The Top New Fitness Trends for 2016

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As a fitness and nutrition professional, is your preferred fitness routine for you and for your clients trending or is it fading into the background? Thanks to some surveys and opinions of experts in the know, you can learn about what’s trending in the fitness world for 2016 and what didn’t make the list.

Here are five fitness trends for the year 2016.

1. Wearable Technology

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reported in its annual “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016: 10th Anniversary Edition" that the number one trend for 2016 will be wearable technology. Wearable devices “provide immediate feedback that can make the wearer more aware of their level of activity and can motivate the user to achieve their fitness goals,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the ACSM survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Wearables are estimated to see a compounded annual growth rate of around 35 percent over the next five years.  This means that as of 2019, the industry could reach to almost 150 million shipped units yearly, which is up from this year’s 33 million shipped units. Wearable technology gadgets include smart watches, fitness trackers, GPS tracking devices, heart rate monitors, and more.

2. Aerial Yoga

These days, you can hang from the air to do your yoga. This is known as aerial yoga (also referred to as anti-gravity yoga), and Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet places it as a number two fitness trend for 2016.  It is performed on a piece of fabric that mimics a hammock, which can hold up to 2,000 pounds.

Aerial yoga has been praised as a far better workout than traditional yoga since it has you stretch and push your poses further, while keeping you focused on relaxation and breathing. It builds your upper-body strength, flexibility, agility, and core strength. As a full body workout, it also strengthens your legs. You can get into poses easier and more properly with the hammock, which makes it a very effective workout. Offshoots of aerial yoga are aerial silks and aerial hoops.

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3. High Intensity Interval Training

Medical Daily touts High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT as one of the most intense exercises that someone can do, and it lands on the number three spot on the ACSM 2016 fitness trend survey.  Yet, while HIIT is a great choice for some people, for others who are ill-prepared for this type of high intensity exercise, it can lead to injuries or cause them to become discouraged and quit.

For this reason, HIIT is a training exercise that you need to gradually work up to, and performed in moderation.  And it needs to be balanced out with rest and recovery.

4. Functional Fitness

CNW places functional fitness as number one on its 2016 fitness trend. This type of exercise requires you to use various muscle groups at a time, instead of only one specific muscle group. Programs for functional fitness include balance-challenged practical movements that imitate tasks like carrying groceries, shoveling snow, or unloading your car. It prepares you for your daily life physical activities and circumvents sedentary lifestyle movement patterns.

5.  Body Weight Training

While body weight training is not a not-so-new fitness trend (US News and World Report listed it as a top fitness trend for 2014), it is still a growing trend among consumers and fitness professionals.

And body weight training ranks as number two on ACMS’s 2016 fitness trends list.  Why? Because it is equipment free, can be done anywhere, is affordable, and simply because it works.

When you use the resistance of your own body weight, it builds muscle and strength and burns fat without you having to use any equipment. It is a great workout for beginners and is simple to get started with it. Push-ups, lunges and pull-ups are all examples of body weight training exercises that have back-to-basics fitness staying power.

While the bare-bones formula for a healthy lifestyle never changes -- eat right and exercise, the components within these go through fads and trends. Today’s fitness trends are not a  one-size-fits-all workout: what we eat, how we exercise and the technology we use to do it is continually evolving, and will continue to do so for years and decades to come.

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