Health

Fitness Trends: What's Smart for Your Heart?

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Trendy exercises come and go, just like trendy clothing and foods. Whether you should join in depends on your interest, motivation and fitness level. “Different things work well for different people,” says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D. “What’s great is that there are so many options today that make working out more of a fun or social activity than a daily chore.” 

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Hot Fitness Options

Body-weight training, using your own body weight as a form of resistance training (such as push-ups, squats, lunges, etc.), and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery, top the list of top trends for 2015, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s latest annual survey. Also on the list:

  • Forms of yoga (including Power Yoga, Yogalates and hot Bikram Yoga)
  • Group personal training (with two or three people at the same time)
  • Outdoor activities (hiking, canoeing, kayaking)
  • Circuit training (a group of 6 to 10 exercises that are completed one after another in a predetermined sequence. Each exercise is performed for a certain number of reps before having a quick rest and moving on to the next exercise)
  • Boot camp (highly structured activities modeled on military-style training)

Past trends have included such now-familiar workouts as Pilates, Zumba®, indoor cycling, stability ball workouts and more—and there are new ideas being introduced all the time.

“There’s no one way to work out,” Martin says. For heart health, what matters is that you meet, and ideally exceed, the CDC guidelines to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, he says.

Tracking your progress with a wearable device is a hot trend that can add fun and motivate you to compete with others.

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Mix It Up for Fitness Fun

Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D., likes to get his workouts from a variety of sports. He participates in a tennis group, which pairs fitness with social time. “I also play golf—and try to walk the course rather than ride in a cart,” he says. He’s open to new fitness ideas as well. “A friend recently convinced me to try Zengo cycling—lots of spinning in a dark room with loud music to pump you up,” Martin says. “It’s nice when exercise is not just a task but a fun part of the day.”

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