As January 1st dawned many of us had already decided this was the year we would pay attention to our body’s, improve our diets and spend more time in the gym than browsing the shop rails. It’s never too late to lose weight, get in shape and above all mix up your gym workout. In 2016, classes were offered on everything from boxing to ballet in the hopes of enticing us into fitness and it worked. Gym membership’s are on the rise while the fitness industry globally generates over eighty billion dollars per year in revenue. 2017 is set to be the year that we all make the connection between our mental fitness and physical prowess as well as getting back into the pool and adopting a fluid gymnastic approach to weekly dance classes. You never know, you might just discover a new activity, reconnect with a sport that you used to love and realise your full fitness potential all thanks to one of these amazing fitness activities.
Flickr Image At: adifansnet
Although this particular phrase has been around for some time, this year will see functional fitness go fully mainstream. The term comes from the idea that during a functional fitness workout you’re strengthening muscles that you use every single day. For example, cardio sessions that aim to improve muscle tone in your legs, which work hard enough while we walk around let alone walking up and down the office stairs each day. By focusing on specific areas such as the shoulder muscles, functional fitness is helping you to prevent injury that can happen when you’re carrying around heavy handbags, or moving large objects like furniture while decorating. Fitness centres have caught on to the fact that we desire to prevent injuries such as pulled muscles, sprained ankles or sore backs and so are introducing specific functional form equipment such as Assault Bikes. These machines are specifically designed to keep pace as we pedal, so the harder we push and pull and the more resistance we give, the better the overall result.
Flickr Image At: Bruce Stockwell
At one time weightlifting was seen as a purely male dominated environment however 2016 changed all that. Women everywhere began to cotton on to the fact that they could weightlift without ending up looking like a bodybuilder and the fabulous ‘fit not thin’ trend is set to continue this year. Already weightlifting groups are being set up; gyms are ordering more sets of weights, dumbbells and strength training equipment as well as looking to offer personal one on one weightlifting coaching. The health benefits of weightlifting far outweigh any negative criticism by sexist, priggish men and not only does it improve your confidence, physical appearance and muscle tone but it’ll help to lower your chances of obesity, heart disease and osteoporosis, or brittle bones, in the future.
Flickr Image At: Official USS Theodore Roosevelt
Swimming has long been a favourite fitness activity especially among moms with younger children and older people enjoying water aerobics classes. However, 2017, will see the introduction of fresh, fast and furious workout sessions in the pool. HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training means high-intensity, low-impact water based group classes where avid swimmers will add long distance, sprint swimming and even diving into their fitness sessions as well as undergoing resistance challenges. This unique and somewhat unusual activity is designed to give you a full balanced body workout. Expect to see early morning and evening fast lane swimming sessions replaced by group HIIT classes in the very near future.
Flickr Image At: Vladimir Pustovit
Despite having been around since the mid-1990s, Zumba, created by Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez, a Colombian dancer and choreographer has only taken off in the past couple of years. Now Zumba, which is even trademarked, sees around twelve million participants dance their socks off each, and every week. Now dance classes are evolving again with a more gymnastic approach to routines; it’s all about athletic strength, balance and mobility seen in the bbg workout by kayla, as well as understanding the links between different disciplines, combining them to create the perfect movement program. Look out for fusion sessions around mid-May advertising ballet, street dance and gymnastic techniques. Not to mention hybrid classes that mix intense Zumba style poses with the Zen-like moves of martial arts such as Karate, Taekwondo and Brazilian Capoeira that combines music, dance and acrobatic movement.
Flickr Image At: Nick Webb
Only now are we starting to understand that fitness is a circular, or 360 degree process. We realise that warm-up’s and cool-down’s are just as necessary for a successful session as the activity itself. 360 Fitness will see participants blending exercise techniques for their own individual level and embracing science to improve their fitness. Methods commonly used by sports physiotherapists and psychologists are being more widely used, this year will see a rise in in-house sports treatment clinics, drop-in aromatherapy appointments, deep tissue massages and tailored movement programs. They’ll be aimed at those who don’t just want to get fit but who also want to understand why their body works the way it does. 2017 will see us starting to understand not only how to prevent personal fitness injuries, but also learn why they happen in the first place and how our body tries to protect us. Look out for beginners sports science sessions that’ll explain the human machine as a whole instead of focusing in on key areas such as the heart, lungs, or muscle system.
Flickr Image At: Nickolai Kashirin
It began last year with adult colouring books, guided visualisation apps and free meditation classes but now mindfulness takes on a whole new meaning. People now see that there’s a real, prominent connection between their mental and physical performance, so there’ll be a steady increase in fitness based mindfulness sessions. Expect to see beginners mindfulness courses that incorporate meditation, mindful techniques and relaxing breathing exercises pop up all over the place. They’re already being held in Yoga studios, new age shops and even candlelit dance halls, with sports psychologists having emphasised the importance of a healthy, clear mindset for years.Today, the act of taking time to mentally check-in with ourselves, examining the workout from a mindful place is being built into people’s regular fitness programs.