HIIT, intermittent fasting, hydrogen water–Top 10 fitness trends for 2018

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Beyonce reportedly got back in shape after her pregnancy using intermittent fasting.

It’s that time of the year when gym enrollment is at its peak, when couch potatoes are emboldened to become “resolutioners” and start an exercise program, when the health conscious are looking for new challenges to stay fit. Here are our top 10 fitness trends that are deemed to become huge in 2018.

HIIT—Predicted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to become the top fitness trend this year, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is when low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals. Think burpees, jump ropes, resistance bands, battle ropes, or two or three interval rounds of push-ups, squats, butt kicks, tricep dips and side lunges in 45 seconds, with 15 seconds rest between rounds.

While it’s not for the faint of heart, HIIT is popular because of its potential to torch maximum calories in a minimum amount of time.

Wearable technology—Activity trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices are still going to be hot commodities this year as people continue to track and record their every move.

A newcomer will be smartglasses. It’s like Google Glass but designed for fitness enthusiasts. Some of these babies pack in a fitness coach, equipped with voice-activated coaching system and sensors that can track heart rate, distance, cadence, speed and other vital workout information.

These smartglasses pack in a small heads-up display that enables cyclists to glance at useful data in real time, including speed, cadence, heart rate and power zones.

Intermittent fasting— Move over, keto. Intermittent fasting (IF), a centuries-old practice (in some cultures) has been gaining popularity for the last three to four years, especially when Hugh Jackman, Terry Crews, Ben Affleck, Beyoncé, Miranda Kerr, Liv Tyler, Christy Turlington and other celebrities have been reported to be on it.

The popular form of IF is the 16/8 method, in which you fast for 16 hours a day and have an eating window of eight hours. Research suggests it can improve an athlete’s performance, support the digestive system as it protects the gut lining, improve blood sugar management, promote fat loss. IF has also been reported to have anti-aging benefits.

Crunch Live lets you get fit on the fly by streaming online workouts that fit your level and schedule.

Activated charcoal—First came the drinks, then the toothpaste, and now a facial mask. This detoxifying ingredient will become a major player this year. The most frequently employed method of gastrointestinal decontamination in the developed world, activated charcoal has a variety of proposed benefits, including teeth whitening, lowering cholesterol, curing hangovers, alleviating gas and bloating and digestive cleansing.

Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals and flushing them out of your system.

Live-streaming classes— Organizations and health clubs like Les Mills and 24 Hour Fitness already offer access to streaming workouts. This year, this trend is predicted to finally gain momentum as other fitness centers follow suit.

The popular indoor cycling studio Flywheel, for example, will start to offer live streaming of cycling classes and video-on-demand access to a library of classes. Expect live streaming of barre, HIIT, Pilates, yoga, among other group classes, to come your way.

Boxing—The resurgence in popularity of this two-in-one cardio and strength exercise is mainly credited to supermodel Gigi Hadid, who has been boxing as a form of exercise for over two years now.

Gigi Hadid got women boxing their way to fitness.

Last year, boxing became a fitness movement on Instagram. This year, more and more women are predicted to learn how to bob and weave and throw a one-two punch as boxing once again becomes the “it” exercise of 2018.

Moringa—If last year was all about turmeric, this year it’s going to be once again about moringa (malunggay). This superfood has a nutritional profile worth bragging about: It has twice the protein of spinach and three times as much iron, plus impressive amounts of calcium, potassium and vitamin A.

Moringa, the superfood
of the year

Expect more food companies to cash in on this rising trend, adding moringa into everything from nutrition bars and protein powders to juices and chips.

Yoga—Yoga is not going away anytime soon. ACSM cites this ancient Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline to be among the top trends this year.

Part of its enduring popularity is its ability to constantly reinvent itself. The more conventional classes offered are Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga.

Recent years, however, saw Aerial Yoga (Antigravity), Paddleboard Yoga, Naked Yoga, Beer Yoga, Dog Yoga and even Cannabis Yoga, where students are encouraged to come to class high.

Fitness for seniors—The baby boomers are now approaching retirement, needing age-appropriate programs to keep them healthy and active. As the world slowly moves away from “anti-aging” to appreciating senior years, working out to stay fit and healthy at any stage in life becomes the main motivation to exercise this year.

Hydrogen water—Forget juice cleanse. The latest celebrity craze is hydrogen water, with celebs like Zac Efron, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively seen drinking them. Hydrogen water is water with a boost of hydrogen content. There are tablets you can dissolve in your water, or you can buy an expensive machine to create your home version of the drink.

Adding more hydrogen to water supposedly increases energy, improves recovery after a workout and reduces inflammation. There is so much marketing hype around it, though, and scientific evidence is still not enough to support its claims.

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