From parkour and high-intensity interval training to integrated workouts, Vesna Pericevic Jacob lists popular ways to stay fit this year
Come winter, and we invariably look back at the year that was, and ahead at the year to come, gauging what we can learn from the former to make the most of the latter – be it in terms of fashion, fitness or our general lifestyle. The sphere of fitness, in particular, has lately been witnessing a series of fundamental innovations that are changing the way we understand the notion of a healthy body.
Among the biggest changes that have come about in this context is the concept of mindfulness being incorporated into workouts. New-age machines are being designed and equipped to enhance the user interface, and exercising is no longer just about effort, time and burning calories – the focus is shifting, gradually, to the efficacy of movement in bringing about a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle. Here are four fitness trends that you can follow this year, and exercise your way to better health:
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
With short bursts of activity followed by rest and recovery, an HIIT session is usually over in less than 30 minutes. This helps you burn more calories in a shorter period of time. HIIT includes familiar exercises such as mountain-climbers, burpees and jumping jacks.
The trend of integrated workouts is growing, and is likely to continue in 2018. HIIT and yoga, for instance, make a fantastic combination that integrates the intensity of the former with the calming influence of the latter. It also helps strengthen the body and improve flexibility. Combining Pilates and TRX (a form of suspension training that uses your body weight to develop flexibility and core strength) is another popular integrated workout. TRX is one of the most effective body weight training regimes and works against gravity, while Pilates’ effectiveness in strengthening the core and toning muscles has been proven time and again. The two systems complement each other to give you a strong, functional and toned body.
The re-emergence and reinvention of parkour as a more doable mainstream workout is one of the most exciting developments in the realm of fitness this year. This workout does not involve hardcore parkour that you might have seen movie stars engage in during high-octane chase sequences. Practised in an open-air ground, this version of parkour is designed to keep you fit without being too risky. The facilities at such a playground are clean, safe and challenging without being intimidating. Training your body to push itself to its limits and getting from point A to B in the best way possible, is what parkour is all about.
Once considered as an unconventional sport for adventure-seekers, climbing has exploded in popularity over the past decade. The surge in people looking at climbing as a means to fitness has been largely due to the growth of indoor climbing gyms through the years. Today, facilities with indoor climbing walls are aplenty in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. And they are no longer just for off-season training for professional climbers. For urban athletes, climbing is not so much about the adventure as it is about staying fit and creating a beautiful body aesthetic.
The author is a holistic fitness expert and the views expressed in this article are her own