Check out the latest #360fit tips for 2016

Josie McKenlay 12:25 31/12/2015
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  • Top tips: Take the right approach to your fitness in the New Year.

    Each year the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) put together a top 20 forecast of fitness trends and those for 2016 have just been published. A trend is a general movement rather than a specific type of exercise, so don’t expect to necessarily find your favourite type of exercise on the list. For example, Pilates isn’t mentioned in the top 10, but counts as body weight training (No2), strength training (No4), functional fitness (No7) and an ideal choice of exercise for the older generation (No8). Kettlebells, dumb bells, bar bells and gym weight machines all come under the umbrella trend of strength training (No4). Yoga, in at No10 is classified as a mind/body trend because it consists of so many different types.

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    Just like any other, the health and fitness industry changes all the time as scientific studies produce new findings and the public demands results. Although many of the trends appear every year, the change of position is interesting and the most obvious difference this year is wearable technology, straight in at No1. Smartphone exercise apps are in the top 20 at No17. What’s interesting about this, together with No2 – body weight training – is that it perhaps shows that people are taking greater responsibility for their health and are working alone rather than relying on using gyms or trainers all the time which are expensive and tie you to a specific time and place. So, according to the ACSM, here are the top 10 trends for 2016:

    1. Wearable Technology: These devices measure all sorts of health information as the population becomes more aware that it’s not just exercise and diet that make up a healthy lifestyle. “Tech devices are now central to our daily lives and have changed the way we plan and manage our workouts,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey. “Wearable devices also provide immediate feedback that can make the wearer more aware of their level of activity and can motivate the user to achieve their fitness goals.”

    Wearable Technology.

    Woody Scal, Chief Business Officer of Fitbit states: “Fitbit believes that tracking activity level, sleep, and nutrition can have a positive impact on health and well-being, which may also benefit those living with chronic diseases.” Adds Amy Nouri, media relations for Garmin International: “Studies have shown the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle; wearable tech provides users with 24/7 accountability, tracking numerous aspects of your day, including steps taken, heart rate, stairs climbed, miles run or cycled in workouts, sleep patterns, and more which can be used to motivate users to live more active, healthier lifestyles.”

    2. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal – if any – equipment making it more affordable and without tying you to a gym. “Your body is meant to move in all directions, in multiple planes and as a connected unit,” explains Lisa Wheeler, VP of Fitness Programming for Daily Burn. “Working without added external resistance allows you to master movement fundamentals adaptable to your body and progress when applicable.”

    Body Weight Training.

    3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programmes are usually performed in less than 30 minutes, making them ideal for busy people. It’s versatile, effective, efficient, aerobic and anaerobic, increasing endurance, building muscle and increasing strength all at the same time. It also creates an “after burn effect: “This after burn is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise intervals will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steadystate workouts, and translates into a metabolic boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine,” explains Kari Saitowitz, founder of The Fhitting Room in New York. A 2012 study showed that 27 minutes of HIIT three times per week offers the same aerobic and anaerobic improvement as five weekly 60-minute steady-state cardio sessions! So you can see the appeal.

    HIIT Workout.

    4. Strength Training: Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. This also ties in with studies that show that muscle requires more calories so a popular option for those looking to control their weight.

    Strength Training.

    5. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals: REPs, ACSM and governing bodies from other countries are doing their bit to ensure that the public are getting the very best instructors so be sure to check qualifications and experience.

    Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals.

    6. Personal Training: Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities. Clients also want a more rounded package with trainers being able to advise on all aspects of health, diet and fitness, which ties in with No5 above. Be prepared to pay for the best though: Celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser: “Anyone can put a workout together and post it on the Internet. Is it personalised? No! It’s important to create a workout that is customised for your body and goals. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so your workout should be tailored to a specific body’s needs.” And if you think you’ll get that from an overworked gym trainer for a couple of hundred dirhams when you are one of eight clients that day, think again.

    Personal Training.

    7. Functional Fitness: This is a trend toward using fitness training to improve ease of daily living and counter-balance postural issues due to lifestyle. As Joseph Pilates said a century ago: “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.

    Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”

    Functional Fitness.

    8. Fitness Programmes for Older Adults (and special populations): Many baby boomers are very aware of their health as studies over the past couple of decades have proven that a few tweaks to lifestyle can help prevent chronic modern disease. Even back in the ’90s we were offering classes for the 50+ age group.

    Fitness Programmes for Older Adults.

    9. Exercise and Weight Loss: Nutrition AND exercise are key components of a proper weight loss programme. Health and fitness professionals will need to provide both diet and exercise strategies for client’s weight loss programmes. Many Personal trainers, Pilates/ yoga instructors and other fitness professionals can advise on all aspects of healthy lifestyle and help you put together a plan so that you can achieve your goals.

    Exercise and Weight Loss.

    10. Yoga: Considered a trend because of the vast number of varieties the term “yoga” covers.

    Another trend which seems to be gathering pace is the growth in specialist facilities, for example Pilates and yoga studios and as mentioned in No3 above the specialist HIIT studios.

    Ken Fitzmaurice, a Master Trainer at TenPilates in London goes so far as to suggest that: “The sector is becoming polarised in terms of facilities, specialisation and price, with more people joining high-end, boutique/ specialist or budget clubs. Everything in the middle will die away or downsize rapidly – we’re seeing this already. The investment in both people and equipment that has enabled gyms to offer Pilates is not there anymore.”

    So as we move towards the close of the year, I hope 2016 brings you ever closer to a happier, healthier lifestyle.