LIFESTYLE NEWS - It’s that time of year again when we think about improving health, and fitness is often high on most people’s lists.
If you’re wondering what workout to try or want to switch things up and try something new, read on for expert predictions on how we’ll be keeping fit this year.
Training with free weights
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which surveys fitness industry experts annually for their trend predictions, has placed strength training in the top five fitness trends over the last few years. However, this year, industry experts predict that we’ll be focusing on strength training with free weights such as barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and medicine balls. They place the workout at number four of the ACSM’s top 20 fitness trends for next year. The experts surveyed also recommend heading to a class which incorporates one or more of these free weights to ensure that you’re being taught the proper form for each exercise, before progressively increasing the resistance for a more challenging workout.
Outdoor workouts have been in the ACSM’s top 20 fitness trends for the last few years, but have made a jump from number 17 for 2019 to number 13 for 2020. The ACSM survey indicates that more and more people are heading outdoors to take part in activities such as group walks, bike rides or organized hiking groups, which are popular as a day out or even weekend-long events. Heading outside increases our physical activity levels, and, with many of us placing more importance on maintaining good mental health, working out outdoors may be growing in popularity due to its mental health benefits and ability to help improve conditions such as depression.
Circuit training has made it back into the ACSM’s top 20 after falling out of favour last year. As to why it’s back, it could be due to its similarity to HIIT (high-intensity interval training), which has been hugely popular in the last few years, as well as the fact that for those who struggle with HIIT, circuit training is performed at a much lower or even moderate intensity. In fact, the experts point out that some have called it moderate-intensity interval training. If you’re interested in trying a class, expect to perform a group of about 10 exercises in succession, each for a specified number of repetitions or for a set time period. You’ll be allowed a quick rest before you have to get going with the next exercise.