Fitness is about much more than a toned body. Holistic fitness is about feeling good, both physically and emotionally. The fitness trends taking shape at the moment encompass the layers of well-being benefits that exercise has to offer, from a more shapely body to emotional satisfaction, adventure, better health and a sense of accomplishment.
Exercise has been studied as an anxiety and depression reliever by psychologists. It has been found that a little as a 10-minute walk can uplift your mood quickly and that more active people are less likely to be depressed and anxious.
Exercise helps by releasing feel-good neurotransmitters and lessening stress chemicals in your body. It also helps you cope in a constructive way as you are doing something healthy and positive for yourself, which also means a boost in self-image and self-esteem.
Activities that have a little more to them than pure exercise are still gaining in popularity. Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates focus on deep breathing and stilling your mind. They have a holistic philosophy underpinning them that acknowledge us as whole beings.
Along with trendy yogas like Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anusara, Kundalini and Sivananda yoga, there is even a trend called Fat Yoga, which is about women who don’t have the typical ‘yoga bodies’ doing yoga – a move to create a healthy body image for women that is more natural and all-encompassing. Salt yoga is another one – yoga bunnies gather in a room made of Himalayan crystal salt to do yoga. Salt therapy is an ancient therapy and salt baths and caves were used to improve the immune system, soothe allergies, better skin conditions, and destroy stubborn colds.
Exercises that challenge us, push our emotional and physical boundaries and leave us with a unique experience and memory is also becoming popular. Whether it’s kayaking, skiing, or a bigger adventure like walking the Camino or along the Nile, exercise can be fun and challenging in more ways than negotiating bulky gym equipment. A successful adventure is something to treasure forever!
High-intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a super-efficient way to burn fat and can improve your aerobic capacity in a third of the time endurance training can. It alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. An example would be running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes and repeating that for 15 minutes. You can find more info here.
Functional fitness is based on the idea that the workouts we do should mimic and support the activities of our daily life, like bending down, picking things up, walking up stairs, and pulling or pushing open doors. It also strengthens your core stability, supporting your body to cope with your daily life.
You can do these exercises either at home or at the gym if there are classes available. Functional fitness often uses exercise tools, such as fitness balls, kettlebells and weights. An example would be doing squats to strengthen the muscles you use when you get up and down from a chair or bend down to pick up something. Here are some examples of functional fitness exercises: Shape.
The beauty of bodyweight training is that you don’t need all sorts of gadgets and equipment, making it simple and convenient and something you can do at home. The concept of using your own body’s resistance is also appealing as it’s so natural. Bodyweight training improves your balance, flexibility and strength. Here are some functional fitness exercises for you to get the idea.