For exercise fanatics, annual year-end surveys of fitness trends for the following year can generate interest and motivation. Such lists may even entice non-exercisers to change their sedentary ways and take on workouts. While some crossover exists year-to-year from prior lists, new concepts periodically make the top 10 as well.
What follows is a compilation of some of the predicted 2018 fitness trends from the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual survey of 4,000 fitness professionals, and interviews of several leading health and fitness experts by Business Insider. Check them out to see what you should be doing this year to keep your body moving.
- High-intensity interval training – HIIT has exploded in popularity in the past several years because it is efficient and effective, alternating short bouts of all-out work with brief recovery periods. Part of the top three trends on the ACSM list for the past four years, HIIT is best performed a few times per week, and NOT daily due to its intensity and risk for injury.
- Group training – It’s not just that misery loves company! Rather, the camaraderie and energy, and sometimes competition, along with direction and personal attention from an instructor or trainer, are the fuel that keeps group ex thriving year after year.
- Wearable technology and apps – Heart rate monitors, smartwatches and activity trackers, along with apps that provide fitness programs, coaching and tracking, are still gaining ground among a data-hungry society.
- Body-weight training/back to basics – With the rise of boot camps, CrossFit and obstacle course races, simple but effective exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, burpees and mountain climbers routinely highlight total-body workouts for maximum efficiency with minimal equipment.
- Strength training – A perennial favorite, strength work today has ever-increasing options among various equipment modalities and a growing variety of accessories, including kettlebells, resistance bands, gliding disks, medicine balls and more. And it’s not just about getting big biceps, but focused more on functional training and core work.
- Yoga – Expanding access to yoga, the aging population in America and the numerous types of this ancient discipline support ongoing participation in enhancing flexibility, balance and the mind-body connection.
- Functional fitness – This term is a bit of a buzz word, referring to workouts that are specifically designed to help you perform better in activities of daily living – from carrying luggage, to gardening to playing with your kids or grandkids.
- Personal training – With more students studying exercise science, the expansion and specialization of fitness certifications, the growing importance of preventive healthcare and the steady need to treat chronic issues such as diabetes and obesity, personal training is in great demand.
- Boxing – This activity has fluctuated in popularity over the past decade, but is predicted to rise again, including traditional boxing classes where exercisers don gloves, hit heavy bags and throw punches, as well as cardio kickboxing, which includes patterns, drills, jump rope and more, often in a group setting to music.
- Live-streaming classes – With the creation of online workouts and live-streaming sessions such as peloton for cycling, the convenience and variety of home workouts are proving to help busy individuals and travelers fit in more consistent exercise sessions.
- Outdoor activities – Not always considered “traditional” exercise, these include stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, hiking, and adventure races, like the Tough Mudder. These are ideal to escape the walls of the gym and try something new.
- Flexibility and mobility – Now seen as critical components of fitness, tools like foam rollers, massage balls and stretching machines release tight muscles, massage myofascial tissue, increase range of motion and feel better.
Stay fueled for 2018 with using the trends above!