Remember when it was cool to wear spandex and gyrate to workout videos on your VCR? Like fashion and dieting, the world of fitness is subject to trends. What’s “hip” this year? What are all the cool kids doing to lose weight, stay in shape and sweat it out in 2019? Thankfully, the American College of Sports Medicine has you covered with their annual survey.
Some old methods of working out are still in vogue, but gone are the Jane Fonda tapes, as well as the notion that pushing a dinosaur egg up a hill is great for burning calories (it probably is, but it’s bad when the momma dinosaur comes home). Check out five of the top 2019 fitness trends below!
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an oldie but a goody and is a surefire way to burn tons of calories and get lean and fit—fast. HIIT sessions consist of short 60- to 90-second bursts of maximum effort followed by a period of low-intensity recovery.
Imagine being chased by slow-moving zombies, running ahead for a distance, and then walking slowly while you catch your breath and they gradually catch up. Repeat until the episode of “The Walking Dead” is over. That’s HIIT.
HIIT sessions typically take 30 minutes or less, making it effective and convenient for people that don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to spend hours in the gym to see results. Just make sure not to do HIIT every day—two to four times a week is enough.
Pro Tip: Use an app! Here’s a list of the best HITT apps.
Group training may be another old stalwart, but there have never been so many convenient options to join a group and get your cardio on.
From Zumba and Orangetheory Fitness to Cardio Kickboxing and Hip-Hop dancing, there are group training options for every taste, fitness level, age and day of the week.
Group training is a great way to get your feet wet and jump into the fitness world because they are fun, accessible and can be adapted to any fitness level.
Pro Tip: Specialized studios can be costly. But many local gyms and in-home services such as Daily Burn offer a variety of group classes for monthly memberships that range between $20 – $40.
Fitness trackers, smartwatches and heart rate monitors are a good way to keep an eye on your activity level—and make sure you move!
Wearable tech can count your steps, calories burned, sleep and time spent working out. Many will also monitor your heart rate, which is especially helpful to make sure you’re in the optimal heart rate zone for an effective workout. Fitness trackers can also alert you when you’ve been sitting for too long and log the food you eat.
Nowadays, wearable tech goes way beyond Fitbits and Apple Watches. If wearing a watch isn’t your thing, you can look into Motiv Ring, which tracks your activity via your finger. There are also smart fabrics that encourage good form and alignment during yoga, or Vi Sense, wireless headphones that work as an on-demand personal trainer.
Pro Tip: An inexpensive alternative to wearable tech is to use your smartphone as a fitness tracker with health and fitness apps. You’ll have to carry your phone around with you, but you’ll get a pretty good idea on how you’re managing your eating habits, sleep, and activity.
There are some very good reasons bodyweight training has been around for a long time. You don’t need any special gear or tons of space—you can get in a quick bodyweight session in your house. Using your own body to provide resistance in exercises such as pushups, lunges, and squats can burn calories and tone your muscles.
Pro Tip: Make sure to rest 60 to 90 seconds between each set and alternate muscles groups each day. Also, watch your form! Looking in a mirror while you perform each exercise will help you correct any misalignment and protect you from injury.
Functional Fitness Training
If there’s a knock against some of the exercises done in the gym, it’s that some of the movements lack true functionality in our everyday life. After all, how often do we find ourselves lying on a bench pushing a weight up, or clutching handlebars doing triceps dips? Not very often. But what if we did exercises that mimic the movements we do every day? That’s the idea behind functional fitness training, which aims to improve balance, coordination, and endurance within more common ranges of motion.
Pro Tip: For toned, lean muscles, opt for lighter weights and more repetitions. But always consult a trainer! Pretending to lug around a 200-pound bag of groceries can actually do more harm than good.
These five examples are just a sample of some of the top fitness trends of 2019. There are options for every budget and lifestyle. What fitness trend works for you? Share your answer in the comments and prepare to sweat it out!