Fitness Trends for 2018

The American College of Sports Medicine puts out an annual survey of 4,000 domestic and international personal trainers, exercise physiologists and fitness directors, which is an excellent indicator of where the industry is headed each year.

Of course, I am not surprised by the “trend” considered number one: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I have witnessed over and over again how effective it is for my clients and me. Here’s a definition:

You go full speed, you know 100 percent, for a specific amount of time and then have brief recovery periods in between. At the end of the article, I will repost an example of a HITT workout. 

Another trend is group training. This started making the top lists in 2017 and now it’s getting more attention and focus. I love group workouts—participating and leading. Group workouts tend to be more fun for individuals and are a great way to help you meet workout goals while enjoying the experience.

Other trends for 2018:

1.     Wearable technology. Heart monitors. Devices that track how many miles you walked in day, etc.

2.     Bodyweight training. This is not a new trend, but is a keeper. It requires little space and zero equipment. Think plank or pushups as examples.

3.     Strength training. Also, not new and an effective way to help maintain or increase muscle mass, which we tend to lose as we age.

4.     Certified and Experienced Trainers and Fitness Directors. I am happy to see this make the list because without trained or educated helpers, you can run into serious challenges including long-lasting injuries.

5.     Yoga. Another one I am happy to see on the list! Personally, I include a yoga workout at least once a week. It’s ideal for flexibility.

6.     Personal Training. Another trend that has remained on the list since inception. It’s a good one, but not always affordable. That’s where group training might be a solution.

7.     Programs Geared to Older Populations. Just makes sense ... As we age our reflexes slow down and our stamina changes, however, we still all need to be active and to work out to keep our bodies at their highest functioning ability relative to age.

8.     Functional Fitness. Another one that simply makes sense. To effectively maneuver through life, we need to maintain (or even develop) our functional abilities like balance, flexibility, coordination, hand strength, etc.

So, if you haven’t gotten into your 2018 fitness routine yet, consider putting together a combination of the top trends. My recommendation is a combination of HIIT, group training, body training and yoga. And, if you find that you are slowing down or believe you need a less strenuous workout, seek out age-appropriate workouts. It’s never too late to get going when it comes to keeping yourself healthy and in shape.

Here’s that HIIT workout I promised:

The exercises to do are: burpees, jump squats, push-ups and high knees. Go full steam for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. To be clear, you’ll do burpees for 20 seconds. Rest for 10. Jump squats for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and so on. Repeat the entire circuit 4 to 8 times. Your goal is a 2-minute workout.

Not quite sure what a burpee is? Here’s a mini instructional description to get you started. It can also be called a squat thrust by some. The exercise is performed in four steps.

1.     Start in a standing position.

2.     Lower yourself into a squatting position while also lowering your extended arms and hands to the floor.

3.     Kick your feet back and assume a plank position, while continuing to keep your arms extended.

4.     Next, move your feet back into squat position. Then, return to the starting position.