2018 Fitness Trends

Today I'm sharing and offering my thoughts on the 2018 fitness trends put together by the American College of Sports Medicine.

2018 Fitness Trends

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts

I've definitely seen HIIT workouts becoming bigger here in Calgary over the last few years, so I can understand why it's in the top spot for 2018. There's even boot camps that only provide HIIT classes. If you're short on time HIIT workouts are the perfect way to get in a great workout in a shorter amount of time. If you haven't tried one yet, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try at some point this year.

Group training

Small group training is such a great idea if you and a friend or two would like to invest in some personal training at a lower price point. You get a lot of attention, while also having the fun and motivation of working out with a friend – it's almost the best of both group fitness and one on one personal training. To get the most out of this option, make sure you and your friend(s) are of similar fitness levels and you have similar goals.

Wearable technology

Again, this doesn't surprise me, considering how popular FitBits, Garmins, and smart watches are right now. Devices that measure heart rate can be really helpful when planning and going through workouts. Even if fitness isn't really your thing but you're interested in becoming a bit more active, wearable technology that measures steps can be a great motivator to get moving more throughout the day.

Body weight training

I'm glad that this kind of training is still trending because you can get in a great workout with a minimal amount of equipment using body weight exercises. It's perfect for when you're just starting out and don't have a lot of equipment at home to use or when you're traveling.

Strength training

This is another one that I'm glad is on the list. Strength training is so important (see this post I wrote about the benefits of strength training for more details). Canadian physical activity guidelines suggest that you strength train at least twice per week, although more is always better. The guidelines for the US are also very similar.

Educated and experienced fitness professionals

This is such an important thing that I'm really glad makes the list in 2018. If you're going to hire a fitness professional, make sure they're qualified and know what they're talking about. Ask  what kind of certification they have, and then do your own research to find out what that certification entails. Generally the more education a fitness professional has, the larger scope of practice they have and therefore more knowledge they have. Not all personal trainers are equal. Make sure their certification requires them to obtain continuing education credits to maintain their certification. How do you know this? Just ask them. More details can be found in this post I write about finding a qualified personal trainer.

Yoga

I think a lot of people are realizing that they need to slow down a bit, that the go go go mentality just isn't sustainable 24/7. I know that when I'm in a class, I'm there on my mat and not thinking about all the other stuff that's on my to do list or what I need to do to prepare for tomorrow. Being present can be a struggle for me sometimes, but it's a lot easier when I'm in a yoga class.

Personal training

If you're coming back from an injury, newly diagnosed with a health condition, or working towards a fitness goal, personal training can be really useful for you. Having someone guide you along the way can be helpful when you're not sure how to proceed on your own. In addition, the accountability can be really motivating. I might be a bit biased, but I think personal training can be a great investment in your health.

Fitness programs for older adults

I've found that there are now more offerings for older adult fitness classes in the last few years. I think it's great because being active can help improve quality of life and keep people independent for longer. I think there are also a lot of positive social interactions that wouldn't be happening otherwise too.

Functional fitness

I've never really understood this term. I think most fitness should be functional, so what's the point of calling it functional fitness?  There should be a good reason for every single exercise that's in a workout. If you're working with a trainer and unsure of why they're having you do a particular move, ask them about it. I love explaining that kind of stuff to my clients, and I'm sure that most personal trainers do.

If you want to check out the list for yourself, you can find the list here.

What's one trend that you see being big in 2018?

My Aha Moment

My Aha Moment

I've been working with Katy Widrick for the last few months. Now that I'm done school and have my personal training certification, I want to create some income online. I have all kinds of ideas, but it's overwhelming because I'm unsure how to execute them. I don't know which idea to start with or how to actually start. I'd start down one road, get frustrated that I wasn't sure how to continue with it, and then start something else.

With Katy's help I've been able to focus on one thing at a time. I know the steps that I have to take to reach my goal. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and be accountable to has been so good for me. It makes such a difference and keeps me on track.

During January's call at the beginning of the month we were talking about how much I had left to do on the project that I was currently working on. We discussed the next steps once I have it complete, such as setting up some plugins and how to actually get my product to people. She then mentioned that this is just the beginning. While this will be the first product that I'll be selling, she said that once I have it done, it's not that much harder or different to sell other things. She then started listing off some ideas for me to consider for the future.

