The Top Fitness Trends of Spring 2018 (So Far)
Spring is officially here. That means Major League Baseball, warmer weather, spring break and the inevitable prepping of your body for beach season.
With the new season comes fresh techniques that all fitness enthusiasts should have on their radars. From hybrid workouts to yoga, Spring 2018 has brought some new, and some familiar, trends to the forefront. Here’s a quick guide to the must-know fitness trends of the spring season.
Trend 1: Hybrid workouts
If you haven’t yet explored the world of hybrid workouts, there’s no time like the present. As their name implies, hybrid workouts blend two different exercises into one turbo-charged package. Many of these combinations include yoga (a trend we’ll talk about in a moment) in order to provide fitness seekers with a mind-body workout and a seriously mindful cooldown.
Two of our favorite hybrid routines are PiYo (Pilates and yoga) and boxing and yoga. PiYo helps you tone your muscles, boost your flexibility and burn major calories, all in one workout. Meanwhile, the boxing and yoga blend ends your mat session with a much-needed stretch that ensures you really do “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Trend 2: Group fitness
There’s something about working out with other people that motivates you to bust through your latest plateau. Working out with a buddy has been shown to make a profound difference in your fitness success. If your fitness friend doesn’t up your accountability, it might be time to jump on the latest fitness bandwagon: group training.
Group training is typically defined as a workout of five or more people led by an instructor. From group runs to boxing, cycling, rowing, swimming, boot camps and beyond, it’s safe to say there’s a group class out there for every fitness level, goal and interest. And if you haven’t yet found the perfect one for you, chances are someone will create a new hybrid workout that bridges the gap.
Trend 3: Yoga
Yoga is booming. Remember the days when we thought hot yoga was deviating from the practice’s original intention? That’s nothing compared to cold yoga, nude yoga, beer yoga and goat yoga. Over the last few years, yoga has gone from being an exercise you might do once a week at a specialty studio to a daily lifestyle activity you can do virtually anywhere you can find a slice of solitude.
When it comes to yoga, the numbers speak for themselves. Americans spend $27 billion annually on yoga products—an 87% growth over the last five years alone. Six years ago, there were 20.4 million yoga devotees in the U.S. Now, that number is well over 36 million. And 80 million more are expected to try yoga for the first time within the next 12 months.
There are plenty of reasons why this is a good thing. Yoga has been practiced by spiritual masters since nearly the beginning of time and has a host of mind and body benefits. Yoga can help relieve stress, improve mental and heart health, and even increase sperm health. It also helps expand your mobility and strengthens and stretches your muscles. As an added bonus, that flexibility can translate to improved results in the weight room, too.
Trend 4: Fitness for older adults
Staying active is the key to maintaining healthy muscles and bones as you get older. Today’s older adults seem to be more health-oriented, with more retirees jumping onto the personal trainer bandwagon in their efforts to stay fit this year.
Regular exercise can help older adults stay independent, but the benefits go well beyond that. In addition to heart and muscle health, there’s medical research pointing to the mental benefits of staying fit. In a 44-year study of dementia in women, only 5% of those considered highly fit were diagnosed with dementia over that four-decade period. In contrast, 25% of moderately fit seniors and 32% with low physical fitness levels developed the disease.
Trend 5: Wearables
Despite the fallout from the recent MyFitnessPal security breach, health data is predicted to continue moving the needle this year. With predicted yearly growth at 16.7% in the wearables market, new devices will continue propelling us into a more connected future where every step, bite and action is tracked for us and our networks to see.
Smartwatches are just the beginning. If you’re looking to truly optimize your workout experience, try new-age heart rate monitors, smart glasses, GPS trackers and even body cameras with head-mount displays. (And if you haven’t tried the Moov Now yet, get ready to forget Fitbit ever existed.)
Sure, fitness trackers haven’t been shown to actually help us get healthier, and one-third of us will stop using our shiny new wearable within six months of purchase. But just like goat yoga and PiYo, if it helps you get moving and mix up your fitness routine, then there’s no harm in embracing the trend.