The fitness industry is booming at the moment and as more and more of us have become increasingly keen to up our physical game the pressure to develop the newest and best fitness routines, equipment, food and technology is higher than it’s ever been.
Here at The Art of Healthy Living we like to keep our fingers on the pulse and pride ourselves on bringing you the latest fitness news before anyone else. It may only be September, but people in the know are already talking about what fitness trends we can expect to emerge next year, so we’ve done our research and put together our ultimate guide to the forecasted fitness trends of 2017!
You Dancing?…You Asking?
Perhaps inspired by the atmosphere of the Rio Olympics, 2016 has seen the continued popularity of Zumba. With it’s upbeat, carnival inspired dance fitness routines, Zumba is all about having fun with friends whilst shaking what your mama gave you. And 2017 is likely to see the funky fun factor of Zumba staying high on our list of fit faves with further emphasis on exercising whilst having so good a time you don’t even realise you’re working out. In fact expect to see all kinds of dance based classes cropping up next year; from the graceful, toning, posture pleasing ballet workouts of Barre Core, through to Strictly Come Dancing classes that teach you the classic styles of ballroom, waltz and foxtrot whilst also super cha-cha-charging your workout.
But best of all (and we are super excited about this) next year sees the return of old school 80s aerobics!
Who can’t help but remember the energy bomb that was mad Lizzie from TV-AM, with her wild mass of permed locks and inability to stay still for longer than a second? Or what about Mr Motivator and his bright neon colour clashing Lycra that left very little to the imagination and if you weren’t quite awake by the end of his workout you certainly would be once you’d feasted your eyes on his DayGlo ensemble!
It’s all about leaving your inhibitions at home and dancing like no one’s watching to create a fun, cardio based, keep fit style workout that leaves you looking and feeling fantastic.
You get to listen to your favourite music, busting some badass moves all while wearing legwarmers and a leotard!
What’s not to like about that?
2016 may well have been the year of the silent disco, but in 2017 it’s all about being loud and proud!
The benefits of exercising outdoors have long been advocated and over the past year we have seen a surge of outdoor bootcamps crop up around the UK. Working out in the great outdoors not only turns our feel good endorphin levels up to maximum, but also increases our exposure to Vitamin D and has been proven to motivate us to work harder and for longer.
In a similar vein, outdoor events, such as Tough Mudder, have seen higher numbers than ever this year and whilst the novelty is starting to wear off, 2017 is guaranteed to see even tougher, even muddier and even whackier obstacle courses.
And, unless you’ve been living in a bubble, you won’t help but have noticed how play parks are now full of more equipment than ever.
But take another look…
Because that metal construction you thought was a climbing frame is actually a pull up bar and that bench over there isn’t for you to eat your sandwiches on, no get down and give me 20 because it’s for you to crunch your abs on! That’s right it’s all about the outdoor gym, or as we like to call them, adult playparks.
And these fitness machines aren’t just spawning in playparks; they’ve been spotted along the street, on company roof terraces, in fact they’ve even just installed one at my kids school – they are literally taking over the world.
2017 is likely to see more of these, but perhaps most importantly of all it is likely to see more people using them. Confidence and a couldn’t care less attitude is key when it comes to using outdoor gym equipment. There aren’t many of us who even feel confident enough to use regular indoor gym equipment for the first time and that’s with a very small audience of other gym goers, so imagine how embarrassing it would be to fall off a treadmill in front of a troupe of teenagers, a gaggle of grannies and a bunch of businessmen. However, as outdoor gyms become more common place the opportunity to catch a sneaky look at someone else using the equipment before braving it for yourself will inevitably result in less embarrassment induced red faces and more sweat based ones.
If you prefer your workouts to be a bit more freestyle, then fear ye not, as 2017 has the answer in the form of Parkour. No longer reserved for skater, teenage types, Parkour classes are already running in the US and you can guarantee if America’s doing it, it won’t be long before it hits our shores too. Expect a challenging, all over body workout that hones both physique and mind; if you’re not mentally one step ahead planning where and how you’re jumping next, you are likely to get a face full of concrete.
I’ll have a ‘P’ please Bob
Nope, we’re not telling you to don a badly knitted jumper, grab a scruffy mascot and scrub up on your general knowledge for a round of Blockbusters, but 2017 is all about adding a ‘P’ to your routine!
We’ve all heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), it has been and still is one of the most effective ways to train and condition the body. But what about PHIIT?
That’s right, whack a ‘P’ in front of it and you’ve got PHIIT (Pilates High Intensity Interval Training). The combination of two fitness programmes is nothing new, think Yogalates (Yoga and Pilates), so it was obvious that it wouldn’t be too long before HIIT found a team mate. The name is self explanatory, PHIIT combines the toning, core strengthening workout of Pilates with the high intensity cardiovascular workout of HIIT to create a programme that gives the ultimate in overall fitness.
Then there’s PHA (Peripheral Heart Action Training), which is set to become HIITs biggest contender in the popularity charts. The theory behind it is that by keeping your blood circulating throughout a workout there should be a triple whammy of more fat burning, more muscle building and a bigger cardio boost. And whilst you might be thinking, “I don’t want big muscles”, don’t worry because yes it builds muscles, but not crazy Schwarzenegger style ones. Muscles are fab fat burning tools, the more you have (and they don’t need to be huge) the better your workout, the stronger your body and the fitter you are.
