My Take on the 7 Big Fitness Trends of 2016

As the year draws to a close and we look ahead to 2016, I’ve identified what I think the biggest fitness trends will be next year. I think it’s going to be an exciting year for the health and fitness industry, and therefore for our clients as well. Most of the trends I’ve outlined in this post have a common theme: personalisation. If you follow these trends, next year could be the year that you really make improvements, and see greater results for potentially the same amount of effort. Here are my predictions for 2016:

Wearable technology

Gadgets such as the Apple Watch, Garmin, Jawbone, Fitbit and Nike Bands have been out for a while now, and there are even virtual reality headsets that you can use whilst exercising. As a PT, I’m seeing more and more clients wearing these gadgets, and there’s definitely more interest in tracking health-related data amongst the people I come into contact with. I encourage my clients to have a healthy interest in such data, but not to obsess over it. (It can be easy to constantly check your Garmin watch whilst running, and end up tripping over or getting bent out of shape about your pace and distance. Sometimes, just go for a run for the pure enjoyment, gadget-free). I predict that 2016 will see even more people buying devices that can help them understand how much they’re moving, and what effect it’s having on their fitness; on balance, this has to be a good thing.

Eschewing the gym for outdoor training

I predict that more people will want to train outside, as opposed to working out in a sweaty gym. Boot Camps have seen a huge uptake in recent years, and I believe this is largely because they are (usually) held outdoors, and give people a chance to run around in the fresh air. Most of us work indoors, and in winter months, you can leave the house in darkness, and return in darkness, therefore seeing very little natural light or fresh air. Working out outdoors, once you’ve got over the cold, can be very liberating and make people feel better about themselves, and less confined.

Using a Personal Trainer

As time becomes ever more precious, and our lives seem to get busier, a lot of people are now looking to an expert to help them maximise their time spent exercising. I predict that personal training will become even more popular in 2016, as people look to get the best results they can in the time they spend exercising. Carl Benedikt-Frey (Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at the University of Oxford) stated “the fastest-growing occupations in the past five years are all related to services. The two biggest are Zumba instructor and personal trainer.”

Using exercise as a form of therapy

We have long known the benefits of exercise on mental health, but I think 2016 will see a lot more people taking up exercise to help them with problems affecting mental health such as stress, anxiety and depression. I am a big advocate of using exercise to help with mental health, and issue such as professional burnout and stress in the workplace are becoming more widely discussed and appreciated. Several large firms now have mental health champions, and a number of firms of all sizes have schemes designed to help people manage stress at work, and all these schemes encourage exercise in one form or another.

Older adults

Awareness of the need to exercise and stay mobile is increasing now in older adults, with more older people attending specialist classes and using the parks to stay fit. I’ve seen an increase in the number of older adults who have come to us for personal training; often they are looking for help reducing their cholesterol or blood pressure, but they also want to strengthen their muscles, ligaments and tendons to reduce the risk of falling. Older women are also aware of the need to exercise to strengthen their bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Tapping into your DNA

Genetic tests can now identify the ideal diet type and best type of an exercise for each individual. This science is revolutionising the fitness world, and removes the educated guesswork that happens otherwise. The one-size-fits-all approach is now outdated. Want to know what your carbohydrate and saturated fat sensitivity is, or whether you have a raised requirement for cruciferous vegetables and anti-oxidants? Or whether you’re better suited to power or endurance, and what your injury risk and recovery times are? Your DNA can now provide the answers.

Yoga

I predict that yoga will become even more popular in the next 12 months. New styles of yoga are cropping up, such as BoxingYoga™, which blends a elements of a fighter’s training with classic vinyasa flow yoga moves. Traditional forms of yoga still remain very popular, and more people are developing an appreciation for what yoga brings to the body and mind. I believe that yoga is a great compliment to any other form of exercise, where usually the focus is on shortening the muscles rather than lengthening and stretching. Yoga can help mitigate the risk of injury, as well as keeping you supple and relaxed.

Leanne Spencer is a Fitness Entrepreneur, Author of the Amazon Bestselling book Rise and Shine: Recover from burnout and get back to your best and Founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot specialises in bringing the science of genetics to the world of fitness. Connect with the team @BodyshotPT or Facebook or visit our website at www.bodyshotperformance.com.

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