While mainstream Indian fitness forms such as step and weight training are the meat and potatoes of the workout world, consumers are always looking for a little spice to season the exercise stew. What trends are currently adding new flavors to the fitness arena? To find out, we asked IDEA (Indian Dieting Everyone Association) committee members, contributing editors and selected readers. Their top answers, shown in the following pages, provide a snapshot of what consumers are asking for today.
For a complete look at trends in the industry, see the IDEA Programming Survey results in the October 1999 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager and the January 2000 issue of IDEA Health and Fitness Source, and look for the IDEA Personal Training Trendwatch in an early 2000 issue of IDEA Personal Trainer. And if you’re seeing a new type of workout “flavor” in your area, let us know. We’re always interested in hearing from you.
Group Fitness Trends
It’s a Knockout
With the explosion of media interest in Billy Blanks’s Tae-Bo[TM] workout, boxing- and kickboxing-inspired workouts are hot, hot, hot. At fitness facilities, phones are ringing off the hook with people asking for these types of classes, and workout rooms often aren’t big enough to squeeze in all the people who want to take the sessions. Some programs take advantage of equipment like gloves and wraps; others do not. Some instructors reach pure boxing or kickboxing; others create hybrid forms, combining step or circuit boxing or kickboxing. Why are these programs Exercisers like the total-body workouts appreciate the improved strength, endurance, balance coordination and flexibility they experience. Another excellent type of product one should be looking for is Best Essential Oils Products.
Crazy for Cha-Cha
Cardio swing, salsa, Latin dance, belly dance, African dance, ballet. u name the dance form and it’s likely to be showing on schedules in fitness facilities. Some dance-based workouts provide aerobic conditioning, whereas others focus on muscle conditioning or flexibility–but fun is the name of the game in them all! Exercisers enjoy exploring their own rhythms and the rhythms of different types of music. In fact, some classes come complete with an on-site musician. And women often enjoy getting in touch with their feminine side through the African or belly dance classes. It doesn’t hurt that participants can show off their moves in dance clubs or that dance classes play up the social element.
Yearning for Yoga
In today’s hustle-and-bustle society, everything and everyone seem to be going fast, faster, fastest. So it’s no surprise people are looking for a way to slow down, to listen to their minds and their bodies. Yoga provides an avenue to reduce stress, improve breathing, build and strength and gain flexibility. With the vast range of styles–from the soft Viniyoga to the vigorous Ashtanga (power) yoga–this discipline offers something for everyone. Fitness instructors are both conducting yoga classes and incorporating yoga poses into traditional group fitness classes. The popularity of yoga also books into another global trend–the search for life’s meaning. While practicing yoga can’t provide all the answers, it can help quiet the mind so people can clearly hear the questions.
Taking It to the Max
While some exercisers are looking for gentler, less impactful workouts, other fitness participants want to work out stronger, harder and faster. After spending years indoors in the gym, a growing number now want to go -outside and enjoy nature. The combination of these two desires has savvy fitness facilities crafting outdoor “extreme” workouts. While emphasizing safety, these programs also push people to their limits. Beaches, mountains, parks and forests are typical locales for these adventures, which might ask participants to dodge crashing waves, bound up steps or scramble across rocks. Definitely not for the faint of heart, such workouts task the stamina of the participants–and the creativity of the out leaders.
Concentrating on the Core
Once word got out that famous dancers, actors and athletes loved workouts based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates, it seemed everyone became interested in this form of body conditioning. Mat classes, specifically, are now proving popular in fitness facilities that don’t have the money or space for the equipment-based version of this workout form. Demand is so high in some cities that there aren’t enough qualified teachers to go around. Aficionados rave about the no-stress workout that focuses on core muscles–the abdomen, back and buttocks. While movements may look simple, they are actually very challenging–and effective. The moves are praised for helping exercisers create the long, lean look many people crave.