Three New Fitness Trends for the Over 50 Woman
What do you need to know about this year’s fitness trends? How can they help you avoid mistakes and leap into the back of the closet skinny jeans? Here’s the hot-off-the-bench-press update on how to keep your future fit.
The trend watch for 2016 began late last year. The American College of Sports Medicine reported results of its 10th annual worldwide survey of fitness professionals in December. You can read highlights of that here.
What’s new even since last December is the American Council on Exercise’s response to industry trends. These two entities certify a large portion of certified fitness professionals worldwide. When either of them speak, the fitness industry listens.
The overlap of the ACSM and ACE information align nicely with studies directed at the savvy prime exerciser who wants to balance hormones. These three trends will be important to you in the coming year. Not accidentally, these three trends compliment your goals and needs collectively.
1. Return to Steady State
It’s not a sign that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that has topped the trend charts for the last couple years is dead. The trend is moving to a more balanced combination of steady state and HIIT instead of so much emphasis on HIIT as “it.”
Steady state, by definition, is longer endurance exercise. The key to keeping it at a hormone-balancing duration is to keep it 75 or fewer minutes if you’re working at a moderate level. Lower intensity all-day pace activities can also be excellent. Take the morning and go for a hike. Play a round of golf while you walk pulling or pushing your clubs.
Traditionally, lower intensity activities aren’t high calorie-burners. For that reason they aren’t selected first by women whose primary goal is to lose weight. These kinds of activities however, support hormone balancing which is the key that can unlock the door to weight loss.
If you’re working your way through hormone imbalances either from menopause, stress, or lifestyle habits the reintroduction of steady state is a win. Perform HIIT once or twice for optimal benefits. More, potentially, increases risk of injury and begins to send hormones out of balance.
What does a balance of HIIT and steady state look like? Perform your intervals on Monday and Thursday. Have a long slow workout on Saturday. Include more Non-exercise Activity Time (NEAT) on the days in between.
2. More Rest and Recovery
It’s a forgotten art. Authors, including this one, who cater to females or athletes over 50 have been hot on this trend for years. The rest of the population is catching up. The rewards have always been for working harder, more often, and longer. The memes on social media too often have suggested you need to work harder. Finally, you’ll have a sane message.
The real benefits of exercise are realized between the workouts. Your unique need for rest and recovery should determine your exercise schedule. What the fitness industry is realizing is that boot camps and pre-determined schedules negate is that the participants drawn to benefits of their services don’t all have the same recovery needs.
If you, for instance, are a slow recoverer and register for a four-day a week class where everyone does the work intervals and the recovery together, your personal needs may be overlooked. Instead of getting fitter and better you could be heading for more fatigue at best and more risk of injury at worst.
Rest doesn’t mean massage and naps. Though it might include them. A workout can create the need for recovery or be recovery. A leisurely swim or bike ride is recovery-enhancing.
3. Health Coaching
While health coaching itself isn’t new, health coaching certifications have become much more prevalent and accessible. There is a trend by personal trainers as well as nutritionists to add health coaching to their skill set. What does that mean for you? You’ll get goal-setting support not only during your workout, but for your choices between sessions.
If you’ve started and stopped exercise and diets unsuccessfully, a health coach might make a significant difference for you. You need both the scientific knowledge and steady support to grow your confidence. You’ll work on lifestyle habits and experience small consistent successes.
While you might look at a failed diet as a failure period, with a health coach it becomes data. It’s information. What happened to interrupt you? Was it really your goal? Was the goal outcome something you had no control over? Those questions a coach may ask you to discover how to reroute. What a coach really does best is help you see you are in charge. You make the choices.
Thinking about hiring a coach? Ask about a coach’s experience level. Some certifications for health coaching don’t require any degree or prerequisite to sit for an exam. If you need advice about exercise science or how to cope with a particular condition you’ll want to do a thorough search for a coach who offers the whole package.
There were a few more common denominators among the rising trends identified by ACSM and ACE:
- You’re looking for an experience more than just a workout. Small studios and boutiques are on the rise and large impersonal boot camps may fall further out of favor.
- You want all-in-one workouts so you can get your strength training, cardio, and flexibility all done efficiently.
- You want to know why and like feedback. Wearable technology is still on the rise for the insight it offers about heart rate, sleep, NEAT, and this fits nicely with health coaching so your coach knows what you’re up to without labor-intensive logging.
- In keeping with your desire to know “why” you should do something, expect workshops that help you take charge in planning your own health journey.
Overall the future’s looking bright. What would you like to see more or less of?