I woke up bright and early last Monday morning to attend a really important conference for work: “What’s HOT Now in Fitness?” Notice the title isn’t just “what’s hot,” it’s “what’s hot right NOW.” The focus was on trends vs. fads, and what people in our communities are looking for in terms of “getting fit.” (Btw, did you know the Thigh Master was only a fad?) 😉
So I polled my Strong Figure Facebook followers on what they thought might be HOT right NOW and the answers that came in were, CrossFit, HIIT, Obstacle Course Racing, and Figure Shows/competitions. This is awesome because that response in itself tells me who my followers are–and if you look at our website (that you’re reading right now!) we currently cater to all these fitness realms. We’re doing something right!!
But I was sitting at a Parks and Recreation Conference. Recreation fitness is a little different from your typical CrossFit box and the community of users usually isn’t made up of figure athletes or even powerlifters like April. And although I’m pretty sure pole dancing and strip tease aerobics are also pretty hot right now, as one lady mentioned, “This is a family show, people.”
So what exactly is HOT in fitness, right NOW, that’s made easily accessible to all members of our community?
Zumba fitness is the latest craze. I honestly don’t believe I need to explain it either because even if you’ve never taken a Zumba class, I’m positive you’ve either seen one or have seen infomercials advertising it on TV. It is EVERYWHERE. Go to a gym–any gym–Zumba will be offered. And though Zumba may have started out as a combination of Latin/Hip Hip dance, it has expanded full circle. You can take Aqua Zumba in the pool, Zumba Toning with weights, Kid’s Zumba, Kid’s Jr. Zumba, Zumba Gold–for the senior crowd, Zumba Gold Toning, Zumba Sentao–using a chair, Zumbini–using your kid, and Zumba in the Circuit. In fact, Zumba’s popularity has risen 34% in the last 10 years. If you like to dance, have fun, and not think about exercising while you–well–exercise, think about giving Zumba a try! For more info, visit the official Zumba page.
Check out this quick video of Zumba Sentao:
Yoga has always been relatively popular, but it’s getting more and more popular as it’s being transformed into various outlets. Most gyms have several types of yoga classes offered (there are just as many types of Yoga as there are Zumba classes), and the practice is becoming more and more popular with current fitness enthusiasts. From Bikram Yoga (HOT 105 degree sessions) to Pre-Natal, Yoga won’t be fading from the fitness scene for a very long time–if ever. And with stores like Lululemon who offer classes like “Yoga in the Park,” it’s becoming even more accessible–and trendy–than before. For a brief explanation on the different types of yoga, visit MindBodyGreen.
Adults who fit the age range of the senior population are discovering just how important it is to stay as fit as possible while aging. Disease is the number one enemy of the aging, and those who are fighting against disease are doing so by exercise. Classes like Silver Sneakers and Les Mills bodyVIVE are making a comeback and recreation centers–like us!–are able to offer an entire course listing of classes for adults 50+. So it’s not just hip to be fit…it’s saving lives too!
Here’s a quick video showcasing bodyVIVE, which is described by Les Mills as an all round low-impact workout that lets you choose just how hard you work. It’s ideal for those new to group fitness, those returning to exercise or rehabilitating after an injury, pre and postnatal mothers, and active adults who want the benefits of improved cardio fitness, strength and flexibility.
The popularity of Pilates has risen 25% in the last 10 years. Most instructors can become Pilates Certified for as little as $200 and toning the core/abdominal region has never been so important in a society plagued by disease. After all, the more belly fat, the higher the indication of life-threatening disease. About.com lists Pilates as one of the most popular exercises in the country and “the top benefits of doing Pilates exercise is that people report that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to do anything with grace and ease.”
Even more popular than Zumba, are bootcamps. That’s right–bootcamp classes are up a whopping 38% from about 10 years ago. Because it’s so easy to exercise outside, utilize stations, access really cool equipment like tires, sledgehammers, or even make your own equipment from park benches and picnic tables, it’s ENDLESS what you can do in a bootcamp class. I teach a morning bootcamp at our Parks and Recreation Activity Center every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6am, and even though we are doing mostly bodyweight exercises, kettlebell swinging, and Tabata drills, I do plan on taking the group outdoors to utlize the trails, benches, hills, etc. And even more than Zumba and Yoga, what can be done with a bootcamp-style class is only limited to the imaginiation! I was just having a conversation with a co-worker a couple weeks ago about Bridal Bootcamps–which turned into a conversation about Couples Bootcamps. There are Baby Bootcamps, Mommy Bootcamps, Outdoor, Children’s….etc. I’ve even seen some “Booty-camp” advertisements that I’ll admit–leave me very curious. Whatever the idea, I’m certain there’s a bootcamp doing it.
Of course kettlebells are HOT! A kettlebell is THE number one piece of equipment to have! People ask me constantly what to buy to stay in shape. And I say, of course, a kettlebell. You can actually find them at decent costs and most people only need one (sometimes 2-4 at most) to have an arsenal of the BEST workout tools. Can you tell I’m a fan? When you workout with a kettlebell, you can do anything. ANYTHING! From cardio to strength training, even core work and balance, it’s pretty impossible to get bored. And if you’ve been following me at all on here, you know that I’m almost done with my eBook: 100 Hours of Kettlebells. I only have a couple more edits to make! Sheesh!
And I’m beyond excited to announce that I’m going to be offering the only Introduction to Kettlebells course in our area! Starting in October, I’ll be teaching an intro course that will advance beginners into an intermediate level kettlebell class coming this winter. What better way to stay in shape during the holiday months? You tell me if you have one.
Aside from everything listed above, there are few more hot workout trends thriving amongst us:
- Personal Training
- Tai Chi (Also recommended by Dr. Oz: Read here for 5 benefits of practicing Tai Chi.)
- Yogalates (A combination of Pilates and Yoga all wrapped up into one 45-60 minute class.)
- Step Aerobics: Check out this video of my favorite step class: Les Mills bodySTEP. It’s like cardio meets Broadway. And I secretly adore it.
I was a little disappointed last Monday to find out that most of what the session had to offer was stuff I already knew…or suspected, at least. But it was awesome to know that what I’m doing–and what I essentially got hired for–is exactly what’s trending and I’m right where I need to be.
The session was able to provide me with some great ideas for making our programs better–from taking my bootcamp to the great outdoors to instituting small personal training groups, and hosting social outings! Fitness shouldn’t just be a 6am bootcamp…it’s a lifestyle, right?! Why shouldn’t we incorporate it in every other facet of our lives?
I might have been up to date with the trends (first time in my life I’ve ever said that), but I walked away with a lot of new ideas and spins on how to promote fitness in our community.
But I still want to know, if you could have ANY fitness program offered, ANY event hosted, ANY new training tools brought your community, what would it be? As a community member, what is it that you WANT and NEED?
Featured Image by Cimm