Are you getting bored with your current exercise routine? Familiarizing yourself with fitness trends may help further your exercise and weight loss goals by maximizing your workout and preventing plateaus. Some of the latest fitness trends include interval training, working with a personal trainer, and strength training. Consulting your doctor is always a good idea prior to beginning a new exercise routine. This is especially important with fitness trends, as there are many out there which may not be healthy for everyone.
This fitness trend maximizes your current workout by varying the intensity level of your movement. Interval training introduces brief bursts of higher intensity activity into your workout intermittently, or in intervals, hence the name. For example, you can turn a 30-minute, moderate intensity elliptical workout into a higher intensity workout by dramatically increasing your pace for 1-3 minutes. Interval training can help you burn more calories, increase your endurance, improve your aerobic capacity or oxygen intake, and make a routine workout more challenging. Interval training is not for everyone, especially if you are being treated for a heart issue or have a history of heart disease. Consult your doctor to ensure interval training is right for you.
If you’re someone who craves variety and needs your exercise routine to change every few weeks, personal trainers may be something to check out. Personal trainers will help create a customized fitness plan based on your goals. If you are interested in working with a personal trainer, find out about their credentials. Proper credentials are important to ensure a safe experience. Interview the potential trainers by asking about their degrees, certifications and specialties to determine if they are qualified to help you, as well as if they are a good fit for your exercise needs and goals. If you are not interested in working through a gym and using their personal trainers, you can find certified personal trainers for hire through the American Council on Exercise: ACE – Locate a Trainer
A quick tip on personal trainers—some may offer nutritional advice, meal plans, or try to sell you on supplements for which they may make commission. Always ask about credentials if they offer you nutritional advice. Be wary of their advice and/or meal plan suggestions if they do not have a degree in nutrition or a related field. Only Registered Dieticians should prescribe meal plans. Never take a supplement or use a meal replacement powder without consulting your doctor first. Personal trainers should work to find “personal” solutions for your fitness, not something that has worked for them or others.
If you are interested in toning and maintaining your physique, strength training offers a wide variety of options, many of which don’t require a gym membership and can be done at home. Strength training includes body weight training (using your own body weight as resistance), resistance tubing (also called resistance bands), free weights and weight machines. Examples of body weight exercises are squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, yoga and Pilates. Free weight exercises utilize hand weights, dumbbells, medicine balls or household items such as soup cans and water jugs or bottles. Weight machines require gym equipment or equipment that you can purchase for your home.
For additional information to help you get started with strength training, check out our blog post here: Strength Training 101
Do you need help maintaining an exercise schedule? Looking for more fitness tips? If you are a Health Advocate member with access to our Wellness Coaching program, connect with a Wellness Coach for accountability and more tips.