1. Cross fit.
Fast and furious workouts, often done to video, have moved from a cult-like fad to mainstream fitness and are likely to grow in popularity. These super-intense workouts force exercisers to push themselves to build strength, power and cardiovascular endurance at the same time, maximizing time involvement.
2. Theme runs.
Ever done a 5-K Color Run where each kilometer you run through a “color zone” and are sprayed with a different color shade of non-toxic paint? You start off with a white T-shirt and by the end of the untimed run, you look like a Jackson Pollock painting. A series of more than 50 events were run in 2012 involving more than 600,000 participants. Get in shape. There’s likely a Color Run coming to a place near you in 2013.
3. Trail running.
This pastime has endured the test of time and is enjoying renewed popularity as runners seek to find more of the great outdoors for their workouts. A Runner’s World survey found that 40 percent of participants say they run trails once or twice a week. Trails offer peace and quiet, scenic surroundings and a new challenge.
4. Small group training.
An off-shoot of personal training, small group training provides the benefits of personal training at a fraction of the cost. Classes are usually capped at seven to eight participants, allowing plenty of personal attention from the trainer during the workout.
5. Fitness for kids.
The NFL Play 60 program and Michelle Obama’s national campaign, Let’s Move in Schools, have parents thinking about their kids’ fitness levels like never before. And it’s about time as our nation’s obesity rates have hit epidemic proportions. The video gaming industry is responding as well, with the Wii and other games designed to get kids moving.
6. High-intensity interval training.
HIIT gets you moving fast and furious (think sprinting, cycling all out, or rapid succession plyometrics) for short intervals followed by brief rest periods. Your body works at near-full capacity for less overall time and the health benefits are as good as moderate-paced exercise programs.
7. Hang out to work out.
Forget cocktails and dancing, today’s trendsetters are opting for gym workouts at studios, followed by happy hour. The New York Times recently highlighted the trend, pointing towards studios like SoulCycle, which features Friday night party rides and Uplift Studio, which offers an exercise class, Raising the Bar, followed by a social mixer.
We’ve known for years that exercising in the presence of the opposite sex is motivating and can also be fun.