When you think about what new year resolutions you’ll have in 2019 there is a good chance that getting in shape will be one of the first things you will think of. After all you don’t have to go far to come across the “New Year, New You” posse.
And while we tend to start January with a spring in our step ready to start with a wonderful new schedule that includes plenty of time for exercising, we might not actually know what to do. Or perhaps you’re a bit bored with your current exercise routine and stuck in a rut. Plateau anyone?!
New trends and technology are always being developed in the fitness world, but also old trends evolve to stay fresh and exciting. Adding a new twist to your routine can be refreshing and give your motivation to stick it out a boost.
So, what are the new fitness trends for 2019?
Each year the ACSM (American College for Sports Medicine) publishes a list of the Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for the year ahead. You can find the full list at this link.
For the purpose of this blog post I am going to share my thoughts below on the 4 “new fitness trends” which I believe are most noteworthy. These are just my views based on my experience as a Personal Trainer so far.
“Wearable technology includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. Examples include fitness and activity trackers like those made by Misfit®, Garmin®, and Apple®. These devices can track heart rate, calories, sitting time, and much more.”
Gadgets are always fun and can sometimes be useful however, a lot of people confuse feedback with a weight loss plan. I am pretty sure you don’t need a bracelet to let you know how long you have been sitting down for each day or how many steps you have walked going around the shops. The 10,000 steps mark is just a guideline to make sure you spend a fair amount of your day moving around. Walking is great for that purpose but it’s not the only type of movement that counts: cleaning, gardening, dancing are equally beneficial as types of movement. What you really need to know is how relaxed you felt during and after your walk as this tells you if your stress levels have improved. You don’t need a gadget to tell you that.
The problem I have with gadgets is that they shift your focus from learning how your unique metabolism works to finding a quick fix for your weight gain woes. I heard plenty of people telling me how excited they were about their new Fitbit thing as the catalyst for weight loss and developing the athlete look. Unfortunately that was the only thing they changed so they got nowhere with their fatloss efforts. In fact, relying on technology to lose weight is never going to work unless you do the things that work for you.
And don’t get me started about GPS trackers and posting your running route on social media… 😀
I was recently called as a First Aider to help a colleague who almost fainted while training his clients. He was absolutely fine and his usual self until another colleague pointed out that the screen on his Fitbit was showing his heart rate to be all over the place. He took one look… and fainted. The reason for his temporary malaise was sleep deprivation and elevated stress from all the news about Brexit and so on. He then said that he was feeling a bit lightheaded but nothing inconsistent with not sleeping or eating properly for 36 hours. Had he not looked at the heart rate on his Fitbit he would have probably been fine.
So, yes, I can see the benefits of wearing a fitness tracker if you have health issues and you want to monitor your heart rate or sleeping patterns to help you determine your next course of action or to assess if your current regime works. But please don’t come and tell me that this is the year you’ll look great in a bikini because you have a new gadget! 😉
Fitness Programs for Older Adults
“This is a trend that emphasizes and caters to the fitness needs of the Baby Boom and older generations. These individuals in general have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts, and fitness clubs may capitalize on this growing market. People are living longer, working longer, and remaining healthy and active much longer.”
This is one of my favourite trends. As I am now in the category of older adults I can vouch for the importance of staying active as we age. I tend to unapologetically shove two fingers up to the aging process by embracing activities that you would think are more suitable for younger people. But it’s incorrect to assume so. Some of the best fighters in my Krav Maga class are in their 40s and 50s and some of the best movers at the Animal Flow workshops I recently attended were also “older individuals”.
What’s important is to remember that being an “older adult” doesn’t equal being dead. It simply means that may have to work harder and longer to achieve a certain fitness goal but you can and will achieve it if you really want it.
I recently read an excellent article written by the good people at GMB explaining some of the science behind the aging process and how you can stay fit and agile well into your golden years. Honestly, reading it made me feel a lot better and gave me the inspiration to keep on pushing my boundaries respecting my aging body but at the same time not giving up on my goals.
Depending on how you feel about yourself you don’t necessarily have to join classes designed for older people. In fact, I believe that you shouldn’t unless you are too frail or ill or injured or really struggling. Then you need specialised help. But if you are healthy there is no reason why you shouldn’t simply join any class you like. The instructors should be able to suggest regressions of each exercise for you if you cannot cope straight away and help you get up there with the rest. If they don’t, go to a different class until you find a competent trainer that will help you out.
Helping people my age and thereabout slow down the aging process is one of my specialties. If you would like to discuss how I can help you book your complimentary call at this link.
“A combination of variable resistance bodyweight training and neuromotor movements using multiple planes of movement, this program is all about using bodyweight as the training modality. Bodyweight training often uses minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive functional way to exercise effectively.”
I love bodyweight training. It was my first love when I was doing gymnastic as a child and it’s still my biggest love (after my boyfriend, my horse and my cats) when it comes to exercising.
Weight lifting has many benefits and can work hand in hand with your movement practice to help you address weaknesses here and there. However when you use just your body weight to exercise you can explore multi planar movement and discover just how amazing your body is and how much fun exercise can be.
I find that this style of training opens the door to being more creative with your workouts. The beauty of bodyweight training is that you don’t need any equipment at all. The bad pictures above are stills from a low res video from my Level 2 Animal Flow Instructor course. See the equipment I am using to perform the movements? Just an empty floor.
That means you can practice anywhere without stressing about not having access to gym equipment.
Every time you train you are engaging the whole of your body in any of the movements that you perform thus allowing to improve the way you move, walk and run. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you are not lifting you are not getting stronger: when you do bodyweight training correctly you develop a different type of strength… one in which the whole of your body is connected through pushing, pulling, twisting, jumping.
I have been part of the Animal Flow community since July 2018 and I am seeing it grow all the time on a global level meaning that more people are embracing this style of training which is entirely body weight. There are many similar but slightly different styles of movement and they are all brilliant so if you want to try a new fitness trend this year why not check out your local movement class? You might discover something that will keep you going back for more over and over again.
Employing Certified Fitness Professionals
“The importance of hiring certified health/fitness professionals through educational programs and certification programs that are fully accredited for health/fitness professionals is more important than ever. More certification programs have become accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and thus allow employers easy access to certification validation.”
Yes, I am totally biased on this because I offer Personal Training services and therefore it’s in my interest to tell you to hire me BUT… remember that I am also a student of other trainers and therefore when I say that hiring a trainer is the smartest thing you’ll ever do I know it from experience.
One way to look at the role of a trainer is not so much as a “new fitness trend” but as someone who is that much far ahead of you on the journey that you are only just starting. They can tell you the shortcuts and the dead ends to avoid and save you time, money and effort.
What’s important is that whoever you choose to train with has invested in his or her own education and has a few qualifications obtained from learning providers that are affiliated and recognised by your country’s governing body for fitness professionals. This tells you that they have been taught the safe way to train clients and can help you get results.
But just like in any other field qualifications are only the start of the journey. What matters is what your trainer has done prior to becoming a trainer and what he or she has been doing since in terms of their own fitness.
Always make sure you have a good chat with any trainer you are considering to enlist in your corner to find out what they are about. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as they are asking you to see if you are a good fit and will make a good team over the long term. Does their personality style complement yours? Are they experts in your area of interest? Do they practice what they preach? If not, why not?
With all the info easily accessible these days it can be difficult to know what to do and who to trust. So, this year, make it your new fitness trend to “go local” and hire a trainer that you can meet up face to face to help iron the kinks in your fitness program. You can never go wrong when you invest in your health and fitness.
If you would like my help with any of these don’t forget that I am just a phone call away. The first one is on me! You can book at the link below.