As we head into fall, it’s a natural time for many people to reassess their fitness goals. With the cooler temperatures and familiar rain clouds gradually pushing us back indoors, we’re likely to spend more time sitting in front of the TV, at our computers, or at a desk. In order to balance these sedentary behaviors, it’s important to maintain a regular fitness routine and look for ways to incorporate extra opportunities for physical exercise into your daily activities.
2016 has seen the rise of multiple fitness trends, and as we make our way through the second half of the year, it appears that several of these trends are here to stay. Whether you’re a dedicated runner, avid cycler, or if you already have a favorite workout at the gym, why not try incorporating one of these popular and effective exercise styles into your routine? Keeping variety in your fitness practice helps to prevent boredom and engages different parts of your body, and as an additional bonus, each of these training styles are fairly easy to practice at home!
1. HIIT & Bodyweight: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become popular for one reason—it works. Fitness experts agree that people who push themselves through short HIIT routines will see great improvements in their cardiovascular strength and endurance. On an intensity scale of 1-10, HIIT workouts should be performed at about an eight or higher. While the workouts may be quite challenging, they are over quickly and will leave you feeling very accomplished! Another major benefit of HIIT training is that your metabolism remains elevated hours after working out, so you’ll continue to burn calories throughout the day as your muscles repair and replenish their energy stores . Fortunately there are many popular fitness instructors streaming their workouts online, and YouTube is an excellent place to follow a structured HIIT workout from the ease of your home.
2. Yoga: Yoga isn’t a new trend, but it has definitely experienced a resurgence in 2016. So far this year the practice has been reinvented in a myriad of ways, giving rise to varieties such as stand-up paddling boarding yoga, “meowga” (yoga with cats!), aerial yoga, and Yoga Sculpt with weights. Luckily the more traditional styles of yoga are still going strong, so it’s pretty easy to find a local studio offering Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, or Bikram classes. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to practice yoga at home, then there are many resources to help you get started on a home practice. YouTube is a wonderful place to search for online classes, and reputable teachers such as Tara Styles, Kino McGregor, Adriene Mishler, and Lesley Fightmaster frequently upload videos. While yoga might not seem like the heaviest hitter in terms of burning calories, the practice still boasts many amazing health benefits. For example, yoga can increase flexibility, improve muscle strength, correct poor posture, and help with blood circulation (great for reversing the effects of excess sitting!). And some of the fast moving Vinyasa yoga also gives your heart rate up. Beyond its benefits for physical health, yoga helps to calm the mind and improve sleep patterns . Why not experience some of yoga’s great properties by spending time on the mat this fall?
3. Strength Training: Lifting weights may seem like an intimidating form of exercise, however strength training can be tailored to any fitness level and it is one of the most effective ways of reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. As we age the lean muscle mass in our body atrophies as fat tissue increases, so to preserve muscle mass individuals should begin regular strength training. Moreover, strength training can help to increase bone mass, boost metabolism, and even enhance mental acuity . Lifting weights, using resistance bands, and working against your own bodyweight are all effective methods of strength training, and it’s easy to perform each of them at home. Both free weights and resistance bands are readily available at sporting goods stores, and there are a variety of resources on the Internet that can help you get started strength training. As with yoga, many fitness instructors upload strength training classes on YouTube, so there is no excuse not to try out a free workout! Some popular YouTube channels to look for are Fitness Blender, Tone it Up, Blogilates, XHIT, and GymRa.
Do you feel inspired to keep fit this Fall? Will you be trying one of these popular fitness trends over the next few months? Keep in mind that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and not a quick fix for weight loss. As long as you nourish your body with good food and move your body regularly, you will look and feel great!
 McCall, Pete. “8 Reasons HIIT Workouts Are So Effective.” ACE Fit. The American Council on Exercise, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
 McCall, Timothy. “38 Health Benefits of Yoga.” Yoga Journal. Cruz Bay Publications, 28 Aug. 2007. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
 Mayo Clinic Staff. “Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.