This time of year everybody is putting out their “Top Ten This” and “Top Ten That” lists of the past year, so The Hound thought it would be a good time to put together his list of the Top Ten Fitness Fads of 2012.
Some of these are legitimate new spins on proven thoughts and techniques; others are downright late night TV clap-trap destined to go the way of the Thigh Master! Enjoy remembering which is which! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year, and we’ll be back on the Case in 2013.
2012 was the year that finally saw video games getting the couch potatoes up off of their collective butts! The Wii Fitt is the latest must-have for fitness buffs. Wii Fitt is like video games meets virtual trainer that offers more than 40 activities to challenge users in areas like yoga, aerobics, strength training, balance and more.
Part dance, part aerobics, mostly silly –more of a Latin dance party than a real workout, Zumba zoomed to popularity this year. Basically it’s just a load of crazy dance moves, but people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and ages seem to love to crank up the music and dance their hearts out.
TRX Suspension Training
Invented by a Navy SEAL TRX Suspension Train uses secured nylon bands that allow you to do a total body work out of multiple reps of core strengthening activities, using your body weight as resistance. Fire Fighters and Pro-athletes swear by the TRX, and its popularity skyrocketed this year when it was featured on The Biggest Loser.
A favorite of Kelly Ripa’s and other fit celeb moms, Physique 57 is an high-intensity workout that uses resistance training, isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches, as well as props such as big rubber ball, to give you the trademark Physique 57 “dancer’s body.”
Stimulated by my 9-year old daughter and those Wii fitness games, the hula-hoop is making a hip-shaking come back at your local gym. Many legitimate fitness centers now offer classes and professional trainers in the fine art of hula hooping.
High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT involves short intervals of maximum intensity exercise separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise. Because it involves briefly pushing yourself beyond the upper end of your aerobic exercise zone, advocates of HITT say it offers you many advantages over traditional “low impact” exercises.
Social Media Motivation
While there were some studies released that said “Facebook can make you fat,” 2012 was also the year of “online group encouragement.” Social Media Sites like Instagram are loaded with motivational quotes, inspiring stories, and photos, all to make you feel you are not alone in trying to reach your weightloss goals.
Forget a simple “pedometer” that was so last year; this was the year of the fitness tracker. These high-tech and fashionable wristbands are able to track and monitor everything from the calories you burn, to your steps you take, to the quality of your sleep – and even have a GPS so you won’t get lost on your power walk!
Indoor Cycling Studios
A new spin on spinning, if you are tired of the spin classes at your gym being too crowded, 2012 saw the opening of trendy indoor cycling boutiques. With celebrity endorsements, almost round-the-clock operations, and state-of-the-art equipment, studios like SoulCycle, FlyWheel, and The Studio enticed “upscale” fitness heads to drop their gyms in favor of studios that specialize in indoor cycling.
Exercise Happy Hours
If you are tired of having to make the choice of fitting in a workout or meeting friends for a few drinks after work, 2012 offered the answer – The Exercise Happy Hour!
These classes at upscale health clubs offer the party atmosphere you’d expect at a club or bar, but without the alcohol and free fatty hors d’oeuvres.
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