Fitness Trends for 2010: Fun Ways to a Healthier You!
By Jennifer Green, B.S.
Guest Author: Jenny Green, B.S.
|Jennifer Green, NCHPAD Visiting Information Specialist|
TRX training, also known as suspension training, is a great workout for people of all ages and abilities because it allows the user to effortlessly control the resistance and level of difficulty by shifting the position of his or her body. The idea behind the TRX system is called 'functional strength training'; using one's body weight to control the resistance and intensity of the exercise while also allowing the user to recruit many muscles at the same time as opposed to just isolating one or two. This system is said to build muscle balance and improve joint stability and mobility while also increasing core strength. Find out more about TRX training at http://www.fitnessanywhere.com/.
Interactive and entertaining fitness equipment is also gaining vast popularity. For some individuals who may not be able to make it to the gym, many video games offer fitness options, such as Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum, Wii Fit, and Dance Dance Revolution. These active video games cannot replace the traditional methods of getting physically fit; however, they offer individuals an easy transition into becoming more active while also being entertaining. They allow certain individuals who may not be able to make it to the gym an opportunity to get their heart rates up and get moving.
Companies such as Expresso Fitness have also created machines that combine virtual reality and exercise. Expresso has a line of recumbent and upright stationary bikes that allow users to pick courses and virtually pedal their way through their workouts. Riders must pay attention throughout the workout because they have to steer their bikes to negotiate the winding curves and steep hills that are critical components in each ride, as shown on a 17' flat panel LCD screen attached to the bike. Just like in real outdoor biking, the pedal resistance corresponds directly to changes on the course selected. Several studies have shown the benefits of interactive gaming and many players may find these machines more fun and stimulating than other forms of exercise. Find out more about these products at http://www.expresso.com or http://us.wii.com/soft_wiifitplus.jsp.
Power Plate® training is a new dimension in health and wellness. This device uses the principles of Acceleration Training™ in order to stimulate 'the body's natural response to vibration. These vibrations transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, and enhancing overall performance.' This new fitness trend is said to have a vast amount of benefits, including but not limited to, improved blood circulation, increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved range of motion, increased bone mineral density, reduced pain and soreness, and faster recovery. Techniques and exercises on the Power Plate® can be tailored to individuals of all ages and abilities. Group fitness classes using this system are also offered at a variety of fitness centers. To find out more about Power Plate® technology, visit: http://us.powerplate.com/EN/index.aspx.
Nordic walking is also becoming a popular leisure activity. This type of walking is a form of exercise consisting of walking with poles similar to ski poles. This type of walking involves applying force to the poles with each stride, allowing for more body movement when compared to normal walking. By stimulating and using more muscles, Nordic walking can lead to increased overall strength and endurance and the core and upper body, significant increases in heart rate at a given pace, greater ease in climbing hills, more calories burned, and improved balance and stability through use of the poles. Nordic walking is a great workout and suitable for people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels. Find out more about Nordic walking at: http://www.nordicwalkingonline.com/.
Dancing is also quickly becoming a fitness trend, due in part to pop culture hits such as
'Dancing with the Stars.' Dancing of all kinds is giving individuals a new look at physical activity. For many individuals, dancing of all kinds gives them an exhilarating alternative to the gym routine. Depending on the step, dancing can burn anywhere from 250 to 400 calories per hour. This new trend works muscles in various parts of the body while also improving balance and coordination. Another great benefit is stimulation of the brain, as participants work to memorize the steps, kicks, and twirls, which can be extremely beneficial to people of all ages and abilities. Wheelchair dancing, also know as adaptive dancing, is becoming extremely popular, as well. It has been reported that wheelchair dancing reduces stress, increases energy, and improves strength, muscle tone and coordination, as well as maintaining flexibility. Find out more about dancing and wheelchair dancing at: http://www.americandancewheels.com/ and http://usadance.org/.
With the variety of new and upcoming fitness options, there's no excuse not to start the New Year right! Remember, you don't have to buy fancy equipment or become a member of a high-priced gym to obtain the benefits of the latest in fitness equipment; in fact, several of these options can be used on your own in the convenience of your own home. Be realistic, make resolutions that are achievable, and use some the latest and fun equipment, classes, and fitness trends to help you reach your goals!
Please send any questions or comments to Jennifer Green at email@example.com.