Five fitness trends for the new year

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There is a clear distinction between a fitness trend and a fad. Developing gradually and changing the way people behave over a period of time defines lasting trends in the world of fitness. Here are some of the top winners keeping people healthy in 2016.


Wearable technology, predicted by some analysts to be a US$6 billion market in 2016, is the clear frontrunner. Instant self-monitoring fitness trackers, smart watches, and heart-rate monitors have proven to motivate fitness enthusiasts and encourage accountability. This category also includes smart glasses, smart fabrics, and interactive textiles such as the adidas miCoach Training Shirt. A snapped-on transmitter chip records movement to analyse which exercises most profoundly impact performance.

Bodyweight trainingis removing all barriers to exercise. This back-to-basics fitness trend has eliminated the need for expensive gym equipment. Circuits of squat jumps, burpees, pull-ups, and push-ups comprise an effective training session. Popular classes like the suspension-based TRX system have incorporated the fundamental approach of using one’s own weight to create resistance.

High-intensity interval training(HIIT) has been challenging gym goers to push beyond their physical limits to achieve warrior-like bodies. Popular trends include Gladiator training. Modelled after the tetrad system developed by the Ancient Greeks, this four-day training session incorporates cycles of short, high-intensity, toning exercise, a longer strenuous exercise day, and finally culminates in a day of rest.

Flexibility and mobility rollershave been a rising trend. As workouts become more intense, muscle recovery gains more attention. Deep tissue rollers, myofascial release, and trigger-point relief increase circulation and ease muscle discomfort through self-massaging.

Smartphone exercise appsare a leading trend amongst younger gym members and regular outdoor exercisers. Notable apps include Sworkit, which sets targeted goals and varying training sessions to keep each routine exciting, and FitStar, which offers motivation through audio and visual prompts and adjusts workouts based on physical capability. The educational element of monitoring daily activity is also encouraging a more fitness-savvy generation.

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