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Some of the latest in fitness trends include wearable technology, fitness apps, bodyweight training, HIIT, circuit training, personal training, outdoor activities and various group fitness style classes.  Some of the most popular trending group fitness classes are barre, dance, bootcamps, spin, strength, yoga, functional fitness and specialized classes for older active adults.  Even stretching has made its way back into vogue in a new way.

Wearable Technology
Wearable technology such as fitness trackers and smartwatches have been hot for the last few years.  Today’s wearables track distance, provide heart rate readings, GPS route tracking, and so much more.

Fitness Apps
Like wearables, there are many fitness apps available.  Whether you’re looking for help with a fitness program or meal planning, there’s probably an app out there for you.   Some examples include MyFitnessPal, MapMyRide, Nike Running, and Tabata Pro.  It’s projected that as these apps become more accurate, usage will also rise.

Bodyweight Exercise
No equipment workouts are relatively easy to learn, they can be modified to suit any ability level, and they can be done just about anywhere. Plus, bodyweight exercises are an efficient way to get fit for free. Some common bodyweight moves include push ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and planks.

HIIT (high intensity interval training) helps boost metabolism by alternating quick bursts of high-intensity exercise with short rest periods. To try a high-intensity interval training workout yourself, spend approximately 20 to 30 minutes alternating repeated shorts bursts of work with short break periods.  For example, you could try 30 seconds of burpees or squat jumps with 10-15 seconds of rest followed by another work/rest cycle.

Circuit Training
While similar to HIIT, circuit training can be considered a lower-intensity option. Typically, 8 to 10 exercises are chosen and completed one after another in a circuit with rest between each exercise. The circuit can be repeated as many times as necessary.  For beginners who want to get in a workout but find high-intensity interval training intimidating, circuit training could be the answer. This form of training can be done on your own or at gyms with more specialized equipment.

Personal Training
Personal training is an excellent option if you are looking for more of a personalized fitness experience.  These professionals provide one-on-one sessions to help their clients achieve their own specific fitness goals.  A growing number of fitness professionals are seeking out formal education in kinesiology and exercise science, and credentialing is becoming more important to the facilities that employ them.  All the trainers at MacEwan University have degrees and or diplomas in kinesiology and/or exercise science and are all certified with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.

Outdoor Activity
Think a personal trainer will only have you working out in a gym? Many trainers are recommending all kinds of outdoor activities to clients as a way to enhance their overall fitness and wellness. Outdoor activity could be anything from going out for a walk or jog to kayaking, riding a bicycle, going for a hike, rock climbing or playing basketball or any other outdoor sport. Outdoor excursions have mental benefits too.  Generally, being out in nature and breathing in some fresh air will help improve someone’s mood.  So, think about taking your workout outside.  There are plenty of parks in the Edmonton area and many have stairs, benches, and outdoor fitness equipment.

Group Fitness Classes
Group fitness classes continue to be a popular way to get in some physical as well as mental health benefits. Some of the most popular trending group fitness classes are barre, dance, bootcamps, spin, strength, yoga, functional fitness, and specialized classes for older active adults.  More recently aqua fitness classes have taken a new twist offering barre, bootcamp and yoga in an aquatic setting.  These classes will challenge your core and stability and are great for those who don’t mind getting wet and trying something different.  Sport and Wellness offers a variety of group fitness classes including aquafit, strength, dance, barre, yoga, spin, bootcamps and low impact classes.

Stretching before and after a workout has been considered useful for some time. Foam rollers and massage balls, which offer a deeper tissue massage, have started to become more popular in the fitness industry. There are several products on the market that can aid in improving circulation and help relieve muscle tension. Self myofascial release tools, such as foam rollers, trigger point balls and massage sticks are some of the most popular tools for improving sports performance, corrective exercise and overall fitness. Self myofascial release can help increase mobility and joint range of motion, reduce post workout soreness and may lead to improved vascular function and parasympathetic nervous system function.

There’s more ways then ever to get and stay active and joining a recreation facility like Sport and Wellness gives you all these opportunities and more to be fit for life.

by Cindy Hunt

Cindy Hunt is certified with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiologists as a Certified Personal Trainer.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated with Honours from the NAIT Personal Fitness Training Program.  She holds numerous group fitness certifications.  Her passion lies in motivating others to get active and pursue a healthy lifestyle.  She has worked with athletes, dancers, aquafit participants, pre and post-natal woman, older populations and anyone who is looking to reach their fitness goals.