A New Year, a New Workout
Fitness pros give their picks for the hottest exercise trends for 2008.
Workout Trend No. 1: Personal Trainers
If you thought personal trainers were only for Hollywood types, think again.
All three experts who spoke with WebMD agreed that this year, more people than
ever will seek the benefits of personal instruction.
"When you do things on your own, you tend to do the same things over and
over," Fleming says. "A personal trainer mixes things up, motivates
you, and reduces your risk of injury by helping you work out
Making it all possible, experts say, is more affordable prices for personal
training. Depending on where you live, it could cost you around $50 per hour.
Further, more trainers are agreeing to conduct group sessions. This means you
and a friend (or three or four) can split the cost of a session and still come
away with most of the benefits of one-on-one training.
But choose your trainer wisely, Thompson says. Look for credentials that
really mean something.
"If you're looking to hire a trainer, find out what their certifications
are, and then find out if their certifications are certified by NCCA [National
Commission for Certifying Agencies] -- a group that will help you learn if
those letters after your trainer's name really mean anything," he says.
Thompson says the fitness industry is working to establish universal
accreditation guidelines, which will help make it easier to choose a
Workout Trend No. 2: Strength Training
While lifting weights isn't exactly new, experts say that more and more
people will benefit from this type of strength training in 2008.
Thompson says his worldwide survey of fitness professionals indicates that
many people will focus on using weights to increase or simply maintain
strength, particularly as the Baby Boomers head toward their 60s and
"It will be very common for most trainers to incorporate some form of
weight training into not only fitness routines, but also for programs that
focus on cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, and metabolic
disease management," like diabetes, Thompson says.
Fleming adds that many exercisers will likely mix strength and
cardiovascular workouts into a single new workout trend.
"Instead of doing a set of weight training and then resting, you do a
set and then go directly to anther exercise, engaging a totally different
muscle group, so there's no rest period in between," she says. "The
result is that you're working on different muscle groups but keeping your heart
rate up so you get the best of both types of workouts in less
Workout Trend No. 3: Core Training
Core training refers to exercises that strengthen and condition the
stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and back -- an area that ACE research
scientist and trainer Comana says is often in critical need of attention.
"In most people, the body has literally forgotten how to activate core
muscles, which is one reason we see so many back problems and poor
posture," Comana says.