It only seems like yesterday that we were compiling our Fitness Trends for 2018 – where has this year gone!?!? But yep it is indeed that time where we cast our minds forward and show you exactly what’s in store for fitness in 2019
Scientists have discovered that roughly 66% of our athletic performance depends on our genes, which would explain a lot if you’ve been sweating it out like a P-I-G in the gym and not getting the results you’re after. But bad genes doesn’t necessarily mean bad news, because once you know what you’re dealing with it allows you to form a plan of action.
That’s exactly what DNA fitness tests can help you do and they’re going to continue helping you improve your workouts during 2019. Informing you on everything from whether you have the fat gene, what your metabolism’s like, whether you gain muscle easily, through to what your vitamin levels are like and whether you should be cutting back on your caffeine and alcohol intake, DNA tests literally have the answer to everything.
And in other news, apparently scientists in the US have discovered a chemical compound that increases the athletic endurance in mice by up to 70%. So you know what’s coming next… exercise pills. We’ll give that one a miss thank you very much!
Death Metal Yoga
Picture it… you’re stood there in your leather look Sweaty Betty leggings, hair in a messy bun, and that Metallica t-shirt you only usually wear in bed. You’ve had a stressful day at work, the kids have done your head in and you need some pretty powerful yoga moves to sort you out before you even think about heading home to face the husband.
Death Metal Yoga is the answer!
Shouting, screaming, all out stress relieving, Death Metal Yoga is the absolute antithesis of your standard, soothing yogic practices. Moves include headbanging, air guitar, kicking, punching and a LOT of sweat. In fact imagine a toddler having a dirty great big tantrum and you’ve pretty much got it.
It’s raw, it’s feral, it’s dirty and it’s the ultimate in stress relief and anger management. So grab your bandana, release that messy bun and get ready to thrash it out.
Flotation tanks had their moment in the spotlight a few years back, but like all good trends they’re time has come around once more, as studies show that sensory deprivation, such as that experienced in a flotation tank, is good for our health.
Restricted environmental stimulation therapy, or sensory deprivation to you and me, can help lower cortisol levels and blood pressure and reduce blood lactate levels after bouts of intense exercise. So although there are many calming benefits to be had from spending time in these tanks (anything to get a bit of alone time right!?!), the latest wave of flotation tanks are likely to be offered more as a post-exercise recovery tool than as a quirky addition to some Zen spa.
But if spending time in a glorified coffin doesn’t float your boat (claustrophobia anyone?), fear ye not as the fitness industry have cottoned onto this sensory deprivation lark and started introducing elements of it into their classes.
Take for example a new Blackout class in London in which participants perform functional exercises whilst being blindfolded. Don’t worry it’s not as kinky as it sounds, the aim is to improve body awareness, stability, reaction time and mindful movement.
Restricting one or more of our sense allows us to pay more attention, it takes us out of our comfort zone, scares us a little even, and when we start to do all of those things, that’s when we make progress.
Like A Pro
These days popping along to the gym to knock out a couple of reps and do the odd squat here or there just ain’t enough anymore. We want to work harder, more efficiently and we want results. In fact we want results so badly, we’re willing to train as hard as professional athletes and so in order to keep up with us, technology and fitness bods are having to transform how they train us.
Elite equipment, which was previously only really used to train Olympians, is now at the complete and utter disposal of your bog standard gym goer. For example, the indoor cycle manufacturer Wattbike which is renowned for its work with professional cyclists, rowers and athletes, has released a version of is best-selling indoor trainer, which you can buy at the mere click of a button. This bit of kit gives access to precise date-driven training that is way more sophisticated than any equipment we may have had in our home gym before.
However, it’s not just the equipment that’s ramping up a gear, because those aforementioned professional athletes… well they want in on this game too. From studio workouts in elite London clubs, through to online workout programmes on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, if you want to look like an athlete… you gotta train like an athlete!
Childhood obesity levels in this country are continuing to rise and unless us parents start doing something about it, it will only get worse. Children look to us adults as role models, so if all they see is Dad sat on the sofa playing video games or Mum having a moan about the cake she’s just troughed, it’s hardly setting the best example is it!?!
