As a Cardiff-based fitness instructor, I’m always keen to keep up to date with what’s popular in the fickle world of fitness. So I read with interest the results of the latest American College of Sports Medicine Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends. Thousands of fitness professionals across the globe were asked what’s hot and what’s not for 2013. Topping the list of popular fitness pursuits for 2013 are ‘Strength and Body Weight Training’ with ‘Fitness for Older Adults’ also very popular. Based on my own experience of teaching fitness, I think the survey got it right! Push-ups, planks, lunges and squats will be some of the most popular exercises for the coming year – and I am delighted to say that they already feature heavily in my own classes. So if you want to stay trendy while you sweat in 2013 here’s what’s in and what’s not in the world of fitness.
‘Strength and Body Weight training’
I’m thrilled to see how popular working out with weights and body weight have become. It doesn’t surprise me though, and I incorporate this in all of my group fitness classes. Weight training was once seen as for ‘men only’, but more and more females and older adults are benefitting from this type of resistance training. Research has shown that it can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis, increase your strength and endurance, help you become lean and toned due to the increase in lean muscle – and a big bonus is that the more muscle you have the faster your metabolic rate becomes. Most of Cardiff’s Health Clubs and Leisure Centres also offer suspension and/or TRX classes which use a system of ropes and webbing called a “suspension trainer” to allow the user to work against their own body weight. I am so convinced of the benefits of Body Weight Training that I just recently qualified to be able to teach classes in Suspension Training, which includes TRX. It’s tough going, but bear with it and you will soon see your overall fitness levels improve dramatically.
‘Exercise for Older Adults
Exercise is good for people of almost any age. But research suggests that only a quarter of people between 65 and 74 year olds exercise regularly. Exercise builds strength, balance, and agility, and one of the best ways to strengthen weak bones is with regular exercise. I have a weekly fitness class for the over 50’s at Western Leisure Centre on a Thursday at 10.30am. I focus on a mix of simple cardiovascular, resistance and balance exercises. Some of my regulars are almost 80 years young – and boy can they move! Some of these ladies and gents have been exercising regularly for decades and are very fit. The class is very welcoming and friendly and we are always keen for new people to come along.
What’s out for 2013?
Falling out of the Top 10 fitness trends this year are Spinning (indoor cycling), Pilates, Stability Ball and Zumba. It seems that classic ‘old school exercising remains popular because it is truly effective. Traditional moves like squats, swings, dead-lifts and press ups may not be the trendiest thing, but they’re still the true secret to getting your body in great shape. After all, these moves have been proven in gyms around the world for decades. It seems Burpees and Planks are here to stay – and I couldn’t be happier! I’m not sure what my class participants will have to say on the matter though…..