Fitness is a constantly changing field. There are always new machines, methods and theories to improve the quality of life. Fitness trends may come and go, but there have been some trends in fitness that have spanned several decades and have become increasingly popular.
Aerobic exercise has always been the backbone of the fitness industry. Running, step aerobics, dance aerobics, boxing, kick boxing and spinning, a musical indoor cycling course, have become an integral part of health and fitness facilities. Their popularity continues to grow.
The popularity of water exercises has also increased. Water has the unique ability to provide cardiovascular and muscular improvements with little strain on the joints of the body. Water exercises are no longer just swimming laps. Almost every class that can be held on land now takes place in the water. You can run, spin, step aerobics and even get strong in the water.
With the improvement in health care and the extension of the lifespan, the movement of older adults has expanded and has also become a necessity for maintaining a positive quality of life. Older adults not only exercise to maintain and improve their health, but also take part in road races, bike races, and bodybuilding competitions. Age limits no longer exist, which is why fitness courses aimed at the older population are widespread.
As grandparents and great-grandparents who practice sport and fitness, they are role models for younger generations. These younger generations benefit from improved technology and more plentiful foods, and with these things – and a sedentary lifestyle – the chances of them leading a less healthy lifestyle than their active older family members increase. The fitness field combats this possibility of an unhealthy life with sports and fitness programs for children and adolescents. This fitness trend now faces the challenge of improving the health of future generations and offers the opportunity to promote healthy habits for a lifetime.
However, the biggest change in the fitness area was the growth of mind-body exercises. There has been a shift to gentler, more introspective exercises that also help improve cardiovascular health while increasing flexibility and muscle strength. Yoga and Pilates would fall into this exercise category. Yoga has its roots in ancient India (around 2800 BC) and focuses on breathing and mindfulness when practicing poses. Pilates, however, was developed around 1926 by Joseph H. Pilates (1880-1967). The Pilates method included a unique set of stretching and strengthening exercises. In yoga as well as Pilates, the breath and the self-confidence of the individual are the focus of the training. Apart from the obvious benefits for strength and flexibility, these exercises are popular for body and mind because of their stress relieving properties.