As soon as she started talking about the other possibilities, I was shocked. I was working so hard and focused so much on my current project, I had never really thought about the future or how I could use what I'm learning right now to scale my business and grow it in the future.

Working on Laptop

Part of it is that I wasn't sure if I'd be successful. While I've been blogging for years, selling something online is completely new to me. Because of that, I wasn't sure if I would be successful. It's scary not knowing whether something that I've put my hard work and passion into will be successful or not. Katy had faith in me and what I could build for myself. Here I was focusing on the little things, too scared to look down the road and see what it could become, but with Katy's help I could see what she saw for me too.

The crazy thing is that I didn't even realize that I was limiting myself. My focus was on smaller things, but Katy was able to show me the big picture that I was too scared and unsure of to look at. I didn't even realize that I was limiting what I could do or how successful I could become. I just assumed that I wouldn't be successful enough to do what she was saying that I could. Ironically, Katy believed in more more than I did myself.

It's a good reminder for me to not put limits on myself or what I can do. It's all too easy for me to get caught up in my doubts and be uncertain about what I can achieve. Instead I need to allow myself to succeed even more than I think I'll be able to. Putting limits on myself doesn't help move me forward at all.

Friday Favorites January 12 2018

Friday Favorites

Concussion movie and League of Denial documentary

I generally like Will Smith movies, so I thought I'd try watching Concussion when I was browsing Netflix. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it. In one of my classes last year we talked a lot about concussions, so I found the movie intriguing. I remember the prof talking about how serious concussions are, and that they can lead to some pretty serious lasting effects. I also watched the PBS documentary League of Denial, which also included interviews with Dr. Bennett Omalu, who Will Smith played in Concussion. You can watch the PBS documentary online here.

Vanilla Bean Noel products from Bath and Body Works

 Vanilla Bean Noel Bath and Body Works

One of my favorite lines of Bath and Body Works products are their Vanilla Bean noel line that they have every Christmas.  I got this in my stocking this year and I've really been enjoying it since Christmas. It's thicker than a moisturizer but it absorbs into my skin relatively quickly. And of course, my favorite part is that it smells amazing.

Posh Podcast

I recently heard about this podcast from Gina who blogs over at The Fitnessista. It's essentially a bunch of remixes by DJ's. It's the perfect thing to workout to, and I've downloaded a few episodes to listen to while I'm at the gym. I love that Posh Podcast saves me the time (and money) of making my own playlist and buying music. While not every song is my favorite, I'm really liking them for the most part.

Headspace app

Headspace App

I think I've mentioned Headspace on the blog before, but I wanted to share about it again. I've been using it a lot more regularly the last month or so. I recently paid for a year long subscription ( there's some meditations you can do for free to see how you like it, but if you want to do other ones you have to pay) and I'm so glad I did. For a lot of the meditations you have a couple options of how long you want to meditate for (3, 5, or 10 minutes for example). I typically do them when I get into bed for the night, but I have done them at other times of the day when I feel like I need a bit of relaxation. If you decide to subscribe, make sure you google promo codes for it. I used one of these on Retail Me Not and I saved 40% on a year long subscription.

What was one of your favorites from the last week?

5 Benefits of Strength Training

5 Benefits of Strength Training

Strength

It might seem obvious, but if you lift weights, you'll increase your strength. This is helpful not only in the gym, but also in daily life. You need strength in more things than you think you do. Increasing your strength makes everyday living easier. Muscle also burns more calories than fat – even when you're at rest. To burn more calories, you have to build more muscles, which means doing more strength training. Increased strength is useful in all sorts of every day things. From bringing groceries into the house from the car to lifting your kids into and out of the car, increasing your strength will be beneficial.

You'll also get stronger mentally 

Not only is strength training good for you physically, but also mentally. Committing to and following a training plan helps you have perseverance. It can be easy to skip a workout when you don't have anything planned, but when you have an upper body workout on your calendar, you're more likely to get that workout done. Achieving fitness goals feels amazing. Endorphins are released after workout which help to make you feel great. Being able to lift heavy things makes you realize that you can do hard things.

Decreases the chance of being injured

Using your body and exercising helps to keep it healthy. Strength training creates stronger tendons and ligaments along with muscles. This in turn creates stronger joints. In addition, you're also more likely to use proper posture because your muscles are strong (and if you're using a balanced strength training program) you can help deal with some existing posture problems. So many people slouch because of sitting in front of a computer at work all week. Strengthening the back muscles and core can help with that.

