Staying Fit

Top Fitness Trends of 2017

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By Christina Eyers, Ed.D., AT, ATC

Some fads come and go. Others stick around. When it comes to fitness, the best trends are those that embody tried-and-true advice. As you try to recommit to your resolutions or look to make a fresh start now that spring is around the corner, it’s also the perfect chance to reboot your stale workout or revisit some moves from your grade school days (welcome back, pull-ups!) While some of this year’s fitness trends are relatively new to the scene, many of them have been fitness professionals’ top priorities for decades.

Read on to learn my top three picks for fitness trends in 2017.

  1. Wearable technology. The wearable tech trend has been making waves in fitness circles for years. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), wearables — including everything from simple heart rate monitors to mobile phones armed with high-tech — will continue to be the top fitness trend this year. The beauty of these devices is that they break out exactly how much you’re exercising, how many calories you’re burning, and in some cases, how your organs are responding. While there’s some controversy over how accurate tracking data is, these gadgets can give you a rough estimate of how hard you’re working and support your quest to make healthy lifestyle decisions.
  1. Body weight training. This type of strength training doesn’t require fitness equipment, so it’s a no-brainer for those seeking a convenient (and free!) workout. In fact, a goal for many fitness enthusiasts this year is to get back to basics with effective exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges and sit-ups. These surprisingly simple moves can be modified to suit any fitness level, and you can do them almost anywhere. It’s no surprise this trend has been running strong for years. A bonus: These moves not only force you to work your core (since you’re using your body as the stabilizer), but since they’re resistance moves they also help maintain bone density. Still set on using fancy equipment? There are a variety of machines on the market that take advantage of your body weight.
  1. High-intensity interval training. During high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, you’ll engage in short bursts of activity followed by a brief resting period—all in 30 minutes or less. Fitness pros say that alternating high-intensity training with low intensity offers a better workout than exercising at a static, moderate pace. In practice, it’s easy to do, particularly with sports like running or swimming. For example, take off with a 30-second sprint followed by 30 seconds of slow jogging; stick with this fast-slow switch-up mode for 20-30 minutes. Not only will you burn more calories than you would with a moderate 30-minute jog, you’ll also stave off boredom. Better yet, intersperse these spurts with body weight training activities such as lunges, squats and push-ups.

Not sure how to get started? Consider meeting with a personal trainer for a few sessions to get a leg up on various workout routines. Not only can they help you devise a program that works for you, they can also ensure that you’re using correct form. Look for a trainer who is certified by a reputable organization, such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE), The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

You can also read more nutrition and fitness advice in our EatWell and MoveWell sections, so subscribe to get all the latest tips.