This article originally appeared in Tips on Life & Love from Simon & Schuster.
Welcome to 2016! It’s time to rev up your post-eggnog fitness routine, and there’s no better way to begin than by trying something new. Getting outside your comfort zone is a great way to jumpstart your life, and an easy way to do it is to pick a new activity or gadget and change up your old routine. In the annual poll of top fitness trends by the American College of Sports Medicine, some of the winners look familiar, like High Intensity Interval Training and Yoga. But here are some other workouts trending this year that will get you feeling good in time for spring break.
Number 1 for 2016 is probably no surprise for folks who were looking for last-minute gifts last month. Fitness trackers, smart watches, and wearable technology are everywhere, and business analysts predict $6 billion in sales this year. The latest gadgets include smart glasses, smart fabrics, and interactive textiles. The good news is these tools are moving beyond just tracking how much you exercise and sleep. By detecting physical responses like fatigue and body movements with bio-sensing technology, these devices can actually have an effect on the safety of the wearers. These tools are looking less gimmicky and more intelligent every day.
Body Weight Training
People have been using push-ups and pull-ups to stay in shape for centuries. But today’s gyms have repackaged these elementary movements into get-fit-quick classes for a reason: The back-to-basics approach requires minimal equipment and is extremely effective. Don’t think of these classes as being easy or antiquated, there are many modern updates to the simple exercises that will keep even the most seasoned gym rat on her toes.
Often paired with a broader fitness routine, functional fitness replicates the physical activities done as a part of a daily routine. It is best for developing the abilities you use every day but don’t think about: balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance. Not just for older adults, it’s for everyone who could use a help carrying the grocery bags and navigating a subway car at rush hour. Find a functional fitness class to change the way you move through your life.
Most people have incorporated some kind of strength training into their fitness routine for many years; it has shown up consistently in the top ten trends for the last several years of the ACSM survey. The interesting new twist for 2016 is that there are many people who use weight training to recover from chronic disease and rehabilitation from surgery, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation and metabolic disease management programs. Improving and maintaining strength is now considered important to people both young and old.
Personal trainers have been around for decades. However, there are new ways of identifying quality professionals: Accreditation and education is now available through CAAHEP and ABHES, making it easier for consumers to determine if a trainer will really push your bod to the max or just convince you to buy more sessions. Small group sessions are on the rise, as are the appearance of trainers in a variety of settings outside of the gym, including corporate wellness programs and medical fitness programs. It’s never been easier to find (and afford) that special someone who will make you do ten more burpees.