Resolved to get fit in 2017? Take a look at the fitness trends that will hit this country in the next 12 months.
The Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends 2017 by the American College of Sports Medicine points to three major fitness trends across the globe – all of which will be big news right here in South Africa, too.
1. Wearable technology
Already a major fitness trend, wearable tech will remain ultra-trendy in 2017, with an increasing number of South Africans investing in Fitbits and Apple Watches to track their physical-activity levels on the go.
Other devices, like the heart-rate measurement tool MyZone, will also grab our attention, while smart glasses will be refined to such an extent that they’re likely take over from smart phones in the next few years. Also keep an eye out for technology that uses gamification to get you fit.
“Many South Africans use fitness devices as motivation to exercise,” says Izaan Keet, a personal trainer from Zone Fitness in Cape Town’s Lifestyle Centre. But, says Izaan, just make sure you don’t overeat because you’ve achieved your fitness goals for the day – a trend that’s also being recognised.
TOP TIP: Get an Apple Watch via Discovery and if you meet all four of your weekly fitness goals in once month, your monthly amount for you Apple Watch will be funded in full.
2. Bodyweight training
This year, many of us will return back to basics with simple, yet highly effective bodyweight training. This form of fitness requires very little or no gym equipment and includes exercises like sit-ups, planks, push-ups, squats and lunges – all of which use your own body weight as resistance.
“With bodyweight training, you use your whole body to build muscle,” says Keet. “And more muscle mass means you’ll burn more fat, even after your exercise session.”
3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
If you haven’t discovered the benefits of HIIT yet, 2017 is likely to be the year in which you do.
“High-intensity interval training is a major trend right now,” says Keet, explaining that it involves a quick full-body workout during which you alternate strength-training exercises (e.g. squats) with short bursts of high-intensity cardio (e.g. mountain climbers).
“We’re all so pressed for time, which is probably why it’s popular,” she says. HIIT sessions, which you only have to do 2-3 times a week, typically last 45 minutes or less. In fact, you can get a good workout in just 20 minutes, because it’s so intense.
WHERE TO GO: Virgin Active offers Gravity HIIT classes that use the whole gym.
Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (BBG) programme, a programme from Australia that includes HIIT and which started making waves among South African women in 2016, is likely to grow in popularity.
Keet advises asking a personal trainer to show you how to do all the exercises correctly. This way, you’ll prevent injury and get the most from your workout routine.
ANOTHER FITNESS TREND TO TRY: Nia – the first and most advanced form of fusion fitness – combines martial arts, healing arts (like yoga) and dance. Find out more here.