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Top 8 Fitness Trends for 2013

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by Lionel (subscribe)
Join me as I travel, play, eat, live and work in cities and places around the world.
Published January 16th 2013
Ways to get in shape this weekend
Top 8 Fitness Trends for 2013

Photo by Port of San Diego of Flickr

With too much to eat over Christmas, New Year and more feasting during the Chinese New Year, friends were all chatting about getting back into the fitness groove and loosing the extra kilograms. As if on cue, the health and fitness market was abuzzed with a host of new fitness ideas aimed at helping people achieve the perfect body. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends, 3,346 fitness experts from the world provided their input on what would attract people to exercise in 2013. Here are Top 8 Fitness Trends to help you and your family get the most fitness for your buck as well as to look younger and live longer.

Core Training
Photo by O2 MAX of Flickr

Exercising the core muscles improves the strength and condition of the abdomen, hips, thorax and lower back, thus improving functional fitness, which is essential to daily living and regular activities. It also helps improve the individual's performance in various sports that require strength, speed, and agility, and correct postural imbalances. Exercisers are moving away from traditional core training methods like plank, to balancing on the stability ball and wobble boards. Fitness First, one of the largest health and fitness club business in the world with over 435 clubs in 15 locations and around 1.1 million members, offers an equipment based 45 minute core fitness class designed to strengthen and tone the mid-section.

Photo by Fitness First Germany of Flickr


High Intensity Interval Training

Photo by iloveagrigento.it of Flickr

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) remains popular with exercisers as a way to burn more calories, lose more fat, and improve cardiovascular fitness level while spending less time doing cardio. HIIT involves any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and short recovery periods, such as running very fast for 1 minute, then walking for 2 minutes and repeating the 3-minute interval 5 times for a 15 minutes fat-burning workout. According to a 2011 study presented at ACSM Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of HIIT improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. A 10-minute fat-blasting HIIT routine is also able to burn more calories than 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Photo by wise of Flickr

As the HIIT approach to cardio exercise is very physically demanding, it isn't suitable for people with cardiovascular problems or other health concerns that limit their ability to exercise at very intense levels. People who are relatively new to aerobic exercise or not in good shape should also avoid starting their exercise regime with HIIT. One of the most popular HIIT programs include Spinning classes in California Fitness, the leading fitness centre chain in Asia.
Its many clubs are official Spinning centres which are fully endorsed by the global leader in indoor cycling, with patented Spinner bikes and certified Spinning instructors. The clubs provide Spinning studios with various light and music settings to create an energised atmosphere and instructors guiding exercisers through workout phases from levels 1 to 4.

Outdoor Physical Activities

Photo by Department of Conservation of Flickr

Outdoor physical activities are becoming more popular as they deliver health and fitness benefits for the family, friends, a group or the individual while enjoying the great outdoors. It also increases vitamin D levels and improve the function of the immune system. 44 percent of Americans make outdoor recreation a priority including bicycling, camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, snow sports, which total up to an annual economic impact of USD646 billion according to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association. The European Union (EU) actively promotes sport and physical activity at the policy level and a 2010 survey revealed that 40 percent of EU citizens play sport at least once a week.

Strength Training for Women
Photo by midwestnerd of Flickr

A study from the University of Alabama in Birmingham showed that dieters who lift heavy weights lost the same amount of weight as dieters who only did cardio exercise. According to another study adding just 2 sessions per week of heavy lifting can reduce your body fat by 3 percent without cutting calories. Today more individuals are using weight training to improve or maintain strength, especially women.

Annie Thorisdottir at CrossFit Games 2011 / Photo by Anthony Topper of Flickr

Women are realising that weight-bearing exercises are essential for building lean muscle and burning fat while toning their bodies. An excellent example of fruits, vegetables and barbells is Mallory Hagan, the Brooklyn-based Miss America 2013. Lifting weights also added definition lean muscle to Reebok CrossFit Games 2012 Champion, Annie Thorisdottir, without looking buff. So you can expect more ladies in the queue for the bench-press machine when you next visit the gym.

Dance Workouts

Photo by JBLM MWR Marketing of Flickr

Having fun while getting fit is in vogue. Zumba, the dance-fitness craze of 2012 is continuing to beat strongly in 2013 as an excellent alternative to the traditional cardiovascular exercise program. Created by Beto Perez, the success of Zumba now includes 13 million followers in 146 countries and 10 million DVD sales. It mixes Latin American music and dancing with moves from samba, salsa, merengue and mambo with a pump aerobics class. In Australia alone, there are more than 4000 instructors, including Cindy Calderón who was the only instructor in Australia to be coached by Beto Perez at the Instructor's Master Class level. She operates Zumba Perth. Classes in various cities and states can be found at www.zumbaclasses.au.com. In Singapore, enrolment at leading Zumba fitness club, Physical Abuse has increased by 70 percent to date in 2013.

