Sun’s Out, Guns Out
Now that the sun has come out to play, so should you.
By Kelly Keglovits, The University of Texas at Austin
As new and “better” ways to workout are constantly being invented and reinvented, the way you exercise will always be changing.
Fitness fads are the trendy new ways to workout that often gain popularity very quickly. They are reflective of the era and culture that they are created in, and some have a lasting influence, while others are short lived. Past notable fitness fads include: celebrity aerobics/exercise videos of the 80s, the popularization of yoga, juice cleanses and diet pills. Some of these have stuck around, while others have faded out with the change of the seasons. As summer approaches, many people are looking for a new way to get their sweat on, so here are some of the newer and more popular fitness fads this summer 2017 season.
One fad that continues to reappear each summer is water and outdoor workouts. The winter months preceding summer leave people stuck inside the gym, tiring many from the idea of working out altogether. Summer’s warm weather brings the opportunity to get outside for a change of scenery, while also getting a good workout.
Swimming is a great way to exercise and is relatively easy on the body, which is great for those who are looking for recovery workouts. Other than simply swimming laps, water aerobics is a great workout that is accessible to all skills, levels and ages. It makes working out less of a chore, and, instead, a fun group activity to look forward to during the day.
Outside of the pool, there are plenty of other great ways to get a good burn in the outdoors. Summer’s nice weather allows for simple actives that double as workouts, such as hiking, running, kayaking and even multiple day camping trips or excursions, to be completed. One great thing about summer fitness fads is that they allow you to knock out two birds with one stone by getting in a great workout while enjoying uninterrupted time outdoors.
Another perk of summer is that it allows many to reconnect with old friends and other people they may not have seen in a while. The social atmosphere that summer provides leads to the next fitness fad—group or social workouts. While this is not a completely new concept, summer 2017 has given a new boost to this old idea. Working out with friends provides more motivation; someone is less likely to skip a run or a class at the gym when they know their friends will be expecting them.
Social workouts also continue with the summer trend of separating the concept of a workout from something that people dread. Working out with people you like to spend time with turns the exercise into a social activity that you anticipate positively. Instead of heading to the gym to knock out a workout they have been dreading all day, summer allows people to go to the park and run with a group or take a class with a friend they haven’t seen in a while, which makes everyone more motivated to stay active.
As fitness becomes more of a social activity, there is also pressure to look good while working out. For some this seems ridiculous; how could anyone possibly look good while getting in a solid workout? However, another fad for summer 2017 is activewear. Active clothing has changed from simply grabbing an old pair of sweats and heading to the gym, to actually picking out an outfit that is cute and flattering. Many popular workout brands charge the same as high-end department stores for their clothing.
People have even begun to wear their activewear when they are not working out. New technology has also added the concept of wearable tech to the list of things we now must own to “look good” while working out. People notice when a runner shows up to a group with the newest tech to track their miles or play their tunes. The summer 2017 fad of social workouts means that many treat it as a social outing, where they must look their best.
On the other hand, summer can also be an extremely busy time for some. While many are enjoying their leisurely outdoor activities and group workouts, others feel that they have even less time for daily fitness. Kids are out of school and work picks up for some during the few months of summer, leaving many fitness regulars feeling left out of the newest workout fads. This is where another summer 2017 fitness fad comes to the rescue: high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT workouts usually last thirty minutes or less, and allow for those feeling overwhelmed with the schedule changes brought on by summer, to squeeze a productive workout into their busy day. This is a relatively new concept, where the individual performs a high, or max, intensity “burst” of exercises, followed by rest or low intensity. This sequence is repeated until the individual tires out. This form of workout was brought to popularity during this decade and is reflective of our society’s need to rush and tendency to over-schedule. This fad commonly resurfaces in the summer, and while many group classes or outdoor actives last an hour or more, HIIT allows people to get a great burn in half the time.
Fitness fads come and go, and many of the summer 2017 fads will not be around as the leaves change colors and the weather cools down. However, for now, the fads of summer give people of all activity levels and schedules a way to workout. These fads also provide a great pathway for those who have not previously maintained a fitness routine to ease into activity, before the cold of winter ushers us all back into the confinements of the indoors.