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Diet and Fitness Trends

What the future holds for our eating and exercising habits.
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By basics, he means using the body, and not much else, to get in shape, says Locker, a certified athletic trainer at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. So remember those calisthenics from fifth grade: push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and sprints? If trend forecasters are right, that could be the workout of the future.

According to Phil Black, a former Navy Seal instructor who is now a personal trainer and San Diego fitness entrepreneur, another emerging trend is functional fitness -- programs that help us move through daily life with greater ease.

"People don't care so much about becoming a pro athlete as much as they care about whether they can pick up their child without hurting their back, or do things around the house without getting injured or sore," says Black, inventor of the Fit Deck, a type of flash cards for everyday workouts. "We're looking towards workouts that increase flexibility and core strength and help you live a healthier life overall."

5 More Health Trends to Watch

Here are five other trends experts say they expect to grow.

1. Exotic Tastes

Some food experts say we'll be looking to exotic spices and side dishes to perk up our diets.

"Americans have become more open-minded about different tastes and flavors from the world," says Greg Drescher, senior director of strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, N.Y.

This will not only mean tastier meals at home, but healthier restaurant eating, too, Drescher predicts.

"When restaurants first rolled out health initiatives, sales collapsed for items marked 'heart healthy,'" says Drescher, who coordinates the annual CIA Worlds of Healthy Flavors conference held in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health.

"But thanks to the convergence of America's growing immigrant population, interest in culinary adventure, changing palates, and the availability of diverse ingredients, the food industry can meet health challenges with full-flavored cuisines."

Drescher says he expects to see both home and restaurant cooks using more ingredients like:

  • Pomegranates, pistachios, and peaches
  • Exotic grains such as quinoa, millet, and bulgur
  • Bread alternatives like rice paper, tortillas, and pita bread
  • Spices with a Middle Eastern twist, like cardamom and zatar

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