Roll up, Roll up
This one’s for all you fun seekers out there, we’re talking working out circus stylee.
This is what you won’t get…
- A troupe of clowns cooling you down with flower squirters.
- A workout involving jumping through a ring of fire; the better you get the smaller the ring.
- A unicycle riding monkey dressed in a tutu singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ to get you through that last set of burpees.
I know…I was disappointed too!
But wait until you see what you do get.
Aerialand is the UK’s only aerial circus school, offering acrobatic wannabes the chance to try out the static trapeze, the hoop, various aerial skills and pole dancing. If you’ve ever been to the circus you will have seen how fit those trapeze artists are and they certainly haven’t got that toned from sitting around throwing custard pies in each others faces! Workouts are tough, as literally every muscle in the body is put to the test, however you’ll be having so much fun you won’t realise just how hard you’re working.
If you haven’t got a head for heights then you’re probably suited to something a bit more ground based, but don’t let that stop your inner performer from making an appearance. The Pound Rockout Workout is a high intensity workout involving light weighted exercise drumsticks called Ripstix. You’ll sweat buckets, but you can wave bye bye to bingo wings and if you’ve had a tough day there is nothing more therapeutic than bashing out some beats on an imaginary drum kit (PS – there’s nothing wrong in picturing an object or person that’s done your head in that day whilst manically air drumming!)
Use it or Lose it
2017 will witness a rise in exercise classes available to the older generation, as health and fitness professionals get wise to the fact the ‘babyboomers’ have retired and they’ve got a lot more money to spend. We’re not going to see pensioners taking to the aerial hoop or free running with their zimmers, nor are we likely to see extreme crosswording or high intensity knitting, but great care is being taken to devise age specific workouts that will help older people stay fit and healthy for longer. Functional fitness is aimed at improving strength, balance, keeping joints mobile as well as improving mood and mental ability, which will vastly improve everyday living standards.
A brand new year = brand new fit tech gadgetry and 2017 will be no different. Pretty much everyone’s wearing a fitness tracker of some shape or form these days, whether it’s a smart watch, heart rate monitor, or GPS tracker, wearable devices are big business.
Before I talk about the future allow me a moment of nostalgia to a time when health and safety officers hadn’t sapped the enjoyment from life and breakfast time was a time of excitement and anticipation. That’s right I’m talking cereal, and more specifically, the amazing free gifts that used to be contained within them. Who can remember diving into a packet of Sugar Puffs, scrabbling around to find a pack of scratch and sniff stickers (the candyfloss ones were amaze!!), or tipping out a whole box of Rice Crispies to grab the pack of spokie dokies before your younger sibling? Well, it was during this golden age that I was introduced to my first wearable technology; the very basic, but at the time very much sought after, pedometer. And what features did this incredible device have?
Well…it counted steps.
Yep, the precursor to the Fitbit we know and love today was a freebie pedometer!
Fast forward to today and obviously I’m wearing one (just upgraded my Fitbit Flex to a Fitbit Charge 2 I’ll have you know), and my mum’s got one and now even my 8 year old son’s got one, but that is not the worst of it because, get this, now you can buy fitness trackers for your dog!
Yep that’s right, the Fitbark allows you to track your pooch’s performance by logging its daily doggy deeds. You can keep an eye on activity, sleep, and behaviour patterns and you can even set breed specific health goals to help increase the health of your hound. These goals will obviously depend slightly on the breed of your dog, for example a Border Collie will be much more active than say a French Bulldog, but it will allow you to keep track and relate the progress of your dog as he or she go about their daily fitness.
Got a competitive canine?
Then why not set up a human v’s dog challenge and see which of you can get the most steps?
Yep, the world really has gone mad!
But what about the future, if everyone already has a fitness tracker, where do we go from here?
Fitness First has commissioned a report by future expert Ian Pearson to take a look into how the future of exercise might look. 2045 may sound a long way off, but it’s only 29 years away, and Pearson predicts that by then we’ll be using drones and so called ‘gymbots’ to assist us in our workouts.
And virtual reality fitness is set to become massive, allowing us to interact and compete against others in virtually any world, activity or conditions we chose. We’re already able to monitor and compare our performance and stats against others, on screens within the gym, but the future will see us being able to compete against the likes of Mo Farrah and Laura Trott.
And finally how about having a go at riding your bike…in water? Poolbiking is the next big thing in the world of water fitness. Using tailor made submerged, and presumably rust-resistant, bikes, poolbiking creates a complete body resistance workout that could see you burning up to a whopping 800 calories an hour. Working out in water is a lot gentler on joints and because resistance is 12 times higher than on land, you are more likely to lose weight and tone your entire body. But best of all, when you’ve had enough you can just dive off into the water for a cool down and a little post workout wallow.
So there you have it, a rather eclectic list of some of the fitness trends we can expect to crop up during 2017. I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s something in there for everybody, but most importantly of all it’s all about keeping active and having fun.
We’d love to hear from you:
What do you think will be the next BIG fitness craze?
Which new trend would you like to have a go at?
Do you think fitness is too faddy these days?
Tell us your thoughts about the future of fitness by commenting on this post or come and join our discussion over on The Art of Healthy Living Facebook page.