Shape up or ship out: fitness #trends

There are many fitness choices if you want to tone up or slim down. If you find the right workout for you, getting in shape needn’t be a painful experience. If being out and about is your thing, incentives such as exercise trackers and playing tunes on your iPod could spur you on nicely. Or if you’re feeling sociable, there are clubs or classes to suit the fussiest fitness fanatic.

Exercising little and often is probably the most gentle option. Thankfully, health clubs are popping up all over the country so there’s bound to be somewhere near you. David Lloyd offer state-of-the-art facilities with gyms, swimming pools and a huge range of classes. They often have tempting taster membership deals which can give you an idea if it’s right for you. In addition to more typical classes such as aerobics and circuit training, David Lloyd also offers the interestingly titled Sufferfest. Perhaps inspired by Team GB’s cycling success in the 2012 Olympics, this video-based, indoor cycling programme is increasing in popularity in the UK; it gives riders the chance to virtually compete on world-class courses such as the Tour de France and UCI World Championships.


Also proving popular in the world of fitness are martial arts inspired techniques. Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is rumoured to be the fastest growing sport in the world and is attracting new fans all the time. It’s a full-contact combat sport which allows opponents to use striking and grappling. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is probably the best known MMA fighting organisation and the increasing coverage of its fights demonstrates the sport’s appeal. As with boxing, MMA fighters are categorised according to weight; UFC champ Conor McGregor went up another weight class to face Nate Diaz. McGregor went home licking his wounds but as the two square up again, the bets are flooding in at Coral. MMA looks set to grow and if you fancy an all-over body workout, you could do worse than joining one of the many clubs available.

If contact sports are not your thing, interval training is a great way to burn calories and get in shape. Proven to be more beneficial than longer periods of steady state training, this approach combines short periods of high intensity exercise with longer periods of low intensity recovery periods. Interval training can be tough, especially for a beginner, so if you are new to regular exercise, try building up your stamina by doing some cardio training before working interval training into your routine. This fitness technique has a proven success rate and seems to rely on the principal that during the high intensity period, your body burns carbs for energy and then during low intensity, it burns fat to aid the body’s recovery. So it’s a win-win type of exercise if you’re tough enough!


Most importantly, if you’re trying to get in shape, stick with it. A lot of people reach that lull where they feel their efforts aren’t paying off. One of the top tips for fitness success is perseverance and with the many options available, you can find the right exercise routine for you. Healthy is happy!






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