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Fitness Trends for 2013

Are you still looking for fitness ideas for your New Years Resolutions?

Well you're in luck, because I (Toronto Certified Personal Trainer Charles Moffat) am still blogging about it.

A common reason for people skipping exercise is boredom. They are tired of doing the same ol’ treadmill or elliptical machine day in and day out. It is one of the reasons why the focus of my personal training services is to make exercise FUN because having fun motivates people to keep exercising and keep coming back for more.

I am not alone either. Many fitness experts in North America are trying to think outside the box and try something new that will draw in more clients for their personal training services. Many of their ideas are pretty gimmicky... But some of these gimmicks catch on and become "trends".

Some of them are, well, maybe not entirely new. They might slap a new fancy name on an exercise training technique, but often its following old tried-tested-and-true techniques that people (including the military) have been using for 100 years. Many of the new hot trends for 2013 are actually a return to the basics of fitness with a combination of cardio, resistance training and flexibility exercises. Really they're just trying to make it seem more fun than it really is by jazzing it up with a new name.

One positive things about many of the fitness trend offerings in the New Year of 2013 is that there is less of the sole focus of weight loss and more emphasis on the overall benefits that exercise has for the entire body. Thus many of the people pushing these things are offering “fusion” type workouts that combine different types of exercise, such as adding flexibility and cardio in one class (also called “cross-disciplining”).

So I guess you could say Cross-Discipling is a new trend for 2013... except it isn't. People have been doing that for a long time, they just love coming up with new names for things people already do.

One of my favourites is Cross-Training. Training for one thing by practicing another. eg. Training for archery by doing weightlifting and yoga exercises. Why? Because strength and balance is important for archery. The more strength and balance you have the better you can hold the bow steady. A shaking arm shoots few bull's eyes.

Thus lets say I wanted to create a new fitness program that combines both weightlifting and yoga, with the purpose of training people to be better archers. Yoga with Weights! It would be Cross Discipline Training. Huzzah, I've invented a new combo class for the masses. (Except technically Yoga with Weights has already been done before. I checked.)

The trend for combo classes in 2013 will be focused on blending intense training styles with soothing, restorative ones as regeneration and rejuvenation are becoming integral parts of a workout. eg. "Piloxing" combines Pilates and boxing. Or "Hefty Yoga". Or how about "Hot Wrestling"? A bit like hot yoga, but combined with Olympic style wrestling.

Silliness, I agree. But this is apparently the trends to expect in 2013 because they want these activities to sound fun and exciting. And frankly who could ever get bored of "Hot Wrestling"?

By mixing workouts with disparate disciplines, participants can get the body working in ways it wouldn’t otherwise do. So in the above example of Hot Wrestling you would be using muscles you don't normally use. Plus since we're now dealing with an aging population aggressive cardio exercises are often too difficult on their joints. Thus the trend toward more vigorous workouts that won't damage the joints. The need to stretch and maintain flexibility is becoming more important than ever, but without damaging people's kneecaps in the process.

Another trend will be Functional Fitness, which works with the five natural movements of the body (squat, lunge, push, pull and rotate) to improve joint stability and mobility and improve quality of life.

Note: Fencing is good for doing lunges and similar exercises. More fun than lunges in the gym too.

With this trend will come more “old school” workouts, such as jumping jacks, push-ups, climbing ropes and hill runs - the kind of exercises you may done back in the 1980s or earlier, if you're that old. The good news is that many of these exercises can be done around the home for those who do not have access to a gym.

For the Do-It-Yourselfers out there then there is also more access to fitness support online through SmartPhone apps and fitness videos on YouTube - and websites like Cardio Trek which provide free fitness advice on a constant basis (hint, it helps to subscribe if you want to receive notifications of new fitness articles on a regular basis). If you have the money you can hire a personal trainer here in Toronto (hint hint, pick me) who will work with you through your fitness journey, but if not I have plenty of free advice on this website for those of you who are tightening your financial belt in addition to your waist belt.

For those seeking a more challenging workout, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) programs may be what you are looking for. Trends suggest these will continue to be popular. This trend includes CrossFit, P90X, Tabata and even Parkour (although that is more for youth than people over the age of 30). Such exercises have the added benefit of results in a shorter amount of time. High-intensity exercises causes the body to release more hormones, such as adrenaline, human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor, that are responsible for increasing lean muscle mass and also have anti-aging benefits. They also work as painkillers and help fight back diseases like cancer.

The last trend I want to mention will be social fitness... Some of this may be “fitness parties”, so instead of happy hour at the bar, get a group of friends to attend an exercise class together or find a personal trainer that will work with small groups instead of individuals. It really depends on what the goal is. You will probably get a better price for personal training sessions and the added benefit of friendly encouragement.

Or failing that just invite a bunch of friends to play football or soccer in the park. Frugal baby! (I apparently enjoy shooting myself in the foot by providing cheaper examples of things to do that don't require hiring a personal trainer...)

The bottom line is that if you find something that is both exercise and FUN then you will never get bored of it. Or if you do get bored of it, just try something else that is also fun to do.

And finding an exercise that is fun is certainly a worthwhile New Years Resolution that you will want to keep.

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