Trends in fitness are about time efficiency and variety. People want to maximize workout results while maintaining their jam-packed work and life schedules. Trends should be evaluated while keeping in mind that overall fitness involves muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. All of these components are important and require regular practise throughout a person’s life to reap the most benefits. Programs that keep you coming back are the ones that lead to long-term fitness.
BY LORI KIRWAN
Here are five top current fitness trends:
Yoga now has many variations. Hot yoga is a series of yogic postures practised in a warm and sweaty environment to promote body detoxification and deep stretching of muscles. Yoga with weights helps build strength and power yoga is vigorous and athletic, taking the body through a series of postures linked together by breath. Music-oriented yoga — from serene to rock ‘n’ roll — promotes the strong connection between music and motivation.
This is group fitness held indoors or outdoors, wherever there’s space. High and low impact versions can make these classes inclusive. There is significant variety including aerobic segments, anaerobic drills, circuits, weights, core strength and stability training. Participants ‘soldier on’ because of the group energy motivation.
This is a weight that looks like a cannon- ball with a handle. The Kettlebell’s centre of mass is extended beyond the hand, allowing for workout variety using ballistic and swinging movements. Kettlebell exercises emulate real activities, such as farming work, and use basic movements that engage the entire body at once.
ATHLETIC-BASED PILATES REFORMER
The reformer is a spring-loaded machine originally used with traditional Pilates routines. Using springs results in progressive resistance as the spring is stretched. Athletic-based reformer programs are a fantastic way to get a big workout in the least amount of time. High intensity and very sweaty, the reformer efficiently works the body by creating an unstable surface that forces users to engage their core to stabilize the body.
CrossFit is a brand of gyms offering unique combination programs and promoting a friendly competitive community between gyms. Do-it-yourself programs currently trending are TRX, a system incorporating small weights suspended on the body as an alternative to using large machines in the gym and P90X, a 90-day at-home program on DVD.
KEEP IT FUN, KEEP IT GOING
Fitness is more than physical exercise. It is connected to health, wellness, nutrition, lifestyle, life stage and self-awareness – to prevent injury and build self-esteem. It is about waking up each morning feeling inspired to move, sweat, push toward goals, feel better about yourself and your body and most importantly, feeling invigorated for the rest of the day and coming back for more.
Beginning her fitness career by teaching gymnastics in Grade 8, Lori Kirwan has been involved in body kinetics her entire life. In addition to enjoying athletics for her own pleasure, Lori has obtained a Bachelor of Science (Nursing), a Master’s in Health Science and a PhD in Exercise Physiology. She has also been a high-intensity fitness trainer in addition to her new teaching passion: yoga. There is no one better to give you a run-down of the top fitness trends — and what works and what doesn’t.
Ask her how many hours a day she works teaching fitness. Visit Kirwan’s inspiring community at poolofsweat.com.