From the gym to fitness studios, here are the top fitness trends to get fit this year.
From “cold yoga” to Zumba classes, fitness trends often come and go, but finding new ways to stay active can mean starting off the new year with a healthy new habit. If you’re looking for new and interesting ways to get in shape this year, we’ve got you covered.
We talked to health professionals, who weighed in on the top fitness trends that will likely be taking over your gym, fitness studio, or even living room this year.
Exercising at home
Working out is no longer solely resigned to hitting the gym. Tom Holland, MS, an exercise physiologist from Connecticut, said home workouts will continue to be popular in the new year. Many Americans are creating home gyms or using streaming technology to exercise under their own roofs.
“Getting started doesn’t require a large amount of space or investment,” Holland said.
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“Science tells us that no workout is too short, that every minute matters,” Holland said.
Three 10-minute bouts of exercise have the same benefits as one continuous 30-minute session. Wherever we’re exercising, some of us may be doing it in shorter spurts — and that’s okay, Holland added.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, also follows this trend.
“People are trying to become more efficient in their workouts, but also the science behind high-intensity interval training shows you can get comparable results and sometimes even better results when your heart rate is surging versus long duration exercises,” said Imran Jawaid, co-founder of Sanibel, a brand of athletic gear.
“There is real science to reducing rest and compressing more work into a shorter period of time,” noted Kemaro Miller, a personal trainer at Belleon Body NYC. “It’s brilliant at burning fat while strength training and crushes long slow cardio in terms of effectiveness.”
Miller said the new year will bring more emphasis on fusing HIIT with workouts such as yoga, strength straining, Zumba, and Pilates.
When it comes to what workout trend more of us will be trying, that will be boxing, according to Jawaid. Combat sports, in general, are becoming more of a part in mainstream culture in part due to the rising popularity of mixed martial arts, or MMA.
“Boxing workouts are a great way of getting an intense workout but also feeling like a fighter,” Jawaid told Healthline. “I think people feel a sense of empowerment when they emulate certain movements of fighters.”
Second to boxing is spinning, Jawaid said. The controlled aspect of pedaling typically means fewer injuries than other recent trends such as CrossFit.
Having a fitness wristband to track calories and steps is one thing, but workouts will get even smarter in 2019, says Von Collins, an ACE-certified professional with Complete Tri, said that smart treadmills and other fitness equipment that features streaming apps are quite a game changer.
Smart training lets you, for example, ride a bike while seeing the course on a tablet. The bike changes to reflect hills or other obstacles, plus many smart training platforms let you compete with other users. You can do workouts, time trials, or even go for rides with friends who might live miles away.
“Up until now, the technology to stream workouts at home in a fully integrated way has been best described as clunky,” Collins said. “It is becoming much more streamlined, much more plug-and-play, which opens the entire market up beyond the hardcore junkies and to the masses.”
“Whether it’s a personalized fitness tracker such an Apple Watch or Fitbit, wearable technology will continue to rise in use in 2019 as more advanced performance metrics infiltrate the market,” Miller said.
“Accuracy is the name of the game,” he added. “People want to know calories burned, heart rate, EKG, sleep analysis, hydration, recovery sequencing, exercise intensity, and workout timing.”
Now that workout metrics are mainstream, Miller expects the trend to continue to grow as more people, gyms, and companies adopt strategies that include metrics as part of their promo package to attract clients, align with insurance companies and supply employees with team incentives to become more productive.
For those who do like going to a gym, the big box facility may still be the perfect fit.
But expect them to offer more classes than you’ll see in fitness studios, says Eric Casaburi, founder and chief executive officer of Retro Fitness.
While gyms aren’t going anywhere, the shift toward boutique fitness studios and classes will dominate 2019. The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report found that 18 million Americans belonged to a studio, which was up 15 percent compared to 2015.
Still, 32 million Americans held membership in traditional commercial health clubs and gyms, which is down from 2015.
Working out may take several shapes and forms in the new year, but so will recovery.
“We tend to forget about the benefits of muscle recovery,” explained Rachel Fine, a registered dietitian in New York.
Making time for massage and foam rolling will be popular because more people realize that the recovery phase plays a large part in muscle development and overall health. You may see more recovery time put into your workouts, as well as post-workout recovery meals.
Whitney Stuart, a registered dietitian nutritionist from Texas, agreed but noted more of a mental focus on recovery.
There’s a huge focus on meditation, morning routines of self-care, breathing techniques,” she said. “This becomes more pronounced in 2019 as we see the most significant health changes after workout ends.”
Being fit is trending, overall
Other fitness trends to watch out for in 2019, according to the annual American College of Sports Medicine predictions report, include more personal training, fitness programs for older adults, and the continuation of yoga as a popular fitness trend.
Their top trend for the year is wearable technology, which debuted on the list in 2016, stayed there in 2017 and dropped to third place last year. The ACSM says group training and HIIT will be the second and third biggest trends in 2019.