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The Top Fitness Trends You Need to Know for 2020

the top fitness and exercise trends to know for 2020 to keep New Year's resolution

What are the top fitness trends for 2020? Many of us (almost all of us) have a new year’s resolution that involves exercise, and getting or staying in shape. Our correspondent (and kick-boxing instructor) Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of the top fitness trends you need to know for 2020. No excuses this year, dear reader — there’s something out there for all of us.

what are the top fitness trends for 2020?

It’s that time of year again. Ready to re-evaulate your exercise regime and re-commit to another year of reaching those fitness goals? No? Me neither.

the top fitness and exercise trends to know for 2020 to keep New Year's resolution

the top fitness and exercise trends to know for 2020 to keep New Year’s resolution

But one thing that does help is getting a glimpse of what the top fitness trends of the new year are. Perhaps there is something novel or something you never thought of that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. (Full disclosure, as we delve into the world of personal fitness: our CEO is a board member of Peloton).

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After all, getting fit and healthy is often not a linear process. What works for that impossibly-toned celebrity trainer on Instagram might not work for everyone’s lifestyle. It’s more interesting when there is room for discovery and experimentation.

the fitness trends to know for 2020

In that spirit, here are 7 of the most important fitness trends of 2020 to get you started. Pick and choose what inspires you.

1. Shorter workouts

Sound too good to be true? Not anymore. If you’ve ever participated in a one hour workout at a boutique studio, you know that that one hour easily requires a 1.5 hour commitment- traveling there and back, gabbing with other members post-class, showering (or dry-shampooing as the case may be.) 

SLT (which stands for Strengthen Lengthen Tone) is a popular Pilates-based workout that runs 50-minutes long. Other upscale studios like Pure Yoga and Mile High Run Club and elite gyms like Equinox all offer intense 30-minute express sweat sessions.

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Don’t have half an hour? No problem. Micro-HIIT is also a thing now. In fact, fitting in two to three minutes of high intensity interval training (think high knees, jump squats and burpees) throughout your day helps rid your body of cellular debris, stimulating the production of stem cells.

the top fitness and exercise trends to know for 2020 to keep New Year’s resolution

2. Mental health fitness

This year will see an increase in mental health awareness and wellness. As we are all aware, cortisol, the “stress hormone” is known to increase visceral fat. Group fitness classes both online and in-person will incorporate meditation and breath work alongside jumping jacks and push-ups to address our frenzied modern lives.

There’s also a focus on digital detoxing despite all the latest and greatest fitness tech available. There will be a rise in tech-free fitness studios like Woom, StretchLab and Unplug Meditation which prioritize mindfulness and recovery. And even if you never achieve the abs of your dreams, a peaceful state of mind is not a bad consolation prize.

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3. Cardio dance

There’s only so much running or yoga you can do before boredom strikes. Cardio dance is ripe for re-branding and having at least another 15 minutes of glory. 305 Fitness, a wild and empowering dance based workout with live studio DJs and club-lighting, has been steadily expanding in major metropolitan areas.

Not a former bunhead or fly girl? No problem. Try “Animal Flow” at places like Equinox and Gold’s Gym- a primal movement dance workout that involves moving your body like a caveman. It’s all about bringing a feeling of exaltation and fun to a workout and nothing accomplishes that better than rhythmic movements to hot beats.   

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4. High-Intensity Low-Impact interval training

HIIT has been the buzzword in exercise for at least a decade. Efficient calorie burn and increased metabolism, what’s not to love? Except the stress on the joints from all that jumping around. HILIT embraces the benefits of HIIT but uses low-impact exercises to achieve similar results without all that wear and tear.

 new year's resolution exercise

Fitness trends to know to help meet your 2020 New Year’s resolution regarding exercise.

Rowing, swimming and barre are popular forms of HILIT. But exercises like walking lunges, mountain climbers, and bear crawls all fit the bill. Even if you’re an adrenaline junkie, it might not be a bad idea to incorporate a day of HILIT for the longevity of your body.

5. Wearable Tech

Fitness trackers will continue to become more sophisticated and our workout clothes will follow suit. In addition to the usual metrics, smart watches like K’Watch Athlete can monitor your lactic acid levels in real-time.

Another tracker, PUSH, attaches to your body or weight equipment to measure power and velocity for 400-plus exercises, ensuring you maintain focus and never lose form.

Yoga pants aren’t just for lounging around in anymore. The Nadi X legging has patented technology with integrated sensors that provide feedback via an App to assist you in keeping proper alignment.

new year's resolution exercise

The top fitness trends you need to know for 2020 to keep your new year’s resolution regarding exercise: Nadi x leggings wearable tech. Courtesy Photo.

For runners, there’s Sensoria Fitness Socks which use advanced textile sensors to detect precise data on how your foot lands while walking or running. It also tracks steps, speed, altitude and distance.

If you’re committing time and energy to a workout, you might as well know for sure that you’re doing it right.

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6. Buddy up

Weekends used to be all about brunch with friends. In 2020, more of your friends will be trying to coordinate a group kickboxing class instead.

the top fitness and exercise trends to know for 2020 to keep New Year’s resolution

The social workout is the new happy hour. ClassPass now includes new features to share completed workouts with friends and plan new classes together. Similarly, Strava, the social fitness network for runners builds a sense of community online. Record an activity and it goes to your Strava feed, where friends and followers can share their own races and workouts. Or give kudos to great performances and leave comments on friends’ activities.

It turns out people are 26% less likely to cancel a workout if it means inconveniencing a friend and are 25% more likely to test out a new type of exercise if they bring a friend along. Peer pressure for the win.

7. Megaformer Workouts

What do Meghan Markle, Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama have in common? They all love the Megaformer. According to ClassPass, users attended more than a million Megaformer classes in 2019- a jump of almost 40 percent.

the top fitness trends to know in 2020

The top fitness trends you need to know for 2020 to keep your new year’s resolution regarding exercise: the SLT Megaformer. Courtesy Photo.

It’s a machine invented in the early 2000’s similar to a Pilates reformer. But with two additional platforms and adjustable handlebars to facilitate more exercises. The full-body workout uses slow and controlled movements which activate the slow-twitch, fat-burning muscle fibers in the body. Despite its slow pace, it’s by no means easy. If you haven’t tried it yet, there are over 300 Lagree Fitness studios across the country and thirteen SLT studios in the New York area, as well as all along the East Coast.

the top fitness trends for 2020

Whatever your fitness resolutions may be in the New Year, we think there’s something on this list that will help make your goals a little easier and more fun to reach. What’s on your fitness list to try in 2020? 

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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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