How we exercise and the technology we use to do so is continually evolving. What was once considered the most effective way to get a six-pack or the best exercise for optimal calorie burn has now been replaced with something else entirely, so how do we ever truly know which plan to follow? This year has seen a rise in high intensity interval training, also known as Hiit, where the focus is on short, intense bursts of exercise aimed at raising your heartbeat and is considered the most superior method in terms of losing fat and creating lean muscle. If Hiit really can do all that for us, then is there anywhere else for exercise to go? Of course there is – take a look at our predictions for the future of fitness in 2016:
No longer limited to teenagers hanging out in the urban jungle, Parkour is becoming increasingly popular with the fitness elite. Developed in the Eighties in the suburbs of Paris, this highly skilled art of navigating across obstacles in the natural environment has started to move out of the streets and into the gyms. Parkour along with the rising popularity of Crossfit is likely to breed a hybrid crossover between the pair in which strength, agility and gymnastic skills combine to create the ultimate workout. There will be greater focus on increased mobility, core strength and poise as opposed to big, bulging muscles. Popular shows, such as Ninja Warrior, have helped bring competitive Parkour/Crossfit style fitness to the masses and we predict that this will continue in 2016.
You’ve all seen those mechanical surfboards they have at fairground and amusement arcades, right? Well get set as they are set to appear in a fitness studio near you. Founder of activewear label Sweaty Betty, Tamara Hill-Norton, predicts this type of workout will be huge as it focuses on using “your core to keep your balance while following the instructor through a series of exercises such as squats and jumps. This is brand new and I can see it drawing some attention for something more fun”. If you are someone who prefers exercising in the great outdoors, then fear not. Surfing is also expected to reach new levels when Britain’s first inland surfing destination opens up in Snowdonia. Wavegarden, the industry leader in the design and manufacture of wave generation systems, is creating the world’s longest man-made wave that will enable ideal conditions for surfing with 1.9m high tubing waves that peel for 200m. Founder and CEO of Wavegarden, Josema Odriozola, claims “Surf Snowdonia will definitely revolutionise the village of Dolgarrog located in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park and the way people around the world engage in surfing”.
Mini trampolines have featured in workouts in the past; remember those lycra clad, leg warmered ladies with big bouncy perms on your TV set every morning? Well, the trampete is set to make a come back in an arguably more fashionable way. For starters it’s had a name change; now it should be called a ‘Rebounder‘. It is not just a simple case of bouncing up and down, training schedules include movements such as squats, hops and knee raises that helps strengthen bones, improve muscle tone and best of all it is incredibly low impact making it great for all ages and abilities. James Winfield, who is the fitness director at Rebound UK as well as a qualified sports scientist and personal trainer says, “When you’re on the Rebounder, the ‘push’ motion forces the lymphatic valves to open and the ‘jump’ motion closes these valves at the top of the jump. This creates a ‘pump’ effect which moves and recycles the lymph and the entire blood supply through the circulatory system many times during the course of the rebounding session, providing a free-flowing system that drains away the potential poisons – toxins such as dead and cancerous cells, nitrogenous wastes, fat, infections, viruses, heavy metals, and other assorted junk cast off by the cells – from the body. Many believe an excessive build-up of toxins can prohibit weight loss, because the body doesn’t want to let those toxins go and move freely around the body, but because of the lymphatic drainage it stimulates, Rebounding helps allow the toxins to leave the body. The lymph doesn’t have its own pump, unlike the cardiovascular system, so it must be pumped deliberately.”
Surely tennis involves a lot of cardio already I hear you cry. Well yes, you’re right, but this is designed to be a workout in which tennis based exercises are performed to up tempo music and best of all you can expect to burn more calories than if you were playing a regular game of tennis. Cardio tennis offers a sociable and fun, full body workout on the tennis court. Classes currently run weekly in 850 venues around the country but we predict as popularity increases throughout next year more and more will crop up.
Imagine being able to play the type of games we enjoyed as children as well as getting an all round good workout. Ok, so childhood obesity may be a problem now, but back in the days when children didn’t have mobile phones, switching the channel on the TV involved getting up off your backside and actually pushing a dial on the set and social media was hanging out with your mates reading ‘Look-in‘, we were more than capable of running around, rosy cheeked the absolute epitome of health. The idea behind Rabble, the new fun fitness class, is to disguise interval training as games like Tag, British Bulldog and Capture the Flag. In doing this participants are so focused on fun and the competition to win that they don’t actually realise they are doing ‘proper’ exercise. In its first year alone, Rabble recruited 900 members and with this much retro fun we can only presume numbers will continue to rise.
The focus, it seems, is on fun. Although 2016 will no doubt see improved digital fitness trackers and advancements in scientific theories about what is best for us in terms of nutrition, health and fitness, what we actually want and what looks set to happen is somewhat more simple. In a fit of nostalgia, we will see a return to social, fun filled activities, which not only get our bodies working, but also provide us with a means of stepping away from the stresses of work and day to day life and allowing us to become big, carefree, kids – if only for a couple of hours a week.