By late March, most New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory. According to research conducted by Strava, the social network for athletes, January 12th is actually the fateful day for even the most committed resolvers. But for those who are still looking for ways to stay in shape this year, the American College of Sports Medicine published their list of the favorite ways to get strong and fit in 2019. Here are a few of my favorites:
Fitness trackers and wearable technology
Not two weeks ago I was gushing with a total stranger on a plane about the fitness tracker he and I were both wearing. My husband (who doesn’t use the one I bought him) stood there in disbelief that I could talk for 10 minutes to someone I didn’t know about “our watches.” These trackers are so sophisticated that they are tracking sleep quality and caloric intake and well as caloric burn. Watch for more advances to come!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) refers to repeated bouts of high intensity exercises followed by rest, or low impact exercise (like a slow jog or walk). It triggers weight loss and boosts fitness levels quickly and requires only 20 minutes of exercise at a time! Canadian researchers found that only a few weeks of HIIT training produced greater changes in endurance capacity than doing months of moderate – intensity exercises such as walking or slow jogging. These days, HIIT is being incorporated into more and more workouts. I’ve even seen them advertised in Pilates classes and yoga classes.
The best part of streaming workouts is that they enable you to work out at your convenience. Just this morning I had 30 minutes after the kids left and before my first client arrived. I jumped on the Peloton for a 20 minutes HIIT workout (look at me, combining two trends at once!). The downside of these options is that you don’t have an instructor to watch your form, which can lead to injury. Look for more streaming options to come!
Exercise options for older folks
People are living longer and the benefits for working out are so compelling it’s hard to argue with them! While stamina and strength naturally decrease as we age, the CDC says most of that decrease comes as a function of inactivity, not age. Further, the World Health Organization has identified inactivity as the #4 highest risk factor for death worldwide. Perhaps most compelling; Pubmed.com reports a 2011 study of the hippocampus region in the brain, believed to be the center of emotion, memory and autonomic nervous system. The study found that the hippocampus, which normally atrophies as we age, is larger in fitter people and can increase in size with exercise, even in older people!
Which workout trend will you be following in 2019?