Distinguishing Fitness Fads from Fitness Trends

Fitness Trends

Over the years, different fitness trends have come and gone. The 1980s ushered in a decade of spandex-clad aerobic classes, the 1990s promised results in eight minutes via an array of workout videos and the 2000s saw an increased interest in kickboxing and Pilates.

Today’s wellness programs often incorporate fitness classes as a way to encourage employees to get active. By scheduling fitness classes during lunch breaks or after-work hours, it makes it easier for people to get involved in taking control of their health and wellness. Other trends, like wearables and reaching a step goal, allow employees to work out on their own time.

With so many new ways to get your fitness fix, it’s easier than ever to find a workout program that works for your lifestyle. Here are a few of the more popular fitness trends to hit the fitness world.

Wearable Devices

Over the past few years, wearable fitness devices have been picking up steam. While brands like Fitbit and Apple are leading the pack, there is a wide variety of fitness trackers on the market that offer an assortment of features. From counting steps to monitoring sleep, wearable devices help people easily manage their overall fitness with minimal effort. Some versions even offer the ability to track heart rate and remind users to regularly get up and move. As technology improves to allow fitness trackers to provide more accurate results, expect to see wearable devices sticking around in the future.

Live-Stream Workouts

Forget driving across town for a fitness class or awkwardly trying a new workout in front of strangers; instead you can live stream the latest fitness craze from the comfort of your own home. It’s similar to the good old days when you’d pop in a DVD and follow along with the instructor, except that the class is broadcast live from a studio. The in-the-moment action adds some extra energy to the workout and you can feel like you’re part of a group without actually having to break a sweat in front of lots of people. While not all fitness studios are offering this live experience yet, there are more and more jumping on the bandwagon. For now, you can try Fit Fusion or Barre 3, if you’re interested in giving it a try.


High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a growing exercise trend that alternates periods of high-intensity movement with brief periods of rest over the course of the workout. It’s popular in a wide range of fitness classes, from Pilates to CrossFit, and helps to burn calories and keep your metabolism pumping even after you finish the workout. You can find HIIT offered in many fitness studios or online.

Mash Up Classes

Lately, there’s been an increase in classes that mash two or more ways of working out into one class. For example, a class may combine yoga with spin or barre with cardio. Typically, these fusion classes incorporate a mix of cardio and strength training, which is the best recipe for burning calories and avoiding injury. By avoiding repetitive motions and mixing in a variety of moves, you minimize the odds of joint pain and keep your body from plateauing.

Dance Cardio Classes

For those who dislike the working out vibe of, well, working out, why not try a dance cardio class? You can get your groove on and jump start your metabolism all at once! While many fitness classes follow a strict guideline of exercises, dance cardio classes more closely resemble a party. From start to finish, you’ll be up on your feet and moving around but you’ll hardly notice that you’re burning calories. You’ll just be focused on the fun!

Fitness Vacations

Vacations used to be a time to unwind and indulge but now more people are viewing the down time as an opportunity to work on themselves. While people used to worry about working off the poolside margaritas and abundance of food when they returned home from their trip, now people are looking to actively take control of their lives while on vacation. Whether that means a yoga retreat by the beach, a hiking trip in the mountains or a walking tour through a big city, there’s an active vacation destination for everyone.

Good Ol’ Fashioned Walking

With the wearable device, came the golden rule of 10,000 steps per day. Commuting to work and play by foot is a growing trend for some people. While it’s not a new form of exercise, by any means, it’s an increasingly popular way to get around, especially for millennials in big cities who are tracking their activity with a wearable device. The cost of owning, maintaining, and parking a car can add up quickly and many young professionals in major metropolitans are foregoing car ownership in favor of using their own two feet. Not only is it practical for people on a budget, like 20-somethings with college debt, but it’s also good for the waistline.

Fitness Trends

Whether or not these fitness trends are here to stay or a passing fad remains to be seen, but for now, they offer a way to stay in shape and have fun until the next wave of workouts hits the scene.

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