“The only constant is change” - Heraclitus, Greek philosopher.
Our fitness and nutrition philosophy has stayed relatively constant over the years - create custom programs for our clients to achieve optimal results in relation to their goals. Each client is different and has a different idea of what success means to them. But as more research is released in these fields, we’re continually getting more insight into how the body and mind react to certain training methods. This research sometimes leads to fitness and nutrition “fads” which come and go quickly after a brief spike in popularity. Fads that come to mind include diet pills, the Atkins Diet, 8-Minute Abs, the ThighMaster. These all had brief moments of popularity but eventually faded away, either as the novelty wore off or they were discredited.
Trends stick around longer and normally have some amount of research to back them up. Think yoga, resistance training and functional movement workouts. Even jogging at one point was considered a novelty. Here are some current trends we see gaining steam in the worlds of fitness and nutrition.
Gluten Free Diet
Those who are allergic to gluten have no choice but to seek out gluten free options. For others, it’s a lifestyle choice that they think will help them lose weight and feel better. Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free but there are also a lot of processed foods that make the claim as well. Always read the label on these as they can have additives in place of gluten like fat, sugar or substitute starches with no nutritional value. Cutting gluten from your diet won’t automatically lead to a healthier, leaner you. It’s best to consult your doctor or registered dietitian before giving up the gluten altogether.
Body Weight Training
Perfect for those who say they’re too busy to get to the gym as much as they should. Body weight training can be done at home (or just about anywhere, for that matter) as it doesn’t require any equipment, just the resistance of your own body weight. Exercises you can incorporate here include some of the classics like lunges, squats, push-ups and planks. These are all good for improving lean muscle mass. But remember: it’s important to switch things up so carve out some time to get to the gym!
These are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. These are mostly plant based foods. For instance kale, spinach, blueberries, kiwis, potatoes nuts and seeds are considered super foods. But salmon, sardines and even some dairy products also fit the bill. There’s not a set parameter a certain food has to fall under to be called a “superfood,” it just has to be nutritionally dense. What we’re seeing gain in popularity today (and often falling into the “fad” category) are ancient grains. Everyone is looking for the next quinoa. These grains vary quite a bit but all have high protein content, making them a great side to any dish you serve. Consider pairing tonight’s main course with a little amaranth, sorghum or teff.
Wearable Fitness Technology
Because we live in a technology forward society, wearable fitness trackers have risen in popularity. Since the Fitbit hit it big, the market has been flooded with new devices that monitor heart rate, track steps, map runs and do just about anything when it comes to measuring your personal health and fitness. We’re all looking for results that are easily quantifiable and these devices give us that satisfaction. They can be a great workout partner but don’t expect them to hold you accountable when you miss a workout or fitness target. That’s why we’re not worried about being replaced by machines. My favorite fitness tracker is the Garmin Vivoactive HR. I love it primarily because it allows me to input the type of workout that I’m doing for the day and exactly how many calories I’ve burned, what my target heart rate is and how long I’m in that range. Finding out that information also gives me the motivation to do better next time I do that same workout.
High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T)
You’re going to be a lot more efficient at burning calories when your heart rate is elevated. High intensity interval training alternates between periods of intense exercise and rest (or low intensity movement). High intensity is the key phrase, meaning in order to get anything out of this training method, you have to give it your all during those periods. If you do, you’ll start to quickly see a boost in your endurance. The rest periods are there to help you recover and prepare for the next set. Many of our clients have found success with this method, seeing a higher level of functional movement conditioning.