A new year means new trends in health, fitness and wellness. We surveyed several leading health giants to find 10 of the most notable trends to look out for this year.
According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), wearable technology will be the top trend in fitness this year. Fitness trackers like Fitbit, Garmin and the Apple Watch have dominated the scene, and will continue to gain traction this year according to the experts. Trackers have advanced from simple pedometers to sleek, Bluetooth, mobile-compatible devices that measure sleep, stress, and activity-specific performance. However, experts warn that although tracking may increase accountability and knowledge, more information is not always better, and the accuracy debate is still out on some products. Our advice: don’t rely too heavily on stats from wearable tech, but rather use it as a tool in an comprehensive health and fitness plan.
Another top trend in 2019 according to ACSM is group training. With the seemingly endless group fitness studios opening, especially in big cities, workouts have never been more diverse. Experts are noticing that for most, when exercise is done in a collective atmosphere, it can increase motivation, accountability, time spent exercising, and even adherence to a weight-loss plan. Gyms have also ramped up group training classes as an added feature to memberships, which can offer a dose of attention from a trainer without the hourly charge. See what your neighborhood offers and join a community of fitness enthusiasts to stick to your 2019 wellness resolutions.
Once again, high intensity interval training (HIIT) lands a top spot in health and fitness trends for 2019. HIIT consists of short bursts of movement such as jumping, hopping or sprints, followed by periods of rest. HIIT can also incorporate light weights at high repetitions. The purpose of HIIT is to elevate your heart rate, then switch to recovery to burn more fat and increase metabolism. After gaining popularity years ago, it remains a staple in fitness throughout boutique studios and large gym classes, despite warnings from some trainers and health professionals as to how its intensity may affect stress on the body and risk for injury.
Most forms of exercise put stress on the body (see previous trend), which sets the scene for a wave of new products and services for recovery. Rest and relaxation are now top priorities in fitness plans, a concept to which fitness and professional athletic professionals once paid less attention in the past. Now, experts are seeing how taking time to rest after intense athletic endeavors actually increases future performance because the body has had time to recover. Devices like the TheraGUN, Hypervolt, trigger point balls, foam rollers, and services like cryotherapy, massage, and even acupuncture, will continue to grow in 2019 as recovery takes a front seat in training programs.
Convenience is key. A new trend in 2019 that has already gained attention in the past few years will be streaming workouts. From cardio to yoga and HIIT training from top fitness experts, new companies have developed apps and at-home devices that are convenient and often economical in the long run. Streaming workouts can be extremely beneficial for those with busy schedules or do not have access to a physical gym. While the technological age has brought health to our fingertips, it’s up the user to be accountable to making the most out of each workout.
Mindfulness & Meditation
The mindfulness era is upon us, and for good reason. Health professionals are churning out studies that cite the benefits of mindfulness on just about every aspect of health. It is obvious mindfulness can have positive effects mentally and emotionally, but science suggests it can also have a positive impact on physiology, performance, relationship satisfaction, parenting, nutrition, and fitness. Meditation specifically is the most well-known technique for gaining mindfulness, and many are flocking to meditation classes or guided apps to benefit from the practice. Have no doubt that in 2019, mindfulness will continue to be a top priority in health.
With the aforementioned concerns around high intensity workouts, a new trend in fitness is gaining the attention of many forward-thinking fitness professionals. The idea of Functional Fitness – or using body weight to mimic everyday movement and increase strength and flexibility at once to optimize performance and reduce risk of injury – is sweeping workout programming worldwide. The components of functional fitness include strength, balance, range of motion, coordination, mobility, and power. With prolonged functional training, the hope is to reduce long-term stress on the body that can be a detrimental factor from years of high-impact exercise.
Still somewhat controversial, the health industry is coming around to Cannabidiol (CBD) oil as a natural treatment for many conditions, including anxiety and chronic pain. CBD oil is derived from cannabis (or marijuana) plant, but does not contain any psychoactive properties. According to Forbes, the CBD oil market could hit $3 billion by 2021, with many large health companies signing onto the trend already. There is still a lack of scientific research around the long-term effects of CBD oil use, but it looks like progressive health enthusiasts will not be shy to trying their share of the product in 2019.
Ignore all you’ve heard about the Keto diet and make way for a plant-based movement. One of the largest projected trends in nutrition is the shift to plant-based lifestyles. Research is pouring out of top nutrition science departments worldwide about the short and long-term benefits of plant-based lifestyle, from individual health to economic and environmental impacts. New companies are developing meatless products, like the Beyond Burger, and “milk” and “cheese” derived from nuts and oats. Longevity researchers are also beginning to understand the impact of a whole-foods, plant-based diet on long-term human health, which could mean a shift in the industry to follow consumer demand for healthy products. Time will tell if the trend sticks, but expect to see an uptick of plant-based hype in 2019.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years (literally) and remains a top trend in health and fitness. It rings in at number 7 of the top fitness trends in 2019 according to the ACSM survey due to the diversity of classes now available, including power, Pilates-infused, restorative, and other fusions. Other sources cite the increase in demand for restorative yoga, which underlies the existing top trends of recovery and meditation mentioned above. Yoga professionals have also noticed a desire for slower-paced, restorative classes that focus on deep stretching and breathing to reduce stress. It’s easy to see the 2019 health and fitness scene will be full of self-care in 2019, perhaps with yoga leading the way.
No matter what’s trending this year, a health and wellness plan that takes includes daily exercise, healthy food, and time to rest can benefit just about everyone.