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Interval Training and Group Classes are Top Fitness Trends for 2018

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

FieldHouse, Sudbury, MAHigh-intensity interval training will be the No. 1 fitness trend in the coming year, while smartphone exercise apps that prompt your activities will be out -- or so says the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018.

Such training, known as HIIT, typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery: intermittently sprinting for 30 seconds, for example, during a moderate-pace jog.

The US national physical activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week with additional muscle-strengthening exercise for adults and 60 minutes a day for children. If you step it up a little bit and get your heart rate up and move from walking to jogging, it decreases to 75 minutes per week.

HIIT is a worthy way to meet your physical activity guidelines. But there's a word of caution with that: Anytime you do high-intensity anything, there may be an increased risk of injury.

If you doubt your ability to safely exercise in high-intensity bursts, get a good physical exam before starting a program.

Over the past 12 years, American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal has conducted a survey on thousands of professionals, including personal trainers and physical therapists, to predict the biggest health and fitness trends for the coming year.

This year's survey, which included responses from 4,133 fitness professionals around the globe, placed "group training" -- classes involving more than five participants -- in the No. 2 slot. Meanwhile, "wearable technology" -- such as activity trackers and smartwatches -- came in third, and "body weight training" -- the use of your own body weight as a form of resistance while doing modified pushups and other exercises -- came in fourth. "Strength training," or the use of barbells and weights, placed fifth.

The survey was developed for two purposes, the first being to help guide the fitness industry.

The survey is also done from the perspective of people who use the gym, the clients. It helps them identify gyms across the country that are offering the best kinds of exercise programs.

One of the biggest surprises on the 2018 list was the re-emergence of group exercise programs.

Another trend for 2018 will be older adults being welcomed back into fitness clubs.

Finally, yoga remains in the top 10, where it has been since the survey started.

For more information on a gym that offers adult group exercise classes, free weights, cardio machines and more, contact The FieldHouse in Sudbury.

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