Libby Norris: What's HOT and NOT in Fitness for 2013
Libby Norris, Canada AM fitness expert
Published Friday, January 11, 2013 8:21AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 11, 2013 8:24AM EST
Whether you're just starting out or looking for a change in your workout routine, trend lists are a great way to get some inspiration and ideas. First, let's review 2012 which I like to call 'the year of X, Y, Z'!
X - extreme workouts. We saw Cross Fit, intense boot camps, and races like Tough Mudder and Zombie runs that make an average 10K's look like a walk in that park! Fun, yes, but not always the ideal choice for the average individual and do involve a high risk of injury.
Y - the year of Yoga! The Yoga market never seems to get saturated with specialty studios popping up like coffee shops. Yoga is now more accessible but can often be confusing for consumers. Hot yoga, warm yoga, restorative yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Moksha, Bikram, Yin, Kudalini and new hybrid variations emerging daily. The other challenge - many Yoga classes are 60-120 minutes and can tough on time!
Z - Zumba. Zumba certainly revitalized dance in fitness classes but it's certainly not new! Jazzercise, one of the very first group fitness crazes had almost the exact same premise - pre-choreographed routines that were easy to follow, updated for instructors regularly complete with music. Zumba, however, has way cooler clothes!
What's HOT on the fitness front for 2013?
After reviewing trend lists from a variety of fitness organizations, I've compiled them into 3 easy categories I think are a good 'FIT' - FUN, EFFICIENT and FUNCTIONAL!
- Dance - I'm glad to say it's here to stay! Zumba is still going strong, but there are now more program options popping up or resurfacing including QiGnition, SalsaFit, BellyFit, FuzionWorkout, Body Jam and more.
- Fitness parties - Taking fitness out of the gym and making it the centre of your social events including home fitness parties and happy hour workouts. Workout first, then have guilt-free fun!
- Going Old School - Back to basics with some high low, step and body weight training.
- Primal and "parkour" programs - more extreme and outdoor fitness training that adds more layers of challenge and interest - Zombie fitness, "free-running," more Tough Mudder variations that have you leaping, lunging, bobbing, weaving and sometimes running for your life!
- Creative options - Blending coordination, creativity and hand-eye coordination including drumming, hula hooping, surf board balance and Barre™ dance-method workouts.
- Recreational fitness - More options for group sports and activities like traditional basketball and volleyball but with lots of new organized options like mountain biking groups, trampoline facilities, stand up paddle boarding, dragon boating and more!
- Cross disciplining or hybrids - Combining two or more programs into one making them interesting and efficient workout. There are a lot of great hits and misses in this category! A hit - spin and yoga. A miss - boxing and Pilates or Piloxing!
- Workouts at work - THE efficient option as it helps remove to the two biggest barriers for fitness - time and access. I love to see this as this has been the focus on my business for over 20 years and it's such a win-win proposition for both employers and employees.
- Quick fit options - Time-efficient circuits including Tabata training, HIIT or high intensity interval training, "express" workouts, 10-minute training. These offer high intensity for the advanced participant but also great entry points with manageable workouts and time commitments for those new to fitness.
- Equal emphasis on diet and exercise - This is a must as both work together to increase the chance of success. You can't out train a bad diet, but you also have limited success with diet alone as working to improve your body composition and muscle mass helps you increase your metabolism 24 hours a day.
- Small group training - more specific than a full group exercise class yet not as expensive as personal training; it's both cost and time efficient.
- Programs for specialized populations - Customizing programs specific to the needs of higher risk groups like seniors and kids.
- Anti-Aging workouts - Training that focuses on a combination of strength, cardio and diet for optimal balance and building blocks to maintain muscle mass, tone, energy and stamina.
- Metabolic based training - Optimizing results by using more specific assessments and training to customize workouts. This does necessitate specific testing which could include lactic acid, VO2 testing, blood tests, etc. Be cautious of programs called "metabolic" when there is NO specific assessment in place as they're likely using the name as a marketing tool.
- Education for professionals - Definitely a benefit for consumers. Fitness training and education has evolved over the past 20 years to be more in-depth and credible. Always be sure to ask your trainer about their credentials.
- Online fitness at a new level - More than just youtube postings, look more websites such as YogaGlo, StreamFIT, and SpiroFit, that offer live or streaming online workouts, classes, and training sessions, and for trainers to tap into the power of Skype to work with clients in other cities and countries.
- Integrated exercises - A focus on combinations and movements for specific outcomes, often providing functional conditioning for daily life.
- Brain-based workouts - Exercises that challenge the body and the brain focusing on the neuromuscular pathways. Baby boomers, who have driven the fitness market, need and want both! This can include agility ladders, drumming fitness, balance work, reactive training, hand-eye coordination WITH exercises.
- Technology support - better and more accurate heart rate monitors and specialty tools to help you workout at optimal levels; chips and plug ins that fit in your shoes, on cardio equipment, etc. to help track your workouts and training; more online training information and tools - Fuel band, fitness trackers, etc.
What's NOT so hot?
A few fitness favourites have slipped down the trend list including cycling and step, but there quite often you'll see these resurface in hybrid classes to combine a bit of new and old.
As always, the key is finding a workout that you enjoy as it will be easier to stick with it for the long run!
For more information on these workouts, where to find them or to decide if they're a FIT for you, contact Libby at www.libbynorris.com We love your feedback and questions.