Jumping on the bandwagon would at least be a first step toward a healthier and more active 2009 for those of us who quizzically look at buff people pumping away on an elliptical or eating fistfuls of raw spinach and think, “I wonder if I could do that?”
And then don’t ever try.
I always tell people who ask (my doctor) that for exercise, I chase my twin toddlers around. Turns out they mean aside from that; they mean, like, do I work out, do I break a sweat other than the times when I’m on deadline and the nanny’s gone for the day?
I’m not saying I will do any of these in 2009, either, but I thought I’d check out health and fitness trends for the coming year and see if something jumped out at me to make a resolution about, aside from no longer yelling loudly enough to tear an abdominal muscle trying to get my sons to come to the dinner table.
Speaking of needing boot camp … conveniently, for the second year in a row, boot-camp style workouts are predicted to be the top fitness trend in the coming year, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Boot camps, which are group classes that aim to strengthen large muscle groups with pushups, squats and lunges, can burn up to 600 calories in one session.
The ACE group surveyed personal trainers, group fitness professionals and lifestyle and weight management consultants to devise its top-10 health trends, which aside from the boot camps include:
— Getting more for the money. Consumers will engage in workouts that provide multiple benefits because of time and economic limitations.
— Specialty classes like Zumba, Bollywood, Afro-Cuban, and ballroom dancing. These classes are set to rhythmic music and aim to increase cardiovascular fitness while participants have fun. North Central Michigan College’s Student and Community Resource Center staff have been arranging Zumba and ballroom dancing classes already; call 439-6370 (see article on new swing/ballroom dancing classes in this Health section).
— The basics. Fitness professionals believe that people will want to return to basic fitness programs.
— Circuit training. Circuit training blends strength training and cardiovascular activity at different intensities.
— Kettlebell training. (I could substitute a 35-pound 3-year-old for this.) These iron weights, traditionally used in Russia, aim to develop whole body fitness and core strength.
— Boomer fitness. A focus on fitness led by people 50 and older.
— Technology-based fitness. Using high-tech gadgets like iPods to help keep workouts engaging, plus an increase in interactive fitness video games like the Wii system.
— Event or sports-specific exercises. A focus on the simple things, like basketball or volleyball games, or day bike rides.
— Mixing it up. Low-intensity cardio or weight training on one day, followed by a high-intensity workout on another day.
More health trends predicted in 2009 include men embracing soy and “nutraceuticals” as much as women; Vitamin D as the “it” supplement; and the phrase “healthy intestines” heralding in the growing interest in probiotics for a better immune system and overall health. As one researcher put it, “(people) do recognize the benefits of ‘friendly bugs’ in products like yogurt, kefir or yogurt-based beverages.”
Is it 2010 yet?