Fitness resolutions for a new decade
Every year, one in three Canadians sets a new year’s resolution involving fitness. But 2020 isn’t just any new year. The threshold to a shiny new decade presents a huge opportunity to reset our fitness goals.
According to Kim Lavender, vice president of group experience with GoodLife Fitness, now’s the perfect time to start the decade off right with a workout program that suits your goals and fits your lifestyle.
Last decade: Workouts that work
canfitpro’s annual survey of Canadian fitness professionals found certain trends remained in the top 10 for most of the decade (2010-2019). Canadians have been choosing more efficient, functional fitness options that help them enjoy their lives more, including:
- Functional fitness – exercises that help prepare us for the things we do in daily life
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – interspersing short bursts of high intensity exercise with short periods of rest to get the most challenging, effective workout in the shortest time.
- Nutrition and healthy eating programs – These are nutrition programs designed to help you adopt healthier eating habits that complement your exercise program to see the results of your efforts sooner — whether it’s weight loss or advancing your overall fitness level.
- Older adult training – This signals the growing demand from Baby Boomers looking to adopt healthier habits to maintain their health and quality of life into their 60s and beyond.
- Express workouts – Participants to perform multiple exercises at a fast pace to generate maximum results. This is an effective approach for people on a tight schedule – perfect for lunch time or after work.
- Body weight training – Using your own body weight to create resistance builds strength and muscle and burns fat without the need for equipment, making it easy to get started and do anywhere and less intimidating for beginners.
This decade: Add more mind to your muscle
Finding more balance between mental and physical health promises to continue into 2020 and beyond, including more focus on functional movement and active recovery, mental resilience and the flexibility to fit all kinds of exercise into our busy lives. Some fitness trends to watch as we begin the new decade include:
- Active recovery – Active recovery helps prevent injury and promote muscle growth and flexibility. Active recovery can take different forms, such as:
- Less intensive cool down exercises at the end of your workout that keep you moving but lower your heart rate.
- A lighter workout on your day off to maintain strength, give muscles a rest and work on better form.
- Foam rolling to massage muscles, or yoga to improve flexibility and increase range of motion.
- Exercise as prehab/rehab – Studies show that building in regular exercise before surgery can improve recovery times. Supervised physical activity is also a vital part of recovering from health issues and procedures like heart attacks, joint replacements and other surgeries and even head injuries like concussions.
- Micro HIIT – With a typical HIIT workout, you’re supposed to do 20 minutes at least three times a week. Micro-HIIT involves short bursts of HIIT exercises (1-3 minutes) that can be done whenever you have a few extra minutes during the day. Lavender suggests exercises that feel like play to help you stay mentally engaged (e.g. medicine ball slams, battle ropes, skipping).
- Consciously decelerate – Take a break from constantly pushing yourself to focus on calmer activities without time limits or pressure. Conscious deceleration encourages you to spend energy on things like gardening, cycling, walking your dog to balance your workouts. It can also include taking time to meditate, do some yoga or practice mindfulness to reduce stress, improve focus and restore energy.
- More grit, less grind – Expect to see more intense bootcamp style workouts that push you outside your comfort zone to build mental resilience, or grit, while you boost your fitness. By pushing yourself to a new level, you expand your mental and physical stamina that translates into more confidence and power in life.
Looking ahead to the new decade, one thing is clear...fitness can be personalized to suit individual goals, mood and lifestyle. Lavender adds there are so many options and types of individual and group exercise that there’s something for everyone, making it easier to find the time and the energy to workout...for another decade.
Fitness professionals in your area are available to talk more about new directions in fitness for 2020 and beyond and to demonstrate exercises that reflect these trends.