Are you still looking for the perfect workout to help you reach your goals in 2018? We’ve got some suggestions for the best new ways to get fit this year.
It’s February and we’re officially one-twelfth of the way through 2018. That is, technically, enough time to successfully establish a new habit, and if you’ve managed to keep up or start a brand new fitness routine, that’s great! If you’re still looking for the right activities to keep you motivated and interested in your workouts, though, there’s no need to worry or beat yourself up. The bulk of the year is still ahead, and there’s no shame in working to reach your goals at your own pace.
If you’re tired of the usual gym routines and classes, we’ve got some suggestions to help you switch things up, try something new, and maybe find the right match for you and your fitness and martial arts goals in 2018. From boxing to basic functional training, we’ve got something to appeal to everyone.
Sure, boxercise isn’t new. And the aerobic workout’s primary source of inspiration, boxing, has been around for centuries. But there’s a reason that boxing consistently remains a popular new fitness trend after all of this time: it’s really that good. In addition to being a blast and an incredibly satisfying source of stress relief, a non-combat boxing-based workout can increase your cardiovascular health, improve your total body strength, help you to develop better hand-eye coordination and improve your body composition. There are also variations of these workouts to appeal to every fitness level and need, from trying it out in the privacy of your own home with a fitness video and a pair of boxing gloves, or to a group class at a proper boxing gym. If you find that you’re really enjoying boxing-inspired aerobics, you can even try your hand at more serious boxing competition training and/or light sparring.
2. High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT training is quickly becoming a fitness classic for many of the same reasons that boxing — which is also technically interval training, thanks to its round-based training with brief rest periods — is. It’s challenging but fun. It’s a great source of stress relief. And it’s a very effective form of exercise. HIIT training, done responsibly, will improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost your metabolism, and help you develop and maintain muscle mass. It can be done with little no equipment and a small amount of time. According to Shape Magazine, just 15 minutes of a HIIT workout three times a week will lead to more progress than an hour of steady-state cardiovascular training done on the same schedule. It’s also a great form of cross-training for martial arts.
3. Functional Fitness Training
As the Mayo Clinic explains this rising fitness trend, “functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.”
Basically, any any series of exercises that can replicate physical actions that you do in your life — and help you do them more safely and efficiently — can be considered part of this increasingly popular fitness method. Squats, deadlifts, and kettle bell exercises are all popular forms of functional fitness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, this type of workout is beneficial because, “functional exercises tend to use multiple joints and numerous muscles. Instead of only moving the elbows, for example, a functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life. Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to improve balance, agility and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.”
The ‘90s are back — and this retro flashback now includes fitness. Tae Bo, one of the most popular exercise trends to emerge in that decade, has returned with a whole new YouTube channel and a new series of boxing and Tae Kwon Do-inspired workouts from founder Billy Blanks. Whether you’re looking for a more boxing-heavy workout (which can be done with a pair of boxing gloves to add some weight and an extra challenge to the proceedings), an ab blast, or a low impact routine for older and/or injured populations, Blanks has you covered with his comprehensive collection of videos. There’s even an hour and a half-long Ultimate Anniversary edition available if you really want to take your Tae Bo to the next level. Just grab your boxing gloves and an internet connection and go!