Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine conducts a survey to determine which fitness trends the world can expect to see the following year. Last year, their 2019 list included wearable tech (also the No. 1 trend again this year), HIIT and group exercise classes—and they were definitely onto something.
So with their 2020 list newly released, we had to take a look. To compile their predictions for the top 20 trends, they put out an online survey, which was completed by over 3,000 people, many of them health and fitness professionals. And we noticed some common themes within that list.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reported that wearable technology has been the foremost trend in the past four years. You might ask, weren’t wearables big in 2018 and 2019 too? Yes, and they are maintaining that fierce pace in 2020. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual survey of worldwide fitness trends recently found that wearable tech is the No. 1 trend for the year ahead. There are apps for fitness trackers, smartwatches and heart rate monitors that follow one’s heart rate, calories burned, and other activities.It’s an estimated $95 billion industry with no signs of slowing down. Case in point: Google’s plans to snap up Fitbit in the coming year.
In 2019, Fitbit announced its partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in a new initiative to encourage Singaporeans towards better habits in physical activity, sleep, nutrition and emotional wellbeing.
Named Live Healthy SG, the initiative will allow Singaporeans to sign up for a year-long subscription to Fitbit Premium at S$10 a month, or S$120 in total. In return, the company is giving participants an Inspire HR health tracker worth S$158 free.
You may be thinking, “But I work out several times per week.” The research shows that though exercise is good for you, it doesn’t negate the damage done by extended periods of sitting. Sitting is dubbed the new smoking; metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. The muscles in your lower body are turned off. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 20 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. With a tracker, it can be set to remind you to move every hour.
Team Training, Life Changing
We want to get fit, but we don’t always have the time, so High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves bursts of high-intensity effort with periods of recovery in between, is still the darling of the fitness world. As we move into 2020, look for HIIT to continue to feature in fitness routines around the world (it ranks No. 2 in the ACSM study). But we might see an uptick in hybrid workouts, such as HIIT yoga which I’ve tried at Vibe Yoga and Yoga Movement recently.
The “F” stands for functional training, or exercises that mimic everyday movement — such as lifting, squatting, jumping, twisting, pulling, pushing, punching, kicking, rowing and biking — which build lean, functional muscle, the company says. The exercises typically engage the full body.
The “45” represents the length of the workouts — 45 minutes each. Classes that focus on cardio are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; classes that focus on resistance training are scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; and a mix of cardio and strength training sessions are available on Saturdays.
F45 Training workouts combine elements of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training and functional training, with more than 2,700 exercises and 36 workouts in its database. HIIT speeds up a person’s metabolism and helps burn fat more effectively than slow, steady-state exercises. It’s one of the fastest-growing fitness trends in the world with no signs of slowing down. My favourite studio in Singapore, is without a doubt, still F45 Training Amoy Street.
We’re focusing on well-being.
When working on our fitness, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers: split times, crunches done, pounds lost. In 2020, look for a focus on mind and body connection –– being kind to yourself and, in turn, the muscles and bones that keep you going. This can encompass everything from mindful eating to meditation to getting proper rest. Slowing down and being good to yourself can result in a plethora of benefits, including injury prevention and better mental health.
Exercise is medicine was pretty high up on the list at No. 6, highlighting the importance of doctors prescribing movement for their patients. Health and wellness coaching was No. 9, lifestyle medicine No. 16, and workplace health programs came in at No. 18.
Personally, I’ve been seeing a TCM regularly to keep me in the pink of health. Do you have a dry mouth? A sore back? A tickle at the back of your throat? While you might not have a specific illness like a cold or the flu, your health might not necessarily be at its best either. That’s why we look to preventative care because Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is all about balance and harmony in the body. Take Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic’s Know Your Body quiz to find out your body constitution. For a comprehensive, full-body check, Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic’s qualified physicians will conduct a holistic health assessment before creating a personalised treatment plan.
All of these trends suggest people are waking up to the importance of having a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle that’s functional, includes support from professionals, and is about more than just weight loss or appearance-based goals.