If better health and improved fitness are among your New Year’s resolutions, we hope you’re off to a great start. Of course, starting can be easier than sticking with it. So here are some of the year’s best healthy habits to get into.
No, you don’t have to enlist in the armed services to get fit. But you might have to get out of bed really early. While boot camps are nothing new, these high-intensity structured workouts remain popular and effective. Boot Camp includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility drills and usually involves both indoor and outdoor exercises typically led by an enthusiastic instructor.
Fit Tech Trackers
Wearable fitness devices are no longer the badge of a health and fitness junkie—they’re being worn by anyone who wants to move a little more and feel better. And we can expect even more advances in technology and connectivity as wearable fitness devices continue to evolve in the coming months. Another interesting piece of this tracking device trend will be the ability to use your gadget to verify your workouts for your employer and insurance company—and be rewarded for it.
Small Group Training
From boutique fitness studios to the larger gym chains, small group training will continue to flourish this year. This is good news for trainers, who make more money per hour with groups, as well as clients who benefit from reduced pricing and the additional motivation of training with friends or peers. Working out with others enhances compliance, builds a feeling of tribal belonging, and considerably ups the fun factor, especially if you have a great trainer who understands group dynamic well.
Nutrition over Dieting
Breaking the chain of crazy fad/yo-yo dieting by learning how to eat sensibly has an immeasurable benefit. If you can get in the habit of eating well and avoiding unnecessary additives and chemicals, your body will breathe a sigh of relief and start metabolizing the way it’s meant to. The trick is to view eating habits as a long term solution rather than just a tool to reach a short term goal.
Express Intense Workouts
Given the desire and need of increasingly busy people to “train smarter, not longer,” expect to see even more express-style workouts in 2014. Everything from popular DVD-based programs such as Focus T-25 and the newly released P90X3, to high-intensity interval training like Tabata-inspired classes and CrossFit are designed to be as efficient and effective as possible. They can seem intimidating from the outside looking in, but most are very welcoming and supportive. Don’t be afraid to give one of these options a try.
Yoga as Crosstraining
With more people than ever making high-intensity interval training and circuit-style programs like CrossFit part of their regular routine, the need for complimentary stability and mobility training has never been higher—and yoga can provide both. Be on the lookout for more yoga offerings specifically designed with the CrossFit devotee and intense exerciser in mind to help you get more out of your workouts and stay safe.
Brain Power Workouts
Is this the end of the “dumb jock” stereotype? Exercise that incorporates cognition-building challenges and specific movement patterns to improve brain function will continue to expand this year. Brain-boosting exercise may sound complex, but it can be as simple as working on your balance or coordination. Expect to see more experiential fitness classes that involve an elevated approach to the mind-body-brain connection.
We hope these ideas inspire you to find what works best for you and your goals. Have a happy and healthy 2014.