It's good for your bones

I think just about everyone knows that as you age, you bones become less dense. This is especially an issue for women as their hormones change during and after menopause. Lifting weights can actually help keep your bones from losing their density as you get older. While it won't stop it completely, strength training can definitely make a difference.

More confidence

This was a huge one for me. A few years ago, the weight room wasn't a place I felt comfortable, so I didn't spend much time there. As a result, I didn't use barbells, I didn't use heavy dumbbells (those things were kept in the weight room of the gym). However once I started getting out of my comfort zone and using the weight room, my confidence went way up. It was definitely scary walking up to a squat rack for the first time, but I'm so glad I did. Now it's not an intimidating thing at all and it feel very comfortable to be in the weight room with all the equipment that I wasn't sure how to use before.

More on strength training

Interested in getting starting with strength training? Check out this post for the basics on the 4 different kinds of strength training. If you're a complete beginner when it comes to lifting weights, it's probably a good idea to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to make sure your form is good (bad form is an easy way to get injured). If personal training isn't in your budget, most gyms will have an intro to weight lifting class, where you'll get all the basics you need to know (good form, how to use the equipment) to get started in the weight room.

5 Ways I Deal with the Winter Blues

Anyone else who lives in a place who gets cold, snowy weather 6 months out of the year will understand what I mean by the winter blues. It can be tough to deal with when a simple trip to the grocery store involves putting on several layers of clothes, boots, and then warming up the car for a few minutes before braving the icy streets. For example, it was -40 (both Celsius and Fahrenheit) here in Calgary on New Year's Eve, so the city's planned outdoor activities had to be cancelled because it was just too cold to be outside for any length of time.

Needless to say, it can be easy to get the winter blues when the weather is terrible and the days are short. Some days it feels like winter will go on forever. It's easy to get down during this time of year. Today I thought I'd share of few of the ways I use to deal with the winter blues.

 5 Ways I Deal with the Winter Blues

Get outside

Winter Walk

Sometimes all you can do is embrace the cold temperatures and snow and ice. While I would definitely pick to take a walk on a warm summer day over going for one during the winter, snowy walks work too. Some of the outdoor activities you can try during the winter are snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or skating. Take advantage of whatever equipment you have (renting equipment is also an option) and get outside to take in the fresh air and a bit of vitamin D.

Volunteer

It's easy to get stuck in my head when I'm constantly focused on myself – with work, family, and friends, it's easy to focus on what's going on in my little world. I've found that doing something for someone else makes it easier to get out of a funk. Being a part of something bigger than myself and giving back to my community gets me out of my own head.

Eat healthy food

Salad

While it's definitely tempting to eat lots of unhealthy comfort food during the winter, I know that making sure that I get in my fruits and veggies will ensure that I feel my best. Even though it would be nice to eat mac and cheese and chili all the time to keep me warm and full, I always feel better when I make sure I have lots of variation in my diet. I know the prices for fresh fruit can be higher places where they're not grown locally, I like to take advantage of sales when they happen. In addition I find frozen fruits and vegetables are another more affordable option.

Stay social

With the sun going down early (right now the sun sets before 5 pm) and slick roads, it's easy to cancel plans in favor of staying home on the couch. I know for me that staying social throughout the winter helps with my mood. Not only does it get me out of the house, but I always feel recharged after having dinner or going to a movie with my friends. Similar with the volunteering, making sure that I get out of the house for something fun helps to get me out of my bubble where it's easy to feel blue.

Exercise

Workout

You knew that exercise had to be on the list considering that this is a healthy living blog, right? Part of being social for me is going to the gym. Even if I don't talk to anyone while I'm working out, I almost always feel better just getting out of the house. Workouts leave me feeling great (there's got to be something going for those endorphins). I typically workout first thing in the morning, and it feels good to cross something off my to do list before 7 am.

Lastly, if you've been feeling down and are having trouble shaking the winter blues, make a doctor's appointment and discuss it. It's not worth suffering through if it's more than just feeling down for a few days. Your doctor can help figure out if it's more than just the winter blues and come up with some treatment options and ways to deal with it.

How do you deal with the winter blues?