In the new year, there are a host of online pundits with predictions about health trends in 2020.
This week, we look at some of them and get thoughts from readers.
Tech-abetted home gyms here to stay
This prediction is courtesy of Andy Petranek, co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, who told Outside Magazine that in 2020, there will be a significant increase in the number of people who exercise using virtual training programs in their homes. While Peloton and Zwift might be on your radar, there are new programs by Mirror and Tonal that bring your gym and trainer to you at home.
Peloton, at least, seems to be catching on in area neighborhoods.
Oak Forest resident Charity Autry said she had tried everything over the past 30 years from running to classes, but it came to a point when her body could not take the constant impact.
“I needed to do cardio to stay healthy, but everything hurt,” Autry said. “I had a friend get a Peloton after a recommendation from her orthopedic surgeon. The Peloton has provided me a positive and always-changing cardio experience that works with my schedule and is non-impact.”
Mangum Manor resident Carolina Chavez agrees.
“We were at the YMCA for so many years and there have been periods when we wouldn’t step foot in the gym,” Chavez said. “The cost for the equipment appears high at first, but the membership is cheaper, so spread out over time is actually less expensive than the gym. In addition, the bike is in our bedroom. We literally roll out of bed, put the shoes on and trek for a good 45-minute workout.”
Even brick-and-mortar gyms are getting in on the home gym action. The owners of League Elite Training Facility on West 34th Street recently created their own app (www.terrythetrainerapp.com) for users to stream workouts with little to no equipment demonstrated by co-owner Terry Williams as well as to get diet help and other support.
Runners take your mark
Alex Hutchinson, Outside Sweat Science columnist, tells the magazine that 2020 will be the year of the runner. According to stats collected by RunningUSA, there was a running peak in 2013, when 19 million people signed up for U.S. road races. But since then, numbers have been in decline, hitting 18.1 million in 2018. Thanks to the Olympics this summer, the numbers are expected to increase.
Shepherd Park Plaza resident Kara D’Agostino said she enjoys running because she can do it anywhere – in her neighborhood, at a park, even at work.
“It is low cost and I can easily pack my sneakers for any trip I go on and find a running trail near where I am staying,” D’Agostino said. “I do prefer to run with a partner for the social aspect of it but also enjoy throwing in my headphones, turning on some ’80s beats and focusing on me for the time that I hit the pavement.”
Candlelight Place’s Shannon Benesch said that although burning calories is great, the mental health benefits are key.
“Running in the morning gives me time to reflect or just enjoy some quiet time alone before I face the day,” Benesch said.
Let wearable technology ‘encourage’ you
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) does an annual survey of worldwide fitness trends that is now in its 14th year.
No. 1 on the list this year is wearable technology, as it has been most years since 2016. This includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart-rate monitors and GPS tracking devices which can track heart rate, calories, sitting time and more. Wearable technology is about a $95 billion industry.
Everyone has their favorite, but Fitbit Versa, Apple Watch, Garmin, WHOOP and Fitbit Charge 3 got shout-outs in an informal poll.
“I use my Apple Watch and the Runkeeper app on my phone and love them both,” Crissy Wabnitz said. “My watch got a little sassy with me over the break telling me that I’m usually more active and maybe I should go exercise. It worked.”
Wellness coaches for accountability
The ACSM said this a growing movement to incorporate behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs. It uses a one-on-one or sometimes small-group approach, with a coach providing support, goal-setting, guidance and encouragement. Previous surveys included wellness coaching, but for the 2019 survey, the term “health” was added, which better describes the trend. Wellness coaching has been in the top 20 trends since 2010 and was listed as No. 17 in 2014 and No. 11 in 2019.
Rachel Hibbs, a certified nutrition coach with Stronger U Nutrition (https://strongeru.com/), said that support is the top feature of the program.
“The reason so many see great results is due to three things – accountability, ease of adherence and sustainability,” Hibbs said.
Personal trainers continue to trend
One-on-one training has been a top-10 trend in the ACSM survey since its inception. It continues to be as the profession of personal training becomes more available online, in health clubs, at home and in worksites that have fitness facilities.
Ricky Cruz, who runs HTX FightCamp (www.htxfightcamp.com) in the Heights with his wife, April, said they continue to grow their location because of demand. In addition to the 6,000 square feet of boxing fitness and weight equipment, Cruz said they have an in-house nutritionist, a personal chef for pre-made meals and five personal trainers.
Holistic health makes happier you
Lifestyle medicine debuts for the first time in the fitness trends survey at No. 16. Its inclusion speaks to the importance and evidence behind helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life. Examples include eliminating tobacco use, improving diet, increasing physical activity and moderating alcohol consumption.
Local registered dietitian Shana Tatum said health coaching is on the rise, partly due to the accessibility of health information but also because of the awareness and importance of lifestyle medicine in today’s society of chronic disease.
“With behavior change, the slow and steady approach ensures more success and allows for time to be the strength in optimal health habit formation,” Tatum said. “A health coach can fill this role, without the high costs of a personal physician. Having someone support you as you make these changes can provide accountability and ensure more success toward your goal.”
For more 2020 trends, see https://www.outsideonline.com/2407214/biggest-health-trends-2020-predictions and http://www.acsm.org/read-research/acsm-fitness-trends.