January 10, 2018

‘Returning to play,’ HIIT and Live-streamed classes: Purdue expert available to talk top fitness trends for 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It’s high-tech meets old school as a Purdue University fitness expert looks at some of the top fitness trends for the new year, which include cryotherapy, wearable technology and fitness classes that feature game play as exercise.

Cassandra Ledman, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, says, “This list shows where we can expect people to be spending their time and money this year. While not everyone enjoys the same thing, trying one of these options can provide a needed change of pace and added motivation!”

Ledman says the top fitness trend for 2018 is high intensity interval training. Defined as exercise focused around short bursts of intense effort with short periods of rest/active recovery, she says it is efficient and has shown staying power. New versions of HIIT have also developed, such as, HIIT Yoga. 

Wearable technology, such as smart watches, phones, bands, and even sunglasses, will remain hot in the new year, Ledman says. She believes the technology offers a great from of education, motivation and accountability to the wearer. 

Among other high-tech trends for 2018 are live-streamed classes, which offer a wealth of options for the person who is hard pressed to find time to get to a gym, and an increasing focus on recovery. From group classes for myofascial release and flexibility to advanced spa-like treatments of Cryotherapy and infrared sauna, many are increasing their focus on enhancing full body recovery and healing between workout sessions, she says. 

“Rest and recovery are a part of the exercise program.  Pushing yourself to exhaustion will not only increase risk of injury, but will also lead to diminished health, diminished performance gains and burnout”

As interest in personal training declines, Ledman says group training - with five or more people focused on various outcomes/goals or generalized fitness - is increasing in popularity. Group training is more cost effective than personal training, but still enables a more personal coach-like environment with social support from others.

Classes focused on getting people fit while having fun and ‘playing games’ are growing in popularity, as well, Ledman says.

 “We all know exercise isn’t everyone’s idea of ‘fun’, but try to integrate things you enjoy into your exercise program; there are so many options,” she says. “Don’t adopt an exercise program you hate.  Find something you like, or at least reasons you like it, such as, the endorphin rush when you finish, the sense of accomplishment when completing a personal best, how your jeans fit better, etc. Simply find your motivator!”

Ledman also says body weight training, which is free and utilizes retro-style exercise like pushups, planks and squats, continues to grow in popularity.

She is available to talk about and demonstrate these trends, as well as offer advice on beginning a new workout program and exercising in cold weather. 

Writer: Tim Doty, 765-496-2571, doty2@purdue.edu

Source: Cassandra Ledman, 765-494-3159, cledman@purdue.edu 

Note to Journalists: Ledman is available for interviews in person and via phone and Facetime. Please contact Tim Doty 765-496-2571, doty2@purdue.edu, to schedule. 

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