Indo Yoga Board

Every year we see the emergence of new fitness trends that help to inspire us along the road to health and vitality. 2014 is no different. If getting in shape is one of your New Year’s resolutions there is a lot to choose from!

We have taken a peek at what is happening in the world of fitness and health and pulled together our list of things to try in 2014:

1. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT takes the top spot. Although it has been around for decades the clever marketing people in the fitness industry have managed to repackage it in to programmes such as CrossFit and make it desirable again!

This type of exercise involves short bursts of high intensity activity with brief period of rest in between. These workouts are intense and short. They are concentrated into 30 minutes, which is usually as much as most people can handle as they are extreme!

HIIT is not for everyone and is better suited to younger people who already have a good level of fitness.

2. Combo classes / Fusion Fitness

These classes combine three areas of fitness, strength training, cardio and flexibility in to one. It is great for burning calories as it keeps the heart rate up for the entire session by using increasing reps with low weights.

The classes generally last an hour. If you want to cover all three areas of fitness and are time poor you may want to give this one a try!

3.  Virtual Fitness

With the advancement in technology we can do many things virtually in today’s world and fitness is one of them. You can do this in the privacy of your own home via the internet and live-Skype training. There is a treasure trove of fitness routines, yoga and Pilates classes available cheaply at the touch of a button with world renowned teachers. You can also do this at the gym in the form of personalized fitness routines given via the email or phone by qualified trainers of your choice. Text and phone calls help keep you on track.

These classes do offer the flexibility of when you are able to do the class and can keep the cost of fitness down. Having a regular home fitness practice can be hard to establish, it requires self-discipline. You also miss out on posture analysis which could make you more vulnerable to injury.

4. Yoga

Yoga remains on the list, although many (including myself) believe “Yoga is not a trend, but a centuries old practice” but as it appears so strongly on the fitness trend data it would be amiss of me not to mention it. Yoga's influence remains strong. The continued popularity of Yoga is due to the industry’s ability to reinvent itself. Yoga incorporates postures (asana), breathing and meditation, but in the last ten years it has exploded into  into a wide range of styles - Flow Yoga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Yoga for runners, Yoga for surfers, even naked Yoga seems to be growing in popularity!

For those living near the water stand-up paddleboard Yoga was a growing trend in 2013. Water is no longer required to enjoy this, it has been taken a step further by the invention of the Indo Yoga Board developed by Hunter Joslin. It is a 6-foot-long board on four rockers that provides the same sensations and instability as SUP Yoga. Anti-gravity Yoga will continue to grow in popularity.

It will be an interesting year for Yoga. What will the next reinvention be?

5. Barre

Ballet inspired workouts. They were first introduced by Lotte Berk in the 1970’s but really have gained popularity in the last 12-18 months. These classes emphasize muscular endurance and have very high repetition sets with small weights and bands. There is a big focus on postural alignment.

They offer a low impact yet extremely challenging workout. This workout is kind to your joints! And can help with the posture and alignment of the body.

6. Fitness for children and seniors

Childhood obesity continues to be a major health concern for many developed and developing countries. There is much money being invested by governments to encourage children to become involved in exercise at an earlier age as they try and prevent them developing health issues later in life. We can expect to see more programs in gyms and studios aimed at the younger generation throughout 2014.

At the other end of the spectrum senior fitness is set to continue in the coming year. Many gyms, fitness clubs and studios have introduced age appropriate, safe exercise programmes specifically designed for older adults. Exercise becomes ever more important as we age if we want to keep mobile.

7. Clean Eating

The benefits and information on clean eating is everywhere. It is one of the more popular hashtags on Instagram and twitter; a sure sign of its popularity. It is an old and simple concept.  Eat food that is real, wholesome and unprocessed, while avoiding processed and fast foods packed with added artificial ingredients that compromise the health. This trend is not about counting the calories. It is about living a healthy life and looks set to remain on trend in response to our need for a better way of living.

So that’s the top trends according to us here at Dharma Bums. And what is trending down? It seems Zumba has lost its sparkle as people eager to try new things move on. It may well be seen in the future be seen as the “Step Aerobics” of the 2000s. It is certainly losing its “cool” factor and unless it finds a way to reinvent itself it will be considered “The mums jeans of the fitness world”.

ACMS (American college of sports medicine)
Healthline News
The Huffington Post
Debbie Lawson