Your Guide to 2017 Fitness Trends
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It's New Year's resolution time—which means it's an opportune moment to decide how you can be your personal best this year. What better way to hop on the bandwagon than to dig into the hottest new fitness trends? The experts over at the American Council on Exercise ranked their predictions for 2017, from studio fitness to health-care costs. Here, the top five you should look out for.
1. Trading SUVs for Steps
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Millennials in cities are walking more than using any other mode of transportation, according to a study by the American Public Transportation Association. What does that mean for fitness? More exercise logged during traveling and commuting, and less time spent on the treadmill in the gym.
2. Specialized Sport Studios
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UFC Gyms create a workout atmosphere similar to a training facility for MMA fighters like Ronda Rousey (who's really freaking badass). Other studios like Epic Hybrid Training specialize in prepping for a Spartan or other obstacle races. Equipment brands like StairMaster have aligned with specific brands too (check out their Spartan race training machine). ACE predicts that more and more studios and gyms will align with pro sports leagues so you can train like your favorite athletes—whether they're traditional (read: football and basketball) or up-and-coming (like Spartan or MMA).
3. Work Out and Chill
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More and more people are streaming their entertainment (hi, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO NOW subscriptions)—so why should workouts be any different? Gone are the days of repeating the same workout DVD for days on end. Now, workout-on-demand streaming options not only offer a variety of workouts at the click of a button, but you can take live classes in real-time with real instructors too. Take the cycling studio Peloton, for example, which allows you to stream a live class directly from one of their studios, or the Facebook Live workouts you can do along with the #ShapeSquad.
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If you're a ClassPass convert or prefer to take your spin classes at one boutique, your yoga classes at another, and your HIIT classes at a third location, you understand the lure of the studio atmosphere. But if the elimination of the Unlimited ClassPass membership has you re-thinking your choice, there's good news: Big-box gyms are noticing the studio craze and are trying to create a studio-within-a-gym feel in their own locations. According to ACE, more and more health clubs are creating separate spaces for studio-style classes—but you probably already noticed the upgraded spin bikes and new turf area in your gym.
5. Using Your Tracker for Health-Care Savings
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In March 2016, UnitedHealthcare announced a wellness program that offered a financial incentive for staying active, as verified by an activity tracker. This is, hopefully, just the first of many companies to use new tracker tech to encourage healthy lifestyles and offer a bonus cash-money incentive for doing so.