The Top 5 Fitness Trends for 2020: Are They Effective or Just Another Fad?
Overview Every year seems to ring in with a new fad or trend that catches fire for a few months then fizzles out on the clearance shelf at your local bookstore. In this short article I will evaluate the top 5 trends for 2020 and give you the facts as to what will last and what will fade out with the times. Each year The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), ClassPass and MindBody Online either take a look back at the data from the year before or take surveys regarding the fitness interests trainers believe will be trending in the coming year. From year-to-year we don’t see much movement in the trends but we do see them sliding positions. Number 1. Group Fitness continues to be the number 1 trend with 29% of Americans participating in Group Fitness Classes one or more times per week. Group Fitness shows up so frequently because of its affordability and social interaction, however, what you may not know is that it can be one of the healthiest ways of working out. This trend is here to stay!  Working out in a group shows a statistical reduction in perceived stress and an increase in physical, mental and emotional quality of life. I have also observed that many participants workout harder when I pair them with partners than when I have them doing exercise individually. For this reason I design our workouts to have a slight sense of friendly competition to encourage everyone to increase the intensity of their workouts just a bit and get to know one another. Number 2.  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or High Intensity Low Impact Training (HILIT) has been on the top 10 list for years migrating up and down the list but always a staple. HILIT is a new addition but, depending on the program, has always been a part of HIIT routines. HIIT is scientifically the best way to burn calories in a short period of time, often out-performing standard aerobic training by burning 3 times more calories in a given time frame while also achieving better cardiovascular conditioning. The constant spike and recovery of your heart rate that is the main component of HIIT is a major calorie burning mechanism as well as the equivalent of a power training routine for your heart and lungs.  When done correctly, HIIT is the ultimate way to get and stay healthy.  At San Diego Core Fitness we incorporate HIIT into every session because of the increased caloric output for the given time. In every 45 minute workout you burn the most calories possible for that type of exercise. Number 3. Strength Training is nothing new and factors in as what I believe to be a false equivalency. Some surveys refer to it as “free weights” and others “strength training” however, both group classes and HIIT programs can and should incorporate strength training as part of their complete health and fitness program.  Traditional strength training should not necessarily be done for speed, which HIIT tends to emphasize, but if you lower the weight and follow another top 10 trend, Functional Training, then everything should be just peachy. Kettlebells and Dumbbells are excellent tools to be utilized in a HIIT strength program, bring the weight down to a manageable load that doesn’t put a lot of stress on your joints and you will be able to create an unlimited list of incredible Functional Exercises that will work every muscle in your body very effectively. Our programs incorporate sand bags, sand balls, medicine balls, suspension trainers, plyo boxes and bodyweight exercise as part of a comprehensive strength program. We build our schedule to include both cardio and strength classes so that you are participating in a well rounded routine.   Number 4. Personal Training is and always will be in the top 10 but only infrequently pops up in the upper echelon of fitness trends. This year’s rise in the ranks may be in part due to the more available access of trainers via online platforms as well as an economy that is rebounding with more people setting aside a larger fitness budget.  Although personal training services are more expensive than group alternatives, a personal trainer can help with nutritional advice, motivating you to keep on track and quickly put you in the workout and diet that is best for accomplishing your goals.  We offer personal training as a part of our services and encourage it when you feel that you need the individualized attention as well as a program specifically structured to fit your schedule, lifestyle, abilities and goals. Number 5. Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) rounds out the top five, moving up the charts from previous years. EIM is is a global health initiative that focuses on encouraging primary care physicians and other health-care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit, and referring their patients to exercise professionals. In addition, EIM recognizes fitness professionals as part of the health-care team in their local communities. It is good to see this trending as it has been recognized in the medical profession that diet and exercise is the best preventative medicine available. In the past it seems to be a casual aside that your doctor reminds you of at every visit but now it is coming more to the forefront and being acknowledged that technology and pills work but are not the solution. For most health problems, fitness and nutrition are the only medicines that will completely resolve the issue(s). In Conclusion. I’ve attempted to compile a list from numerous articles that distills down to a common denominator of what are the biggest fitness trends in the United States right now. We can say that Group Classes are definitely at the top of the list, however, it should be made clear that these classes can be strength, cardio or aerobic in nature, as well as all of those styles of working out can be done in a HIIT format.  The recommendation by the World Health Organization is that everyone should participate in 30 minutes of Medium Intensity Interval Training (MIIT) a day. HIIT has proven to be able to accomplish the same result in 20 minutes but if done improperly can cause injury. Participating in a program like the one we offer at San Diego Core Fitness gives you the added benefit of HIIT in a safe format that gives you approximately twice the required daily exercise in one 45 minute workout.