I recently wrote an article on some of the fitness fads that you should avoid. As I was writing it, I decided when I was done that I needed to write a more positive article next. What better way then to write about some of the fitness "fads" that are actually improving the industry?!
Wearable fitness trackers
Technology has helped make some massive improvements in the fitness industry, including fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and wearable GPS tracking devices. These are all great examples of how instant gratification can be a positive thing.
As you workout and get instant digital feedback, you are likely to feel more motivated and accomplished, hopefully leading to you making better choices all around. There is such a wide selection of monitors, there is surely to be one in your budget that fits your needs.
Here's a budget and splurge option available on Amazon:
First is the Amazon's Choice Best Seller LETSCOM Fitness Tracker. Don't let the small price tag fool you, it packs quite a punch with its' features. It has heart rate and sleep monitoring, GPS tracking, step and calorie counting, and you can even receive text, email and call notifications.
Next is the Fitbit Charge 4. it has everything that the LETSCOM tracker does with a name you know and trust. It also features swim tracking, active zone minutes, downloadable apps, and preloaded sports apps.
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, has become wildly popular over the last few years. According to a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT was the number one fitness trend for 2019.
It is designed to maximize your time, with workouts that usually only last around 30 minutes. This is great for people with busy lives, and that's most people today.
By pushing yourself through interval training, and alternating between high intensity and lower intensity, you’re in for a shorter workout that rarely provides breaks or time to catch your breath.
There is too much info about HIIT to put into this short blog post but to learn more about why would should be doing HIIT click below:
Employer Wellness Programs
More and more companies are adding health based programs to their list of employee benefits. They have come to the realization that it costs them less to have healthy employees than unhealthy ones.
Some companies provide insurance discounts to workers who complete certain tasks like physical screenings or health challenges. A lot of companies will provide reimbursement for gym membership costs. I think this trend is incredible and should definitely continue to grow. Really it benefits all involved.
Functional training is a real big "buzz word" recently in the industry and has really gained in popularity. Don't know what functional training is?
Think of functional training as training for life, whether you're hauling boxes into a new home or reaching up to grab a suitcase from the overhead bin on a plane. You use functional movement patterns on a daily basis. Functional training is meant to help you on a day to day basis.
Functional training picks up where traditional, machine based exercises fall short.
Body Weight Exercises
The rise in popularity of body weight exercise is primarily due to the fact that it is completely free. There's no equipment needed and minimal space is required, so body weight exercises are great for anytime, anywhere workouts.
Most body weight exercises modifiable for any fitness level. Using your body weight during exercise including push-ups, squats, planks, lunges, and more can be an incredibly challenging and effective way to work your muscles. If you do have equipment, or are interested in purchasing a few things, you can make the exercises more difficult.
Shows such as American Ninja Warrior, where people use their own bodies to complete challenging courses, has really struck a cord and fueled the number of obstacle races such as the Spartan Race.
These events have drawn huge crowds, and people are really enjoying training for and competing in these races, as well as the sense of teamwork and personal accomplishment that comes with completing one. Normal 5k and 10K races have also become more popular by being able to get a lager amount of people together to raise money for a great cause.
If you've never attempted a obstacle course race read this article to find out what it's like:
An increasing number of fitness professionals are seeking out formal education in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and each year there are more and more options to earn certification. There are also great community leaders like Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey and companies like Perform Better help create a platform to educate trainers with lectures and hands on training discussions.
Tens of thousands of fitness professionals from across the US attend training seminars each year. This is great for the industry because it provides clients with more knowledgeable trainers who can help them reach their goals.
Don't be afraid to ask your trainer what their qualifications are. If they say, "I have 5 years experience, a killer body and a kettle bell certification," walk away and find a trainer with some proper education. You wouldn't trust a lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. without credible certification. Don't trust your body with someone who isn't educated.
Online Personal Trainers
Personal training is becoming popular around the world. The biggest reason for the rise in popularity? Convenience.
Online personal training is a great option for both trainers and their clients alike. Since most online personal trainers like myself have apps that are connected to their training programs, Instead of scheduling a week or more in advance, a client can log on and start the workouts when he or she has time.
This makes it ideal for clients in our busy culture, whether they’re an entrepreneur who travels constantly or a stay-at-home parent who has to sneak in a workout while the kids nap.
Do you ever feel as though you don't have the time or the knowledge to recover from workouts properly? Then you might need to schedule an increasingly popular recovery workout.
They focus on restoration, with everything from stretching to meditation to foam rolling. I am a firm believer that recovery is just as important as training. If you are having a hard time recovering between workouts checkout this article to recover quicker and more efficiently:
Body Percentage Scanners
Out of all the things on the list, this is the one that I believe can have the greatest impact going into the future, mainly because it gets people talking about more than just about their weight. Gone are the days of measuring body fat with great inaccuracy. Today we have many options to measure body fat much more efficiently including:
Hydrostatic weighing- "Hydrostatic weighing, commonly referred to as underwater weighing, compares a subject’s normal body weight (outside the water) to his or her body weight while completely submerged. Using these two numbers and the density of the water, operators can accurately calculate the subject’s density. This number is then used to estimate body composition."
Dexa (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)- "Participants lie still on a table while a machine arm passes over their entire body. This arm emits a high- and a low-energy X-ray beam. By measuring the absorption of each beam into parts of the body, technicians can get readings for bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat mass. Also, because the machine scans body parts individually, the test can also break down body composition per limb. That means you can confirm suspicions that your right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than your left."
Bod pod- " First, participants sit in a small machine, like this "BOD Pod.” Then, by measuring how air displacement by the individual, technicians can determine body density. Like underwater weighing, the participant’s body density is then used to calculate body composition."
3D body scans- "Several brands offer at-home devices that scan your body, take circumference measurements of different body parts and then track your body fat via a corresponding app."
Did you enjoy reading Fitness "Fads" Improving the Industry? Check out the 10 Fitness Fads You Should Avoid:
Did I miss any Fitness Fads that are gaining in popularity? Leave me a comment below to let me know!