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Workout Wednesday: 2014 Wrap-Up & 2015 Fitness Predictions

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Can you believe it’s New Year’s Eve already? 2014 is quickly coming to a close, and for many of us, it feels like it just started yesterday. I hate to use the cliche “A new year means a new you,” but there’s always a bit of truth in it, don’t you think?

This new year–2015–will be no different in that you’ll continue to work at creating a healthier, stronger, happier you. What will change, however, are the fitness trends, and with those changes, come changes to your exercise and fitness routines. But first, let’s take a look back at fitness trends throughout 2014.

Fitness 2014: A Look Back at the Trends

Throughout the year, we’ve seen a number of workouts, plans, and methods. A whole bunch of ’em. They were different and we loved them all in one way or another. But what was the best thing about these differences? They all seemed to focus on one thing–health and healing.

1. High-Intensity Interval Training: Commonly referred to as HIIT, these workouts are all about highly intense repetitions of exercise that are followed by a quick burst of rest and recovery. HIIT workouts were a huge hit for a few reasons. They almost always yield good results in brief time periods, and they usually take less than a half hour to complete. The only downside is that injury rates can be higher than other workouts, especially if your body isn’t ready for the intensity. We saw these workouts everywhere. At home, in classes at the gym, and even on TV. There were a number of variations, but every single one had one end goal: To make you healthier.

2. Strength Training: This is one fitness method that never goes away. Why? Because it involves weightlifting (in one of its many forms), and weights are crucial to healthier, stronger muscles and improved overall health. Throughout 2014, however, strength training seemed to grow in popularity. It’s not just for athletes and body builders anymore. Strength training has become a form of recovery for many people, as it can help you reclaim your body after illnesses like heart disease.

3. Nutrition-Based Weight Loss & Exercise Programs: With so many people turning to nutrition as a pathway to improved health and a better life, it’s no surprise that this was a huge trend throughout 2014. We’ve all known for a while that exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand when it comes to working toward a healthier life, but this year saw an explosion in nutrition-based exercise and weight loss programs. The premise is simple: There’s a healthy, balanced combination of diet and exercise, plus the knowledge and understanding that these two things together are what help you keep the weight off.

4. Body Weight Training: We’ve all seen them. The dumbbells ranging in size and weight that are covered with rubberized coating that ranges in color. These are the base of most body weight workouts, as you can use them to grip and press into the ground for push-ups. The idea is simply to use your own body weight, rather than reaching for other weights. You don’t even need to hand weights if you don’t have or want them. So, why has body weight training been so popular? Simple. Little to no equipment is required, it’s inexpensive, and it’s an effective way to exercise. The best part? It can be done almost anywhere. How’s that for convenience?

5. Fitness for Older Adults: 2014 saw a huge boost in available fitness programs for older adults. This trend is expected to grow even more in 2015, too. From yoga and tai chi classes to simple weight training routines, the older generations are continuing their journey to a healthier life at an increasing rate. As a result, healthcare professionals are regularly suggesting exercise to help keep older adults active, strong, and healthy as they move toward retirement age and beyond.

Along with these trends, we saw an increase in the certification of personal trainers, as well as an increase in group personal training sessions. After all, having a workout buddy (or three) is better than working out alone, right? More people = more motivation.

There’s no need to worry about seeing your favorite 2014 trend go out of style because a number of them are likely to continue growing through 2015.

Fitness 2015: What to Look Forward To

Whether you’re getting ready to start the journey to a healthier you, or are well on your way there, 2015 promises to be a great year for fitness and exercise.

1. Strength Training: High up on a lot of lists last year was strength training, and it’ll be right up there again in the new year. The various forms of strength training are central to complete exercise programs for men and women of all activity levels and ages, along with flexibility and aerobic exercise. Whether you’re looking to build bigger, stronger muscles, or simply just tone the ones you’ve got, good strength training routines will get you there.

2. Yoga: Yoga has been growing steadily in popularity for a number of years now. While it seemed to even off a bit in 2014, it’ll be growing again in 2015. Yoga uses traditional movements to help you stay healthy, flexible, and learn to relax and quiet the mind. In today’s world, we could all use a bit more of that. While Power Yoga and Yogalates are ever-popular, the more traditional forms of Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Bikram are being tackled, too, and by people of all ages.

3. Functional Fitness Programs: These programs, while very closely related to other programs for older adults, are ideal for people of all ages. Functional fitness puts the focus on strength for the specific purpose of enhancing balance and making daily life easier. Keeping yourself mobile, flexible, and feeling young is important for all of us.

4. Group Personal Training: While group personal training was growing in 2014, it’s expected to do so even more in 2015. Training with one or two other people aside from your trainer is both economical and motivational. There’s no need to worry about finding a workout buddy anymore. There’s already a few in your group!

5. Body Weight Training: Body weight training will continue to be an inexpensive and super convenient form of fitness in 2015. There’s no better time to ditch the expensive equipment and get back to the basics of fitness. It’s more than just sit-ups and push-ups!

What was your favorite workout this year? What are you most looking forward to next year? Share with us. Leave a comment below.

Featured Image Credit: Toban B via Flickr.

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