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Top 10 fitness trends in 2019

When it comes to fitness trends, 2018 was a year to remember.

According to a study published in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, thousands of surveyed fitness professionals ranked high-intensity interval training and group training, as well as functional fitness and yoga, as some of the most popular fitness trends in 2018. The ACSM has recently released their 2019 fitness trends predictions, and if they’re right, HIIT training and group training will continue to be popular.

The start of a new year is the time when people reflect on their successes and failures of the previous year and set their health and fitness goals for the next 12 months.

While we can’t know exactly what to expect, we’ve taken the ACSM’s predictions and mixed them with our own forecasts to outline some of our projected top fitness trends (in no particular order) that can help you reach your goals in 2019.

1. HIIT is here to stay

Mentioned at the top of the ACSM’s 2018 trends survey, we expect HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to stick around in 2019. The results are undeniable, and especially for working professionals short on time, there’s no better way to get a complete, gym-free workout than with some intense circuits.

Head outside, do it in the living room, or take a class at your local studio – HIIT is all about movement and workout efficiency.

2. Getting sweaty with strangers

According to the ACSM, group training (more than five people) will be the second most popular fitness trend in 2019. For good reason, too — these classes are social, highly motivational and provide instruction for people who need structure in their daily workouts. Group classes cover a wide range of disciplines, including spin, dance, aquatics and cardio-based classes, and are available anywhere from private studios to public facilities to mainstream gyms.

3. Nerding out on data

Wearable technology is smarter and more relevant than ever before. According to the ACSM, this market includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate sensors and GPS sports watches that can track heart rate, calories, sitting time and much more.

These devices are a great way to keep tabs on your fitness, and will provide data to compare your progress over time. The Polar A370 fitness tracker with 24/7 wrist-based heart rate is the perfect daily tool to monitor your fitness in the new year.

4. The return of the treadmill

Step aside elliptical — in the past few months we’ve seen many fitness classes and training plans getting back to basics. We’re talking about the treadmill, the machine that’s been around seemingly forever.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and with the rise of popular and effective treadmill programs, we anticipate this machine will be a staple in many training plans in 2019. Just don’t forget your running and multisport watch to monitor your efforts!

5. Yoga, yoga, yoga

While there’s no doubt the classic form of yoga will always reign supreme, the variations on this ancient practice are injecting new life into a sometimes stale routine. 2019 will continue to see more outdoor yoga classes, yoga retreats, standup paddleboard (SUP) yoga, goat yoga (yes, we said goat yoga), etc. We can’t wait to see what yoga variations the new year will bring.

6. Keeping workouts simple

Piggybacking off their popularity in 2018, bodyweight workouts are another projected fitness trend in the new year. Say goodbye to the gym and all the unnecessary equipment — it’s completely possible to create a killer training plan just by using your own bodyweight as resistance. Bodyweight exercises include pullups, pushups, crunches, planks, squats, etc. and they can be done anytime, anywhere.

7. Netflix of the workout world

Here at Polar, we’re officially rebranding “Netflix and chill” as “Stream and workout” in 2019. Many big-name fitness brands are creating subscription-based virtual streaming services designed to replicate a guided group session in the comfort and convenience of your home.

For example, Les Mills On Demand offers access to over 600 online workouts, YogaWorks has created an on-demand library of over 1,000 guided yoga classes, and brands like Peloton offer a live, interactive platform to work out with others in real time. Think of these as a modern-day Richard Simmons VHS tape — minus the neon spandex and electronic music.

8. Refreshing and resetting

Working out is only half the battle of getting and staying in shape — a proper recovery plan is just as important. This not only includes sleep and a proper diet, but tools like foam rollers, compression garments, NormaTec boots, massagers, percussion guns, etc. are excellent ways to flush out toxins, promote a healthy range of motion and rejuvenate muscles before your next hard effort.

Polar’s proprietary Recovery Pro (a feature on the Vantage V) is another way to monitor your recovery, ensuring you’re primed and ready to continue training.

9. Blending work and working out

More and more employers are seeing the benefits between physically active employees and productivity in the workplace. Numerous companies now offer onsite gyms, or include gym memberships in their employee perks.

It’s become socially and professionally acceptable to squeeze in a swim between meetings, or leave to practice yoga for a midday refresher. Gyms are also facilitating this by offering workspaces and resources like Wi-Fi and private meeting rooms so members can exercise without being pressed for time.

10. Using exercise as medicine

The ACSM has created an initiative encouraging more primary care physicians to include physical activity assessments and recommendations during each patient check-up.

This trend has been increasing over the years, with patients being referred to fitness professionals as a way to combat preventable and treatable diseases instead of turning to pharmaceutical alternatives. We couldn’t be more in favor of this, and hope this becomes a more popular practice in 2019.



Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals or physicians. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.

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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.

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