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The Top 8 Fitness Trends of 2016

The fitness industry has developed into an immensely powerful industry from an economic

perspective. A significant portion of the population has developed a proclivity to only think of

training and fitness programs when the phrase "fitness trends" is mentioned; however, fitness trends can apply to apparel, training technology and more.

For instance, wearable fitness is at an all-time high as far as popularity is concerned. There are

literally hundreds of versions of fitness trackers currently on the market. While some of the

trackers are basic, functioning as pedometers only, there are others that have the capacity to track

workouts, calories, whether a person snores or not, sleep patterns and more.

In addition to fitness trackers, there are a number of other fitness trends that are currently taking

2016 by storm. Following are the top 8 trends so far this year.

1. Wearable Fitness Technology

Wearable fitness technology has the capacity to help individuals get the most out of their workouts. Some examples of wearable technology include fitness trackers and smart watches, such as Garmin, Fitbit and Apple Watch. These devices are equipped with heart rate monitors, GPS tracking, sleep pattern monitoring, and calorie counters, just to name a few features. Wearable technology can help track, compile and analyze valuable fitness data in order to ensure that individuals are able to maximize their fitness programs.

2. Body Weight Training

Due to the fact that many people are limited by busy schedules that can make it immensely difficult for them to make it to the gym on a consistent basis, body weight training techniques are growing in popularity. Body weight training is also great for those individuals who may be recovering from joint injuries.

While body weight training is considered an old school training modality, it is still exceptionally effective. It involves a person using their own weight to create the training resistance for their workout. Some exercises that fall into this category include pushups, sit ups, pull-ups, and lunges. When these types of exercises are performed consistently and correctly, they can be highly effective -- especially in the areas of burning fat and building muscle.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT has really taken off over the last several years, primarily due to its extraordinary success. This type of training involves intense bursts of activity executed over a relatively short period of time, like a minute or less per cycle. A complete HIIT workout will only last about 30 minutes or so, and is generally comprised of exercises like sprinting, pushups, squatting and burpees. HIIT training programs generally offer a dual benefit that includes aerobic and anaerobic enhancements.

4. Strength Training

Strength training is a form of physical exercise that involves the use of significant resistance, normally provided by weights. These types of training programs help to build strength, build muscle and increase flexibility. Strength training is one of the more common workouts witnessed at the average gym.

5. The Use of Educated and Experienced Professionals

More and more people are choosing to hire fitness and nutrition professionals to help them maximize their fitness routines and reach their fitness goals. With the increased awareness about the dangers of obesity, there has been a sharp rise in the use of personal fitness instructors, fitness program designers and nutritionists. The demand for fitness professionals has created a highly competitive market that has forced these professionals to become highly trained and educated concerning the multitudinous nuances of health and fitness. Using a fitness professional will increase program efficiency, while reducing the risk of injury.

6. Functional Fitness

Functional fitness is exactly what it sounds like. It is participating in training programs that are designed to help a person be more physically functional in performing physical tasks that they carry out on a daily basis. This type of fitness training has become very popular among the aging, as well as those who are expected to perform physical activities as a part of their professional careers. Functional fitness helps to increase strength, flexibility and endurance.

7. Exercise That Focuses on Weight Loss

According to the Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, over 14,000,000 of Canadian adults – 18 years and older -- are obese, subsequently leading to numerous health issues for this population. The best way to combat obesity is to take the necessary steps to lose and manage weight. Exercise and proper nutritional intake are the best places to start, and fitness industry is experiencing a spike in people who are working out for the purpose of losing weight.

8. Yoga

Yoga is actually an ancient physical art form that has experienced a resurgence over recent years. The poses that are a part of this type of training are designed to increase flexibility, strength and balance. There are a number of disciplines that fall under this category, and there are different levels for every type of individual need.

While many fitness trends will come and go over the next twelve months, the trends listed here have substantial traction that can easily drive their momentum for years to come, in most instances. The key for those who are aspiring to great fitness levels is to find those trends that will support their goals more effectively.

Submitted by:Dr. Rick Wallace Ph.D.