A young woman taking a selfie at the gym.
The year has almost come to an end and it's time to review the fitness trends. There has been a lot of focus on fitness and health this year, and this has given birth to different workout trends that followed the mantra, "fitness can be fun". While some preferred working out alone, group workouts like zumba, pilates or taking up a new sport became a rage. We can easily conclude that there was something for everyone this year.
There has been a new-found awareness about the importance of fitness and healthy eating. The concept of health is ever evolving and people are now ready to invest whatever it takes to stay fit. Here is a review of fitness trends this year:
* Chatbots: With everything going online these days, it was time that fitness went online too. The concept of consulting trainers and nutritionists via chats has been on a steady rise. It makes sense to give live updates to your nutritionist or trainer over chat, as they can guide you to the best possible meal or workout when you are in doubt. When it comes to trainers, there is only a limited amount work a trainer can do. Motivation can only take you so far. The right forms, techniques and postures can only be taught when the trainer is with you every step of the way.
* Wearables: We have always demanded more from our watches, and now, we have created wearable tech that can track all the stats we need during a workout. Wearables are not an absolute must during a workout, but they can help you boast about your numbers later. Wearables have been the number 1 trend in 2017, and with more and more brands venturing into fitbits, smartwatches, fitness trackers, VR headsets etc, it's been a common choice among all. Since accuracy is their USP, wearables are here to stay.
* The gym selfie: Selfies have been on a rise for years now, but there is a sub-segment called gym selfies. Boys and girls only go to the gym for this elusive photograph. It's easy: pump your arms, find a mirror and click. Instant Instagram love!
* Fitness parties: Don't you just love to party? And when you label a party as exercise, you know that party is good for you. With routines like zumba, western dance, water yoga and air aerobics, these fitness parties challenge you. Three hours long, with a wide range of moves and dances, do you have the endurance to last?
training: The craze for running a marathon is at its peak. We all know someone, who knows someone, who is running in a marathon. It's a hard task to run as much and run for that long; the body needs to be trained. There are specialised training programmes conducted by professionals for marathon runners. They are still low-key, but on the rise.
workouts: More and more people have started enjoying outdoor workouts. Nothing can beat an oxygen-rich environment and the real feel of sweat in non-air-conditioned surroundings. That's where the real burn is. An outdoor workout not only helps you burn calories, but it also re-energises you and is a mind booster.
* Personal training: There is always a need for guidance when it comes to fitness. A trained professional can guide and coach you to achieve your best potential, and the motivation received during a workout from a personal trainer can be invaluable. A personal trainer understands your fitness needs, your strengths as well as weaknesses, and helps you overcome them.
* HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training is a rage now, and best part is that it is scientifically proven. It is the best way to challenge your muscular strength and endurance. Functionality research has found enough proof that HIIT is a better way to burn fat and strengthen your cardiac muscles, when compared to a regular cardiovascular exercise routine.
* Self-defence training: With the growing threat to women's safety, self-defence techniques like kickboxing, krav maga and kalaripayattu not only make for a good workout routine, but they can also be used in the time of emergency. So head to a Muay Thai studio close to your home to learn some dangerous moves.
The year was ruled by various technology-driven fitness fads such as wearables and chatbots. Apart from these, fitness parties are a great way to motivate each other in a group; self-defence as well as marathon training along with HIIT are fast catching on.
(The author is a programme director, TrainMe)