Activity trackers. Apps. Fitness playlists. When did exercise become so complicated? We look at 4 of the top fitness trends predicted for 2017, and whether they are more likely to help or hinder you in achieving your weight loss goals.
Invisible activity trackers
Rather than your stock standard pedometer, or fitness trackers you wear on your wrist, there in an increasing trend towards “invisible” trackers- the kinds that are part of fitness clothing or shoes, can easily and inconspicuously be clipped on to clothes, or stuck to skin.
While these types of trackers might be more comfortable during exercise, and are appealing just because they are a new exciting thing, the logistics aren’t quite there yet. Most of us are interested in our overall activity levels through the whole day not just one workout, including walking during the work day, or climbing stairs, and plus visible fitness trackers can act as a bit of a reminder to be more active.
Workouts, eating plans, weight records- there are a lot of apps out there that offer fantastic results, and at a fairly low cost taking all things into consideration. There are plenty of people shouting their success from the rooftops with glowing before and after pics and testimonials.
Are apps the way to go for your weight loss? It all depends on you. The drop off rate for using these apps is quite high, with many doing well recording everything for a short while, but once the motivation wears off a little, all that work entering data can be more trouble than its worth.
If you are however the type that enjoys systems, tracking progress daily, and sticking to a plan these apps might just work for you.
Heart rate monitors
This is one trend that is doubtful to fade away, due to the sheer necessity of use by those who are either new to exercise, have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease, or have existing heart issues.
In these cases knowing your target heart rate, and being able to see changes in heart rate as you get fitter are not only important for safety but also in continuing motivation through visible results. They are also important for training with a PT or exercise physiologist who can guide you through safely pushing your boundaries of fitness and workout intensity.
Quite a few music platforms offer workout playlists, such as iTunes. Celebrity PT’s, sports brands, and others put together a list of songs for running, high intensity workouts, low intensity work outs etc. In theory this sounds like a quick and simple way to get the right type to exercise to without having to manually sort through your own music and compile a playlist yourself.
On the one hand this is fantastic to those who love to hear new music, but on the other hand the songs chosen might not be to your particular taste, and might serve more as a distraction than anything as you stop what you are doing to skip songs you don’t love.
Overall, if the music is at the right pace for the type of exercise you are doing, it might pay to put more time into your exercise and less into the prep, and just let the actual songs fade into the background as you concentrate on your technique or just plain being in the zone.