To stay current (and ACE certified), I have to keep up with classes and training info. Last weekend, I attended an interesting seminar and not only caught up on some credits, but had an opportunity to geek out on some of the latest in fitness research and trends.
One of the classes was all about trends in cardio. I find cardio trends fascinating because cardio tends to be a way that many of us get stuck in a rut. Either we always run or we always do dance aerobics or we just walk. None of these things are bad. However, I always like to change up how we can get our heart rates up.
One of the biggest trends, which you have probably heard of, is the “Extreme Interval Training” movement. These are military or police training type workouts, such as mud runs, boxing classes, bootcamps and other such “tough” workouts. These are great workouts to get us, not only in great shape, but to feel a sense of empowerment and pride. I actually enjoy designing these types of bootcamp circuits for my clients. However, the downside is that they can be very intense and high impact, so I advise you take a modified approach if you have joint sensitivity or heart problems. Also, know that these type workouts can be too intense for beginners. This can lead to potential fractures and other injuries, so tred slowly.
Another trend for cardio is the High Intensity Interval Training trend. Raising your heart quickly and then resting. I personally love these workouts because they are not only very effective for calorie burn, but they also help get people stronger! This is strength training and cardio at it’s best: Fast!
I always like to point out that cardio simply means that we are getting our heart rate up. That’s why I love to use kettlebell workouts and/or medicine ball workouts as a cardio example. Full body compound moves, such as a kettlebell swing, are cardio moves as well. If you combine several compound moves, you aren’t just strength training. You are raising up your heart rate and getting a great total-body workout. Kettlebell workouts are still a huge trend (and fun!)
If you are a runner, than one trend will probably resonate with you. The idea of racing! While races have always been going on, the trend is taking off with new extremes. Mud runs, Dirt Dashes, Tough Mudders, and other messy or color runs are becoming a new and fun way to keep motivated. I took part in a mud run (The Warrior Dash) last year and had a blast!!! Other racing trends that I hear about are extreme marathon running. So, if you, unlike me, really think you are a runner, you can take part in 50+ mile runs. (I’ll pass on that, thanks…) If you have always wanted to take part in a race, I HIGHLY recommend you sign up for a local 5K. They are fun and motivating. You don’t have to run all or even part of the race, but you might surprise yourself.
While it seems like we are in an “extreme” workout time, I also want to point out that some trends are still going strong and emphasize lower impact and more fun. Some of the biggest trends that continue are fun classes like Zumba, Jazzercise and other cardio dance. I have always personally enjoyed mixing up my running with dance as a cross training method. One of the side trends with cardio dance are pole dancing cardio classes. (Note: I plan to try this soon, and I will have to blog about it…later) The idea that you can have fun and burn calories is always a winner with me!
So, there you have it, some of those trends for cardio. I hope that if you always do the same workout, you consider something new! Believe it or not, your body really can get used to anything. Let me know what you are doing this year-I’d love to hear about a new trend!