Healthy Developments: Fitness Trends for the New Year

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If you find the whole idea of getting fit to be too much of a hassle, you may not be alone.

That’s one of the common ideas that we noticed while checking in on some of the latest trends in the fitness world. The upside of this is that there are more and more ways to get your exercise in without having to spend hours (or yen) at a gym. Here’s a bit of the state of the art for improving your condition in 2016:

Wearables Everywhere

Wearable products that measure fitness activity are nothing new, but they have truly come into their own this year in both form and function. The Apple Watch is a multifunction product, but a strong contender in this new space, which also features the reliable standbys from Jawbone and Fitbit. If you’re on the fence about the wearable fitness tracker trend, you can dip your toes in with the easy-on-the wallet Misfit Flash, which should only set you back about the cost of a night at the movies. Sleep tracking is a common feature on most of these products, and it’s a good reminder to pay as much attention to that precious downtime as you do your workouts. Paired with the many apps that can connect with your wearable of choice and you can get a detailed understanding of your fitness progress, and set achievable goals. Of course, this also means that your devices know when you’ve been slacking…

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Mile Atanasov/Shutterstock

 

Keep It Short

It might be a sign of just how busy our lives have gotten, but the “short workout” trend certainly isn’t just a fast flash in the pan. The 7-Minute Workout was the first brief, high-intensity exercise routine to make it into the mainstream, but workouts based around short bursts of activity have been popular in some fitness circles for a while. The best thing about these bite-sized workouts is that they’re much easier to say “yes” to than a full-length gym session, and easier to fit into a tight schedule. All of the fitness apps below can provide these quick hits of fitness, but if you haven’t been working at all, you should let yourself get up to speed gradually with these workouts.

Apped Up

You may not be able to beat a personal trainer for the kind of dialed in advice and “get in your head” coaching that a live human being can provide, but a smartphone app will always be around, and you’re even less likely to leave your phone behind than skip an appointment with the trainer. We mentioned the Sworkit Pro app last year in our fitness guide last year, and a few updates have increased the number of exercises that you can use in premade or custom workout sessions. The Runtastic series got its start, obviously enough, as an app that would get users ready for running 10Ks and similar distances, but has branched out to everything from pushups and pullups to collections of weightlifting exercises that you can do at the gym. Zova is a relatively new product that kicked off in 2014, and with a monthly subscription, it is one of the pricier apps, but features a good-looking interface and Apple Watch integration. Currently, this one is only available for iOS. One app that we have on our list of resolutions to try is Lark, an app that chats with you about your food intake.

–Alec Jordan

Main Image: Shell114/Shutterstock

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