Fitness Forecast 2018

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It’s the start of another spanking New Year and that time when you are all set to make your fitness resolutions. While trends like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Vinyasa /Tang and Ying / Glow / Sound Yoga, Martial Arts, Body Weight Training and Water Workouts made waves in 2017 and will extend to 2018, there is much more to look forward this year. And if you are the kind of person that is looking for interesting alternatives and like to mix up your workout we list six new fitness trends that will rule 2018.

Going Back to the Basics

This year stop and reflect on the basics like intermittent fasting and working out only thrice a week with power lifting. A typical lifestyle training program should consist of movement-based workouts like bear crawl, frog leap, frog walk, inchworm etc. “Any exercise which helps in improving one’s mobility and flexibility and works on total body integration or even yoga, it can be as simple as doing sun-salutations choosing the reps according to your fitness levels on Monday. On Wednesday go for metabolic t:raining like high-intensity interval training or Tabata wherein you perform an exercise at your highest level of intensity and then recover for the same amount of time or more. For example, one does 30 seconds of push-ups and followed by 30 seconds of rest and then repeats it 3 times. This kind of program design helps increase your EPOC which is excess post oxygen consumption wherein you keen on burning calories for the next 48 hours which increases your basal metabolic rate. And on Friday you can do a regular full body circuit training program which starts with the largest muscle groups (with or without weights). For example, one starts with lunges/squats, row variation, push-up variation and core” explains Ritesh Shaiwal, International Fitness Presenter and Fitness Consultant for adidas. With this add intermittent fasting which is not a diet but rather a dieting pattern. To put it simply it is the deliberate skipping of certain meals in order to attain specific fitness related goals. Essentially, it consists of structured phases of feasting and fasting. Sailendra S Raane, Director, Fitness Division at RESET Holistic Living Concepts avers, “intermittent fasting is an ancient secret that have been forgotten but is gaining popularity of lately, it carries huge benefits from fat loss to reversal of type 2 diabetes and increased energy as it is withholding food voluntarily leading to fat loss due to low insulin levels and hence no storage of sugar and apparently fat.”

Olympic lifts as a full body workout

The Olympic Lift is a combination exercise that is broken into two weight lifting movements – the snatch and the clean and jerk. Used correctly, it can build incredible strength and power. But like any high intensity exercise, it can be potentially dangerous and fatal if not trained well. It is indeed a full body workout that requires coordination, strength, balance, power and speed to execute. “The movement in itself is complex, which is why I say that initially practice it with just a light bar. Mastering the coordination of the movement is critical to success. Professional weightlifters can perform Olympic Lifts up to 2.5 x body weight; however I recommend that amateurs slowly work up to 80% of body weight while mastering technique. Thereafter, a three day lifting program can be designed to get them up to 125% of body weight which should be a safe region for weekend warriors and amateurs to enjoy the benefits of this routine,” advices Shayamal Vallabhjee, Running Mentor – adidas runners. The complexity of the exercise requires coordination and strength which is drawing not just on the body’s muscular system but its entire neuro programming and cognitive abilities. In addition to the strength benefits, it draws on the body’s anaerobic system. Heavy lifts are the equivalent of high intensity intervals sprints, physiologically speaking.

Virtual Reality Workouts

Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user accepts it as a real environment. Virtual Reality Fitness is a space where fitness, technology and entertainment meet. The program features cinema-quality videos projected onto screens, while an instructor can take users through fitness programs synchronized with graphics and music. “From personal training to treadmill workouts, Virtual Reality Fitness takes the mundane out of working out. From feeling like one is running through the streets of New York to experiencing Deep Sea Diving work outs, VR fitness activities are anything but boring. With a wide range of options in Sports, games and adventure activities, simple workouts that use Virtual Reality make sure that one remains motivated and on track,” explains Shivam Hingorani, Founder, Ace Blend. The most amazing benefit of VR is that it creates a thrilling, challenging and social experience for the person. Virtual Reality creates a whole different world and helps eliminate all other external distractions while working out. It can also help distract the participant from exercise induced discomfort. Essentially it submerges the user in a whole new experience that is enthralling for the mind and the body. This way working out doesn’t feel like a chore but a chance to explore something new.

Triathlon Training

Triathlon is a multi-sport event involving swimming, cycling and running. The event is held in numerous formats and this is in fact even an Olympic race and is now being commonly being lapped up by fitness enthusiasts. The training for a long distance triathlon is a task easily accomplished once you make up your mind. “I have been training for Ironman races for the past 4 years where the distance is 3.8K swim, 180 cycling and 42.1K running. Before you start get the consent of your spouse/family – this is a challenging race and will require discipline. Weekends are usually long training hours and hence, social events do take a back seat. Also depending upon your age, you should get yourself tested regularly so that issues can be diagnosed early or a build-up of existing problems is avoided. Having a training plan – this is the ‘game changer’ for an athlete. Fitness and preparing for a race is a science and you need a coach who makes you stronger with each passing day and keep nutrition and relaxation on mind too,” says Nikhil Kapur, Founder Director, Atmantan Wellness Resort. And this is a fitness trends that combines both physical and mental strength so it will rule 2018.

Wall Climbing

A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with grips and grooves for hands and feet, usually used for indoor climbing, and sometimes located outdoors. The basic idea or goal in this climbing wall is to climb the wall using the grips and grooves which challenges your muscular strength, endurance, core strength and also helps in improving coordination. “You start with holding the grooves with both your hands and placing one foot on the lower groove from where you can push yourself up with your foot and pull with your hands. You need to move vertically using the grooves while keeping your body as close to the wall as possible. Difficulty level of climbing depends on the placements of the grips and grooves and also the route you take to go up.  For the beginners, simply holding the grooves and keeping their body close to the wall can be a task. Once you are comfortable in holding the position then you start moving up using the grooves by pulling yourself with hands while pushing with your feet to hold the next groove. In the advanced level you can select the routes you want to take which will challenge your ability to move up. You can also select the routes where you need to move horizontally along with vertical movement,” explains Prateek Dhabolkar, Trainer – Prosport Fitness Centre. Wall climbing is a full body workout which will challenge various aspects including muscular strength, muscular endurance, core strength and coordination. It also challenges your core as you need to stay as close to the wall as possible to balance yourself.

Folk Fitness

This is India’s first holistic fitness regime inspired by 122 folk dances from across India. Folk Fitness, in line with the “Make in India” ideology, is a revolutionary choreographed group workout routine infused with their own authentic folk music inspired from the roots of India. Aarti Pandey, Co-Founder of Folk Fitness says, “tailor-made fitness regimes for children (Nanhe), young (Yuva) and old (Pranam), this combination of Indian Folk dance and cardio workout can cause you to lose 800 to 1,000 calories per sweat-soaked, hour-long, fun-filled session. Every Folk Fitness session starts with meditation and begins with warm up and cardio and eventually folk dances focusing on upper body and lower body equally. While one is busy focusing on learning and following particular moves from their instructors, each session is also intellectually engaging as they learn about different parts of India. Every Folk Fitness trainer is thought about the different folk dances, the story and health benefits behind each of them which is then used as an engaging tool in their classes. The session ends with cool down which mentally, physically and spiritually stimulates a person to face the entire day or be a stress busting session to end their day.” Little wonder then that Folk Fitness has received recognition from Limca Book of Records for being the first Indian holistic fitness concept and is accredited by international fitness bodies NASM and AFAA.

This story appeared in the Jan 2018 issue of Smartlife magazine here:

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