While the resolve to keep fit might have escaped you twenty mince pies into December, as soon as the calendar turns, you’re suddenly buzzing with enthusiasm to hit the gym and sweat out the boozy mistakes of the festive period.
Fortunately for those of us who indulged a little too much over Christmas, it’s never been trendier to keep fit, and as more people discover the benefits of living a legging-clad lifestyle, the fitness industry has been discovering new and exciting ways to keep us sweating. So while 2016 was all about boxing, ballet and hybrid classes, this year has a whole new swathe of ‘happening’ workouts ready put you through your paces.
Here’s how you’ll be limbering up this year...
2016 was the year we all married our favourite styles of exercises together - such as Pilates and HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and boxing and cardio. These hybrid workouts are set to continue for 2017, but taken one step further - by incorporating our minds as well as our bodies. We’ve all heard of the benefits of mindfulness, and this year the meditation trend is set to be big news in the fitness industry. Think "mindfulness and HIIT", "Yoga and dance" or "meditation with kickboxing". According to a wellness expert at the Balance Festival, "this trend is about people embracing the idea that working out the mind is just as important as the focus we already have on the body."Fitne
Unless you kick the remote control under the sofa, you probably don't spend a lot of your time crawling around on your hands and knees. But according to reports, crawling is set to be big news for 2017, so much so it’s being dubbed "the new plank". Not only does the movement help to give the body a good core-strength workout, it can also help to ease gently ease back problems.
DNA-testing your workout
According to experts, not all fitness has optimum benefits for everyone - and this year we’ll be capitalising on that. DNA testing allows you to find out the fitness and nutrition programme to suit your genes. It may sound like something from an episode of Black Mirror, but visionary fitness studio Ethos is leading the way with this advanced fitness testing. Its DNAfit programme provides a detailed health report which can help you to construct bespoke exercises to build power and endurance and aid recovery. It will also provide a detailed breakdown of your macro- and micro-nutrient needs.
Dump your dumbbells and bin your boxing gloves: this year we’ll all be slacklining. Similar to walking a tight rope, slacklining involves balancing on a strip of webbing fixed above the ground, but not purposely not pulling it taut. Not only does it help you to balance, but slacklining requires the complete use of your body, engaging all your muscles at once. The trend is set to pop up in the capital’s green spaces, where slackliners use trees as anchors. And expect to see dedicated fitness gear for slackliners emerge in sports shops.
Aerobics is back
Step aerobics swept the nation in the 1980s thanks to Jane Fonda, and now it’s time to pull out your high-waisted leotard once again - because dance and aerobic style classes are heading for a major resurgence. The benefits of regular sessions include improving coordination and agility, while providing cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Frame in Shoreditch already runs a fabulously retro '80s aerobics class which lets you tone your buns of steel to the sounds of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Duran Duran.
The trend for getting your groove on to your favourite hits continues with dance classes dedicated to perfecting your best Beyoncé hair flip or Rihanna twerk. This year we’ll be ditching the HIIT classes and yoga flows at traditional gyms in favour of dance studios like Seen on Screen, where trained dancers will walk you through the steps to the songs of the moment. Not only does it trigger a rush of the mood-elevating hormone oxytocin, you’ll be able to throw down on the dance floor next time you’re out with your pals, too.
Wearable fitness tech
Wearables were big news in the fitness industry in 2016, and this trend is set to grow stronger. Expect a shift from tracking fitness to monitoring overall health, such as blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Expect wearable devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone to be upgraded, and look forward to virtual reality technology, the next great leap in fitness tech.
Yes, you heard correctly. Sleep is set to be a fitness trend to watch out for in 2017. With the rise in high-intensity workouts, lunchtime classes and 24-hour gyms, our fitness schedules are wearing us out. All this bending, flexing and crunching must be tempered by much-needed rest. There has already been a huge surge in meditation, mindfulness and night-time yoga classes to aid sleep and to relax and unwind. Expect a rise in boutique meditation studios and even flotation classes to help you to catch some extra Zzzs on the go.
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