Photo by Cimm of Flickr

Zumba remains a simple and easy way to get young and old people up on their feet, dance, have fun and exercise all at the same time. Its Latin rhythms keep the heart rate moving, providing increased toning of the abs, legs and glutes while increasing stamina and weight loss, and strengthening the cardiovascular system. As with all dance routines, it is best to start slow and learn the moves before proceeding to practice the more instance dance movements so as to avoid any Zumba-related injury to hips, knees and ankles. For more information about Zumba around the world, visit www.zumba.com
Photo by StudioBarre of Flickr

Another dance-inspired workout that is growing in popularity is Xtend Barre Workout, which combines classical ballet moves with pilates. Founder, Andrea Rogers choreographed the workout by combining her love for professional dancing with music and pilates into a sequence of exercises. The objective of this total body workout is to develop long and lean physiques by strengthening, lengthening, and stretching the body from top to bottom. Readers can check out fitness providers like Sense of Space in Perth, Upside Motion in Singapore, and Studio Barre and Xtend Barre Workout in the US and UK.

Body Weight Training

Photo by Official U.S. Navy Imagery of Flickr

Appearing for the first time in ACSM survey is body weight training as it have now become popular in gyms around the world. The best thing about this type of exercise is you don't need fancy gym equipment. Actually people have already been using their own body weights and gravity as a form of resistance training, including push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, lunges and tricep dips. Gyms have now packaged it as an exercise program available through personal training sessions and group classes. This inexpensive way to exercise effectively at home, outdoors or at the gym is a trend to watch as more people get "back to the basics".

Yoga

Photo by GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS of Flickr

Yoga is here to stay, and now it is available in more forms than ever including Power Yoga, Yogalates (Pilates and Yoga), Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga, Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Anuara Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, with container loads of instructional tapes, books and certifications. It has remained a top trend in every ACSM survey since 2008 as many practitioners enjoy the health benefits of mental focus, strengthened muscles and improved flexibility. One of the latest forms takes practitioners off the mat and into the air. This anti-gravity yoga is where you execute the yoga poses while being suspended mid-air from the ceiling in a hammock-like apparatus.

Bondi Beach yoga / Photo by tarotastic of Flickr

The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY), the largest yoga membership organisation in the UK, provide a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practice. With expectation of increased consumer demand, Singapore's True Yoga is expanding facilities and adding more classes. Yoga's growing popularity in the Netherlands includes the Dutch Yoga Festival at the Dutch island of Terschelling.

Tackling Obesity in Kids

Photo by Nino.Modugno of Flickr

Childhood and adolescent obesity and exercise programs aimed at tackling this major health issue in most developed and developing countries continues to be an important trend. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of overweight children under the age of five globally in 2010 was estimated to be over 42 million. Close to 35 million of them were living in developing countries.
Photo by Tobyotter of Flickr

As public school systems cut back on physical education due to increased emphasis on standardised testing, more exercise programs targeted specifically at these children will be needed from government, commercial and community-based organisations.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) in Singapore launched several school programmes to inculcate healthy eating and exercise habits from young. UNICEF is supporting China's effort to fight child obesity in partnership with Manchester United by promoting a healthy life style for children, luring them out into the fields to exercise every day for at least 60 minutes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented new school lunch requirements in 2011 in aimed at combating obesity, with more fruits and vegetables served and a daily cap on calories.
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Why? Get in shape this weekend with the top 8 fitness trends
Your Comment
Seems a contradiction - cutting back on exercise programs in schools as our kids are getting more obese and less active...?
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1728) 2101 days ago
Children get eating and exercise habits from home. The expectations that schools create obese children or should fix them is ridiculous. Taking ownership is hard but critical to the health of our nation in the future.
by sonia (score: 0|6) 2092 days ago
Wethink we are educating our kids when we send them to schools,but we are not .Theses days schools have become child care centres that make our kids fat and don't teach them anything.After our EDUCATION REVOLUTION ,we ended up with torture centres for our kids,places to be bullied or get FAT for the Witch to eat!!!!!not to mention the increase rate of suicide in the school age kids.
by The educated (score: 1|71) 2100 days ago
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