Trends 2018, Part II – Fitness: Stick with Old, Add in the New

In the health and wellness field, this idea of ‘exercise is medicine’ has been found to have a significant impact on our health. Getting in shape, staying fit, keeping up a regular regimen of exercise and physical activity are as important to healthy living as your diet, nutrition, and food choices. Indeed, maximizing the number of minutes of physical activity and minimizing the number of calories are two sides of the same coin. All of it is complementary and mutually reinforcing.

So we are always interested in what’s new on the fitness front. And we asked our expert, Samantha Clayton, and a handful of members of our Fitness Advisory Boards (FABs) for their outlook for 2018.

What the Experts Say

Sam’s Take: Traditional Fitness Meets New Methods & Technology

Samantha Clayton, Senior Director, Worldwide Sports Performance & Fitness

The field of fitness and exercise in the 21st century remains a mix of new approaches and old. New classes, programming, and choreography, in hopes of keeping it exciting and fresh, enhance traditional training methods. Running and cycling are still popular, but the past year saw the return of the 1980s rebounder trampoline craze, the continued expansion of High Intensity Training (HIIT) protocols, and growing participation in competition-based fitness like mud runs, 5Ks, and triathlons.

At the same time, as in pretty much every facet of life, society and the economy, technology is a constant driver of the exercise revolution – especially as more wearable devices come online and a wider array of apps appear on our smartphones, all of them offering people simple and easy ways to monitor their activity day by day, minute by minute.

For now, though, let’s highlight three trends that we expect to progress, emerge, or burst on the scene in 2018.

First, cross training styles are here to stay—it’s simply too effective of a way to seamlessly blend building muscle with working on your cardio all at once. It remains suitable for beginners or experienced exercisers. It can be tailored to each individual’s goals. It is a recognized strategy for everything from weight loss to weight maintenance to sports performance.

And that’s before people become more and more aware of the positive metabolic and body composition results sparked by these workouts. Suffice is to say, this dynamic and versatile regimen will keep trending upward year after year into the foreseeable future.

Second, as noted by Salvatore Nocerino, an Herbalife Nutrition fitness consultant and FAB member in Italy, the ABC style of training will keep growing and thriving, in Europe and around the world. Short for Athletic Body Conditioning, ABC combines body weight training, weight lifting, and choreographed movements using a single step and other simple equipment. It’s high-energy and highly stylized, with workouts that rely heavily on music of momentum, rhythm, and results. It emphasizes the importance of stretching, developing muscle, building a strong and stable core, and improving coordination.

Perhaps most important of all, ABC training is fun, well rounded, and effective – and its reach is expected to expand in 2018 and beyond.

Third, Chappy Callanta, another Herbalife Nutrition FAB member and coach from the Asia Pacific, believes that online and distance coaching will see a steady climb in demand, popularity, and usage in the year ahead. Technology is simply making these kinds of interactions easier, so you can find the coach you want and the guidance you need, wherever you are. Not only that, but this approach to coaching is likely to include a more holistic form of mentoring, taking into account people’s physical, nutritional, and psychosocial goals at the same time. It’ll help them recognize and alter their daily habits and utilize motivation techniques to facilitate behavioral change for the better. All of which will be key, in 2018 and long past that, to a sustainable, healthy, and active lifestyle.

No matter which trend you choose, one thing is for sure: the “exercise is medicine” movement is fast becoming a fact of life. The medical community is on board. So are top health care experts. They see it as a positive public health initiative for preventative care and disease risk management.

So if nothing else, the trend toward greater fitness as a pathway to health will continue.

John Agwunobi, M.D., MBA, MPH – Co-President and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer

John AgwunobiM.D., MBA, MPH – Co-President and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer

Dr. Agwunobi holds an MPH from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from Georgetown University. He completed his pediatric residency at Howard University and is currently a licensed physician in Florida and Maryland. In previous roles, he served as senior vice president and president of health and wellness for Walmart, as well as Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.