The American College of Sports Medicine Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2017 are out!

A few thoughts on the top 10...

1. Wearable Technology: fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, pedometers, etc. but if you’re buying fitness trackers to lose weight, a recent study found that overweight participants in a clinical trial who wore a fitness tracking device actually lost LESS weight than another group who followed the same protocol, but did not wear a fitness tracker. Two theories are making the rounds, 1). people overeat after seeing their exercise gains, or 2., the exact opposite — people were discouraged expending time/energy but with very little weight loss progress.

2. Body-weight Training: We do this in HIIT. You don’t need equipment as planks, push-up, sliders, etc. are the key...just the right body weight exercises and HIIT. This is also a great strength training protocol as well.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training HIIT, my personal favorite, remains on the list as one of the major exercise trends. Our HIIT class members do not spend a long time exercising at a moderate pace, but instead, engage in 20 second bursts of exercise at maximum or near-maximum heart rate, with a 10 second (or less) rest period and burn more calories in 20 to 30 minutes than you would in a longer session. The benefits of HIIT are extensive— it’s one of my favorite ways to workout— because studies also proves that HIIT helps build endurance, too. After two months of HIIT, participants in a recent study could bike twice as long as they could before the study — and maintain the same pace.

4. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. Get tailored guidance and accountability to reach your fitness goals. Working with a trainer can actually change an individual’s attitude toward fitness and increase their physical activity.

5. Strength Training, critical to keeping our bodies healthy, especially as we age. It helps preserve muscle mass and increases metabolism to burn more calories even when you aren’t working out.

6. Group Training makes exercise more fun and can help keep you motivated and push you to go beyond what you thought you could. Friendly in-class competition creates a motivational environment to make you work harder.

7. Exercise as Medicine. Doctors are actually prescribing exercise for their patients! This concept is one of the upcoming trends that's gaining much media attention of late, and a trend that I think is among the most life changing. The benefits of exercise go so much farther than how you look. Exercise boosts happiness acting as an anti-depressant, reduces your risk of heart disease, battles insomnia and improves cognition and memory.

8. Yoga remains as popular as ever and the benefits are plentiful. Yoga can decrease anxiety/stress, improves sleep quality, improves blood flow and aids digestion. Yoga can even 'change' your brain, aiding those who suffer from depression and anxiety. It also helps counteracts chronic pain.

9. Personal Health Training This trend isn’t the same as number 4 (fitness instructors)professionals. This trend references the increasing number college degrees in the study of kinesiology, as students prepare for careers in various health fields.

10. Exercise and Weight Loss. A healthy diet/a good nutrition program is more important to weight loss than exercise, but fitness does play a key role in any weight loss program. Fitness instructors tend to use the number 80/20 -75/25 percent nutrition vs exercise when it comes to weight loss success. Persistent exercise rituals continue to be the nemesis of those involved in both a weight loss + exercise program, but when participants thought of an exercise as pleasant, they not only increased aerobic capacity and improved their physical health but also tended not to be part of the 70% fitness class 'drop out' statistic. Another study discovered that incorporating laughter into physical activity programs improves mental health, aerobic endurance and confidence in one's ability to exercise (hence our joke break after the 4th interval).

In conclusion, continuing to learn more about healthy food and staying vigilant to a nutritious diet, treating ailments through natural remedies and improving your physical fitness through consistent exercise (the Dept. of Health & Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week) is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here's to a healthy and fit 2017. Find a class be it, Yoga, Swimming, Zumba, HIIT, whatever, but keep moving and be vigilant about your consumption habits!



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