Ceri Hannan, Virgin Active’s National Product Development Manager, cherry-picks the Top Five Fitness Trends for 2017.
1. Wear your fitness
Wearable fitness technology items – activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices – are already big but will get even bigger in 2017 especially as incentive programmes up their use of them as a way to earn rewards. Virgin Active SA has launched the new TRACK feature which allows members to link a variety of devices including FitBit, Garmin & STRAVA to their myvirginactive account from where they can monitor all their fitness and activity data.
2. Carry your own weight
Body weight training programmes, involving minimal equipment, are on the rise. Using your own weight for resistance in pushes, pulls, squats, lunges, bends and twists. Virgin Active’s TwentyFour class is designed specifically for this kind of old school workout with a new age flavour.
3. HIIT it hard
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a top trend. Typically it involves bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and takes less than 30 minutes to perform, which makes it hugely popular for busy, time-stressed people. The Grid class at Virgin Active teaches you how to do six basic movements with effective intensity to build flexibility and fitness.
4. Get on your bike
Cycling is the new golf. Whether you are in the mountains, on the road or in the Ride class at Virgin Active, more cyclists are likely to be joining you in 2017. And the technology of the sport is getting more and more sophisticated. Virgin Active has introduced the revolutionaryWattbikes which read the way you ride with output, technique and heart rate being instantly measured with every turn of the pedal. These are available at selected Virgin Active Health Clubs.
5. No holds Barred
All studies show that attending a structured class remains the best motivator to stay in a healthy exercise routine and to get the most work out of the workout. But variety and innovation are essential to keep participants stimulated. A big trend is to creatively blend different activities. A good example is the Barre 180 class at Virgin Active which combines ballet, yoga and Pilates in a 55-minute session.