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Five Fitness Trends for 2013

Each New Year brings opportunity for you to examine your current fitness plan and make the necessary adjustments to improve your health. The Cooper Aerobics blog recently highlighted the top fitness trends of 2013 and how you can shake up your routine.

Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Robert Treece takes a deep to dive to closely examine the top trends of the year. From functional fitness to exercising for weight loss, there are great ways for you to incorporate these trends into your fitness journey.

Strength Training
As you consider which components to include in your fitness routine, remember your workouts should be a structured, planned activity with a progression of resistance over time. An essential component to strength training is looking at your needs versus your goals. While it is great to set aesthetic and performance-based goals, it is also vital to detect weaknesses or pains that can put your muscles into a compensatory state. You can utilize a Professional Fitness Trainer to assess your body and any issues that you might have, and develop a plan to meet your needs.

With strength training activities, you should be spend less time at each station. From the hormonal response and overall metabolic benefit standpoint, you want to work each muscle group for less than three minutes. Once you go past that three minute mark, your body will go from anaerobic to aerobic. For instance, try doing a set of 15 repetitions on a squat station, and it would take you approximately 90 seconds to complete (depending on how many long it takes you for each movement).   

Periodization is a key element in strength training. To continue strengthening your body, you will need to incorporate different intensities, programming and variables in your timing for each exercise.

Exercise for Weight Loss
As the obesity rate continues to rise, exercise programs designed for weight loss are becoming more popular. The key to weight loss is calorie deficiency. At the end of the day, you want to be burning more calories than you are taking in.

While aerobic exercise is an important element to weight loss, people often do excess aerobic activity without a solid weight training platform. If you focus solely on aerobic activity, it can be hard on your joints, and you are only burning calories during your activity. There should be balanced mix of weight training and aerobic exercise in your routine. To produce the greatest amount of benefit, you need a level of both fat loss and muscle gain.

If you just want to lose weight, it will be difficult to reach your ideal body weight if you are not open to building lean tissue and reshaping your body. Weight training can result in lean tissue and getting your metabolism to a point where you can sustain weight loss. It takes four to eight weeks to build one pound of lean muscle mass, so sticking with your program is vital.  

For example, if you are consistently weight training and at the end of six weeks you have lost body fat but not weight, it is still considered a positive result from your efforts. Although you may not be seeing the number on the scale go down, you are increasing overall lean body mass and setting the stage for how your metabolism will increase over time. Your body composition is important because one pound of lean muscle mass burns approximately 50 calories at rest per day; whereas fat only burns eight calories at rest per day.   

Fitness Programs for an Aging Population
As you begin to age, your muscle and joints may not be as mobile and flexible as they once were. To reverse the effects of aging on your body, assessments are key to identify your limitations and weaknesses. A Professional Fitness Trainer can assess your body and develop a program to progress your functionality across multiple planes.

You will often hear “more is better” at the gym. This does not always ring true in the fitness industry. What is good for one person may not be the same for you based upon your joint structure, elasticity and your muscle and connected tissues’ genetic potential. If certain ranges of motion are tight, your trainer can show you exercises to stay in your optimal range of motion while also strengthening your muscle planes.

Functional Fitness
The definition of function is “the ability to fulfill a specific purpose.” Functional fitness implies some form of transference into a predictable environment. There are many exercises that people would call “functional,” but a certain exercise may be dysfunctional for you.

It is important to do your due diligence on what exercises are truly functional for you and what your joints are capable of doing. There are seven general movement patterns that have been clinically researched to improve your quality of life and performance, including squatting, pushing, pulling, spinal flexion, spinal extension, rotation and gate patterns.

When you understand that you can improve how your body works together as a unit, you can also improve the how the body functions as a whole, resulting in a stronger, healthier you.
 
Core Training
When you are looking at core training, it is important to understand how it functions and what it is responsible for. There is a common confusion on what is considered core work versus what exercises strengthen your trunk.

The core’s main function is stabilization and respiration for your body. If you want to accurately define the core, it is the most deep, centered location of certain muscles. The trunk is more superficially located muscles that are important links in dynamically moving the body.  The core and trunk’s roles are combined with optimal core function to carry out complex orchestrated movement patterns.  Watch a video to understand the difference between a core and trunk exercise move.

When you utilize a trainer, you have the ability to gain an understanding of what workouts are best for your body and will begin to see results as your body becomes stronger over time.

If you would like to learn more about Cooper Fitness Center, click here or call 972.233.4832.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.