workouts like “bootcamps” or those that include body-weight training, tire flipping, rope swinging and kettlebells. The goal is to help you build strength that will help you perform your daily activities better.
Group personal training.
This is the newest spin on group fitness classes. It’s just like attending your own personal training session, except with a friend or small group. Why do people like it?
- The schedule keeps you accountable to fulfilling your exercise goal.
- Having others participating with you can be motivating.
- As personal training can be a costly endeavor, group training will save you some money.
Wellness coaches are professionals with a background in wellness who meet with you routinely face-to-face or on the phone to support you in your healthy lifestyle. They can provide information, help you set lifestyle and behavioral goals, and provide motivation and support through barriers you might face as you make changes. Some employers are facilitating wellness coach interactions.
You might have seen or heard about wellness programs at your workplace. As health costs continue to rise, employers are taking this unique opportunity to help their employees make positive health changes while saving on healthcare costs for us all. Look for:
- Incentives to participate in wellness activities
- Lunch n’ learn health programs
- Group classes for diabetes, heart health and/or weight loss
- Health screenings
- Health Educators or Registered Dietitians
- Nutritional modifications of foodservice menus and vending machines
- On-site fitness centers.
Take advantage of workplace wellness! It’s a great way to assess your health and find resources that are available for further help.