2020 is an eventful year for fitness with some new trends taking the lead alongside those that are more established. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the top five trends for 2020 are wearable technology, high-intensity interval training, group training, training with free weights and personal training. With growing awareness of the need for taking care of our health, while safely participating in these activities with social distancing guidelines in place, these trends are not going away anytime soon.
Wearable fitness technology
Wearable fitness tech has been a top fitness trend since 2016 and is the top fitness trend in 2020.
The most popular forms of these include smart watches, wrist activity trackers, heart rate monitors and smart workout wear like T-shirts, tank tops and sports bras. These wearable fitness trackers record the user’s metrics and send them to an app (which can be built-in or separate) to be analyzed and used for better performance and setting fitness goals.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is becoming popular among Canadians as it delivers results in a short period of time. It is easier for people to commit to a few short bursts of activity than to other forms of exercise that take longer.
The goal of HIIT training is to raise your heart rate to 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate using short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a rest period where your heart rate should be 60 to 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate. HIIT workouts can be completed in 30 minutes, as opposed to spending an hour or longer at the gym.
Wearable fitness trackers are especially useful for HIIT because they allow you to track your heart rate accurately and track your progress.
Group fitness training is instructor-led exercise with small groups of participants. These classes focus on motivation and effectiveness while using techniques for helping to achieve individual fitness goals.
One of the benefits of group training is that it is more affordable than personal training while still allowing participants to get the personalized attention of a trainer. Ensure you are participating with safety in mind during the ongoing pandemic and following guidance of health experts.
Workouts can include a range of activities like strength training, motion and stability exercises, as well as conditioning. Your coach will help with technique and staying motivated. Being accountable to your group can help keep you on track.
Training with free weights
Instructors teach proper technique for resistance exercises with weights, kettlebells and medicine balls. Resistance is increased as form and ability improve. Training with free weights is a fitness staple because it helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy body composition. It is getting more popular with women as the myth of resistance training adding bulk to their bodies fades.
Training with free weights is accessible to more people because it can be done anywhere and does not require fitness machines. Some studies also suggest that training with free weights is more effective than with machines because your muscles have to work harder and the range of motion is more natural.
Personal training is one-on-one coaching with a trainer at a gym, online or in your home and working towards fitness goals (with online and home workouts gaining prominence during a challenging 2020).
Personal training is popular because of the attention you get from your trainer. A fitness professional will help craft the ideal workout for your specific goals, help you stay motivated and make sure your workouts evolve with your progress.
Personal training is especially beneficial for people with neuromuscular, musculoskeletal or chronic disease, those with past injuries, competitive athletes, people training with a certain goal in mind, or those with little fitness experience who do not know where to begin. But a personal trainer can be beneficial to anyone who wants to take charge of their health and fitness.
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