The root of the problem ultimately lies with us adults and so until we can solve the problem with the kids we must first educate and change the behaviour of the adults. One way is to try and get families exercising together and 2019 will see more of these family group activities emerging. Park runs are already incredibly popular among families, with family members competing for best times and in some cases even winning medals in organised races.
But children need things to be fun and so the emphasis will be on taking things back to basics and teaching children, and adults, playground games and sports day style races which make use of open spaces and playground equipment. We predict that with all this child’s play going on it won’t be long before fitness companies start to incorporate these games into their adult classes, with the fundamental idea being about having so much fun you don’t even realise you’re working out.
Think about it… there’s already tug of wars, skipping and handstands going on in hundreds of gyms around the country, surely it’s only a matter of time before we’re leapfrogging, playing stuck in the mud and what’s the time Mr Wolf!?!
No I haven’t missed out the ‘L’ (come on my typing’s better than that!) and this is about as far removed from relaxing as you can possibly get.
Reaxing is all about our reactions to things; exposing ourselves to unpredictable situations and measuring how we react and cope with those situations. The idea being that by improving how quick our mind and body reacts to different stimulus, it helps us to hone our central nervous system and sharpen our mind.
Training is based around equipment that makes you move quickly, almost without thinking; this is about your body reacting instinctively and hopefully at some point your mind will catch up too! Kit includes wobbly balance boards that helps strengthen and centre your core, walls that require you to hit a panel as the light comes on helping with co-ordination, reflexes and movement, and flexible weights filled with water that tip and move around causing you to shift your own weight in reaction to the unpredictable movement of the weight.
However, Reaxing can be done without fancy equipment too. Ultimately it’s all about keeping calm under pressure and yoga and Pilates can help with the stress management side of things, paddleboarding helps with balance, interval drills improve speed, and interactive video games help to improve hand eye co-ordination. Sounds like a lot of fun to us!
Hot yoga is soooooo last year, these days it’s all about the cold I’m afraid folks, so wrap up warm ‘cos things are about to get frosty!
Research shows that exercising in cold temperatures, we’re not talking Arctic levels more around the 7ºC mark, is of more benefit to our bodies than if we work up a sweat in the heat. Not only does your body burn more calories in cooler temperatures (because it’s working so damn hard trying to keep you warm!), but it also helps muscles to recover quicker, aids mental clarity and focus and can help increase your tolerance to cold temperatures – a flippin’ god send to those people who ALWAYS feel cold!
The New York based company BRRRN are the pioneers of cold temperature fitness, offering three levels of classes in varying degrees of coldness. From yoga, circuits and HIIT based classes we love the idea of heading outside in our skimpy lycra and bobble hats – what’s not to love!?!
The Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof is the Dutch extreme athlete who is known for his superhuman death defying ability to withstand extreme temperatures, which he puts down to the breathing techniques he calls the Wim Hof Method.
He currently holds a staggering 21 Guinness World Records including:
- Running a half marathon barefoot above the Arctic Circle in only shorts.
- Swimming under ice for 66 metres.
- Hanging on by one finger at an altitude of 2,000 metres.
- Running a marathon in the Namib Desert without drinking.
Impressive or stupid… you decide? But whether or not it’s simply a case of good genes, there’s no question that his extensive training to control his breathing, heart rate, and blood circulation has helped him with these achievements and he believes that, “What I am capable of, everybody can learn”.
Now, whilst we’re not saying 2019 is gonna be the year you break your own freezing marathon record, there is a lot to be said for using breathing techniques to help improve fitness.
The Wim Hof method is made up of three components, or pillars as Wim Hof calls them – Cold Therapy, Breathing and Commitment. I mean I’m already thinking going for a run in the depths of winter pretty much covers this right!?! Hof asks his clients to take a series of 40 deep inhales and exhales, to hold the breath and then take a long deep breath. During this extended and purposeful breathing, a number of hormonal interactions occur that Hof believes decreases inflammation and boosts immunity.
There’s a lot to be said for breathing correctly, and although it seems like such a simple thing that every single one of us do without thinking, that’s precisely the point… we do it without thinking and we’re doing it wrong. 2019 is going be all about using breathing techniques to help solve sleep issues, stress and our overall wellness as well as increasing our energy, willpower and physical endurance.
Take a deep breath!
So there you have it folks, our round up of the next batch of fitness trends set to enter our fitness world in 2019.
What do you reckon… would you be willing to give any a try?
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