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From Pole Dancing to Gliding

Reflections on fitness trends of 2007

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From Pole Dancing to Gliding

What were the 10 hottest fitness trends in 2007? Pole dancing, yoga, boot camps, and personal training all made our list of the most popular workouts.

When I first started personal training, the step workout was at its popularity peak, and the stability ball was a foreign object in the gym. Today, step is on the downward side of the fitness craze and you can find stability balls everywhere, from senior centres to corporate offices. I have been in the fitness industry for well over a decade now, and during that time I have seen a lot of trends come and go. A lot has changed over the past decade, but what about the fitness trends that we’ve seen over this past year? Here’s a reflection on 2007’s top 10 fitness trends. Basic Training at Boot Camps No, this doesn’t involve forced marches through the jungle or jumping out of a military aircraft. Boot camp franchises were everywhere this year, catering to the individual who wants their fitness served with a dose of fresh air and military-style instruction. Working Out with New Toys One new workout toy includes Gliding discs, which are placed under the hands or feet to aid in making an exercise movement more flowing and to provide more of a workout. The other item is the Ballast Ball, from the makers of the popular BOSU ball. Both tools quickly made their way into gyms and studios across the country, and I predict that you will see a lot more of these fun and highly effective workout aids in 2008. Pumping Iron A plethora of research proves the positive effects that strength training has on our bodies, specifically its impact on our aging population. This past year saw more seniors lifting weights. This is great news; strength training not only increases muscular strength but also improves quality of life, increases metabolism, helps reduce depression, and decreases the incidence of numerous age-related diseases. Kids’ Fitness Training With the introduction of the government’s fitness tax credit for children (see cra-arc.gc.ca/fitness), 2007 not only saw the government become more involved with kids and exercise, but local groups and gyms also started programming for this segment of the population. This is good news–in 2004 the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were overweight had more than doubled since 1979; the obesity rate for the same age group tripled. Rebounding This year brought a resurgence of the popular 1970s nonimpact activity that entails bouncing on a mini-trampoline. Doing “one hundreds” and “downward dogs” These are positions related to the increasingly popular disciplines of Pilates and yoga. What is most exciting about the growth of yoga and Pilates is the number of innovative instructors who have combined the two disciplines for a fusion of mind/body workouts. Whole-Body Vibrating Whole-body vibration (WBV) machines are devices with a flat plate on which a person performs a series of exercises, while the plate shakes the entire body–and they have popped up everywhere this past year. There is still a lot of research to be done, but the preliminary findings look good, especially for seniors. Small-Group Training For those who don’t enjoy working out in large groups, small-group training was the next best thing in 2007. Programming and training for small groups increased in availability at most local gyms and studios across the country. Channelling Your Inner Stripper LA and New York’s hottest (and most daring) workout finally reached north of the border this year. Pole dancing, chair dancing, and cardio striptease have exploded into studios at most major cities. If you haven’t tried shaking your thing yet, I highly recommend it; chair dancing can be tremendously liberating. Personal Training 2007 saw another upsurge in the number of people hiring personal trainers–something I witnessed first-hand. Over the recent past, we have seen a growth of at least 10 percent in new client participation from year to year.

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