It’s a common question personal trainers hear around the holidays: “What are the top fitness trends heading into the new year?” It’s a prudent question. And these fitness professionals have rightfully earned their reputation as industry “oracles,” often predicting the future of fitness with amazing accuracy.
Here are 5 fitness trends that personal trainers are especially hyped up about as we head into another new year.
Bite-sized Fitness | Time-Optimized Fitness
People tend to become their most sedentary during the dark cold months of winter, so getting in small bursts of exercise throughout the day can make a huge difference. One trend in modern fitness that’s becoming popular with personal trainers, particularly those who work with clients that lead busier lifestyles, is to break their fitness sessions down into time-sensitive, bite-sized workouts.
Essentially, bite-sized fitness simply means getting off our duffs for 5 or 10 minutes a few times a day and using that time to fit in some moderate exercise activity. In other words, bite-sized fitness means we exercise whenever the opportunity presents itself during our busy workdays.
Not convinced? Personal trainers say make no mistake about it - all that time invested in getting your body moving does add up. In fact, evidence shows that we can achieve the same benefits of traditional exercise by adopting this time-sensitive approach to fitness. Most personal trainers recommend aiming for 5 to 6 minutes of exercise activity four or five times a day. A strategy easily achieved if we remember to set a timer every two or three hours.
Here are a few examples of bite-sized exercise activities you can try today:
Body weight exercises (push-ups, squats, etc.)
Resistance Band Training
Plant-Based Diets Will Continue Gaining Popularity
Do you realize that half of the world’s 18- to 34-year-olds tried dieting over the past year? Consider that fact for a moment and it hardly “takes a canary in the coal mine” mentality to understand why eating healthier will likely remain a priority for our society. But dieting can be confusing. Crash diets, so-called “fitness influencers,” and fad diets that get promoted on popular social media platforms can often do more harm than good.
Still, people are becoming more adamant about making educated food choices and that’s casting plant-based diets into a favorable light. Plant-based foods also have the appeal of being less harmful to the environment; another concept attractive to younger generations. In fact, the popular social media platform TikTok revealed just how much interest there really is in plant-based diets; #plantbased achieved over 1 billion views in America alone!
A plant-based diet is, of course, heavy in foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. However, a plant-diet diet doesn’t exactly prohibit protein-rich animal foods like lean meats, fish, chicken, and eggs; they’re just consumed in moderation.
It’s a popular diet for fat loss because it offers an effective means of getting the dietary fiber we need, and studies show that such a diet leads to lower levels of insulin (which can be instrumental in controlling hunger cravings). In terms of the environment, plant-based diets give us a way to avoid contributing to animal mistreatment and any harm that might come to the environment as a result of harsh meat production processes.
Wearable Technology Becomes Even More Prominent
Today, technology permeates the fabric of our very existence. The world of fitness is no exception. Wearable technologies like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, even GPS tracking devices will continue to be widely adopted in 2024. And not just by “fitness-minded” individuals, but also by working professionals from all walks of life because of how effective these devices can be in helping us lead healthier lifestyles.
While simple step counters and heart rate monitors may have paved the way, the ability of these devices to help us accurately track our calorie consumption, body temperature, the amount of sleep we get, even our oxygen saturation have made modern fitness tech a “must have” for anyone who is serious about optimizing their own wellness. In fact, nearly 40% of wearable technology users consider their devices to be indispensable suggesting that the role of wearable technology in our lives will only increase.
Psst! Such devices are also becoming far more affordable and easier to use than ever before so, check them out!
Strength Training Seen as Viable Alternative to Cardio for Fat Loss
Look. Not everyone who wants to lose weight will achieve their goals if they think their only option is having to slog through heart-pounding, oxygen-gulping treadmill sessions.
Cardio just isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, personal trainers are getting the message out that strength training has a dynamic effect on our body's ability to burn fat. That’s because they know how to turn the muscle mass in our bodies into fat burning engines! If cardio isn’t your thing, strength training can be equally, if not more effective at burning fat.
“Strength training with resistance bands, for example, provides a muscle-building stimulus, which, in turn, accelerates the overall fat-burning potential of our bodies,” said one personal trainer who works out of the Canary Wharf area (East London).
Today, strength training has evolved to become a tried-and-true method for burning fat. And not just during your workout, but afterward too. The way our bodies work, the more leaner muscle mass that we build in our bodies via strength training, the higher our resting metabolic rate will be. Your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, refers to the total calories that our bodies burn while we’re at rest.
If fat loss is your goal, the best strength training exercises are the ones that work the largest muscles in our bodies such as our quads and back muscles, or exercises that work multiple muscle groups like burpees or bench pressing.
A simple online search of “strength training to burn fat” will yield many results and is a perfect starting point for beginners.
Personalized Fitness & Personal Trainers Will Continue Seeing an Uptick in Interest
The personal training industry has evolved tremendously over the past few years and 2024 is projected to be a great year if you’re a fitness professional or personal trainer. No longer seen as an expensive option reserved exclusively for the serious athlete, personal training has become much more affordable and accessible to anyone with a fitness goal.
Trained fitness professionals, especially those who aggressively adopt the latest fitness technologies, are becoming very attractive to millennials. As more and more people make healthy living a priority, searches like “pt near me” are becoming increasingly more popular. Furthermore, fitness is becoming a social activity and people who work with personal trainers often see them as “workout buddies” who can not only help them achieve their goals, but also help them avoid common mistakes which means faster progress towards their goals.