As the year draws to a close, we take a peak into our crystal balls to see what fitness trends 2017 is likely to bring.
As far as we can see, it is all about free movement. Yes, there is still a place for structured gym workouts and heavy weights sessions, but we are becoming more aware of the need just to get moving – in a natural way.
The core to functional fitness
Functional fitness, as advocated by Adam in his Krunch and Kore classes, is still the main concept doing the rounds. Preparing your body so that it can stay fit, healthy, toned and flexible is at the root of functional fitness.
Bootcamps and circuits will continue to be big news in the fitness world. Using your own bodyweight to train is cheap, easy and good for you, so expect to see village and town greens, parks and other open spaces filled to the brim with people doing push-ups, burpees and lunges.
Dancing to fitness
Another fitness trend, perhaps inspired by the atmosphere of the Rio Olympics is the continued popularity of Zumba. With it’s upbeat, carnival inspired dance fitness routines, Zumba is all about having fun with friends while strutting your stuff. Dancing, and Zumba in particular, is one of those great activities which give you a great aerobic workout without you even realising it!
In fact, dance of all kinds is growing in popularity. The weekly dose of Strictly Come Dancing on the television has woken the nation to the possibilities of dance. For one of the top 2017 fitness trends, expect to see all kinds of dance based classes cropping up; from the graceful, toning, posture pleasing ballet workouts of Barre Core, through to Strictly Come Dancing classes that teach you the classic styles of ballroom, waltz and foxtrot while also super cha-cha-charging your workout.
The Great Outdoors
If, on the other hand, you like your fitness to be dirty and exhausting, then the fitness trends of outdoor workouts and entry into adventure races will be right up your street.
The benefits of exercising outdoors have long been advocated and recently we have seen a surge of outdoor activities and organised challenges crop up around the UK. Working out in the great outdoors not only turns our feel good endorphin levels up to maximum, but also increases our exposure to Vitamin D and has been proven to motivate us to work harder and for longer.
Outdoor events, such as Rat Races and the Tough Mudder challenges, have seen higher numbers than ever this year and while the novelty is starting to wear off, 2017 is guaranteed to see even tougher, even muddier and even whackier obstacle courses.
For people who like their outdoor exercise slightly sanitised, there is a proliferation of outdoor gyms springing up all over Cambridgeshire. Frames for you to do pull-ups; benches for crunches; machines to tone arms and shoulders. Adult play parks are appearing everywhere at the moment and, no only that, people are using them!
Dance and outdoor work outs may be the 2017 fitness trends but they also tell us something about changing attitudes. It is cool to be working out. Where we used to be worried about running in public, terrified of getting some cheeky comments, now there is a new confidence and a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude. As more people go to bootcamps and use outdoor gyms then doing exercise outdoors becomes commonplace. And if someone does throw a comment at you, smile benignly, safe in the knowledge that you are getting a great workout and will feel fab – if a bit muddy and sweaty – when you get home.