Fitness never stands still. Ellie McInerney points out the new ways you’re going to get fit and healthy as the weather warms.
Spring’s here, so it’s time to shake up old routines, switch sleep-deprived schedules with a little self-love and swap boring workouts for some seriously fresh fitness. With a major turn towards mindfulness and time-efficient training, the fitness industry has changed on a global scale. Here’s what you need to know to stay cool while you sweat.
Drop the intensity for next level results
We’ve been doing HIIT for what feels like forever — those 15-20 minute bursts of burpees, battle ropes and sprints have raised heart rates across the globe. But now it might be time to switch things up. Or down. Happily introducing the calmer cousin of HIIT: LIIT.
Despite what you’re hoping, LIIT doesn’t stand for Long Island Ice Tea but Low Intensity Interval Training, and it was one of the new summer fitness trends in the US, which means it’s now about to arrive here. LIIT training will still burn the same calories as a solid HIIT session, but will take an extra 30-40 minutes to complete, and can be as easy as taking a walk. While you still need to incorporate intervals, the intensity isn’t as brutal as a HIIT session.
Researchers at Ohio State University measured the health benefits of varying walking speeds and found that 8% of energy used in walking is due to the energy our bodies require to simply stop and start. Changing the direction we walk, turning around or walking in a curve can burn 20% more than walking in a straight line. If you’re keen to swap your next HIIT with LIIT, head out for a 40 minute walk and keep your body guessing by changing direction and speed every 4-5 minutes.
Despite a rather uninspiring name, Self-Limiting Movement is designed to push your limits and strengthen you from the inside out. The basis of this fitness trend is to complete a combination of exercises which are almost impossible without correct form, such as single-leg deadlift, goblet lunge and pull-ups. The aim of this style of training is to improve muscle imbalances and poor posture by improving the foundations of good skeletal and muscular health — grip strength, balance and correct posture.
Smarter recovery for mind and body
Smashing workouts everyday takes its toll on your body, and passive recovery for faster healing seems to be getting hotter than ever. Cryotherapy and infrared saunas aren’t new, but this season they have definitely improved.
Infrared saunas work to detoxify, cleanse and heal the body using special infrared lighting that heats the body from the inside out. Infrared saunas are the ultimate recovery session, with the added bonus of weight loss, stress relief and a good boost to your immune system.
On the other end of the recovery trend is cryotherapy, which works by surrounding the body with a super cold -150°C mist for 1-3 minutes. It works by decreasing cell growth (cellular metabolism), inflammation and pain and increasing cell survival. Spas are popping up everywhere, with Polar Bare Cryo Club one of the hottest CryoSpas in Sydney.
Virtual reality workouts
Fitness games have left the scene and in their place are virtual reality workouts. Think Matrix level of reality without ever leaving your living room. The Omni by Virtuix is a 360° small treadmill that connects to a game and allows you to run, pivot, jump and crouch while wearing sneakers that interact with sensors on the treadmill. This insanely cool way to keep fit measures steps and calories, so you can track how hard your body’s working while your mind is busy chasing bad guys. The introduction of VR fitness means you can go for scenic runs, travel the world and compete in global events without ever leaving your living room.
Food tracking 2.0
Imagine having a personal nutritionist in your pocket every time you head out to do the grocery shopping. New apps like EmbodyDNA by Lose It! work in conjunction with a saliva sample that you mail off for sequencing. Download the Lose It! app and track your meals for 6–8 weeks while your results are being processed. Once your DNA results are available, the app will be able to tell you where your nutrition has been on point and where you’ve gone off track based on the information you entered and your specified goals.
The app allows you to keep tracking with updates and insights to help you stay focused to ensure you reach your goals.
Hot in fitness first
Sometimes hitting the gym floor can be daunting if you’re a beginner, or if you need a refresher course in basic fitness. This is where Fitness First’s Team Coaching program shines. Team Coaching is a six week small group training program where you get the personalised attention you need, with the added support of being in a like-minded group.
Groups are capped at eight and held twice a week, with each session designed to improve your entire health and wellbeing, educating you on all things fitness. Team Coaching includes a personalised nutrition plan and access to one of Fitness First’s expert trainers who are there to guide, support and educate you as you build a solid foundation of fitness into your life, and help empower you to go it alone in the gym when you’re ready.
Exclusive to Fitness First, group classes are designed to seriously improve your health by achieving maximum results — fast. Here are some you can check out in your local club.
- Pro Cycling comes in three unique forms including The Keirin, The Individual Sprint and The Team Spirit. Each class is a fast 30 minutes and is guaranteed to improve your cycling skills, fitness and endurance through proper technique and intense challenges.
- Freestyle Group Training HIIT and Power classes are designed to release your inner athlete. With plyometrics, circuits and strength based exercises, you’ll be pushed to your limits and earn noticeable results.
- Need something a little less intense? Hot flow, dynamic flow, gentle flow and core flow are just some of Fitness First’s improved yoga classes designed to increase your flexibility and mental clarity in just one class.
Remember, you can try all these amazing classes with any Fitness First membership or on a guest pass!