Fitness and Nutrition Trends for 2014
Andreea Macoveiciuc | On 01, Jan 2014
No day is better for a new start than the New Year’s Day, and if your Resolutions list included something health or fitness-related, it’s the perfect moment to take a look at the trends in fitness and nutrition for 2014.
The increasing number of people suffering from obesity and ailments caused by excess weight might make you think that people aren’t very interested in eating healthier or being more active, and that things don’t change too often in these areas. Yet, fitness and nutrition experts suggest exactly the opposite and based on their predictions, this year is going to bring some interesting trends in the spotlight.
Fitness trends for 2014
Top 3 this year is dedicated to training styles that involve coordination, form control and speed. Most popular exercises this year will be those that mix cardio with weights, work the entire body and focus on compound exercises as opposite to isolation ones. Why? Because these workouts fit best in a busy lifestyle.
HIIT, the absolute winner of last year’s battle for popularity, will remain the first choice for fitness enthusiasts in 2014, and it’s quite likely for the older P90X and Insanity workouts to get more followers than the newer CrossFit or TRX high intensity intervals, simply because the former are easier to perform at home, with minimum investment.
HIIT means high intensity interval training and incorporates all forms of workout that involve moving really fast for a couple of minutes, then decreasing the pace for a couple of seconds. This alternation of intense bursts of cardio and strength training with very short periods of recovery keeps the heart rate elevated and prevents the muscles from relaxing, so the body remains in an activated state throughout the entire workout.
As a result, the metabolic rate is higher not only during but also after the training session, more calories are burned and the body’s composition is improved faster. Mixed with a clean diet, HIIT can help one lose the fat weight easier, while keeping the muscle mass and getting stronger and bigger muscles.
Both weight lifting and cardio exercises can be incorporated in a HIIT routine, and the exercises can be as varied as desired. The only conditions for quick success are to opt for workouts that keep your heart working at over 80% of its capacity, all the time, and to choose compound exercises that work your entire body, not only one area or group of muscles.
Some example of HIIT workouts:
- Tabata HIIT
- TRX HIIT (Total Body Resistance Exercise)
- Chalean Extreme
- Jillian Michael’s 3-2-1 Interval System
2. Combo classes
Combo classes are also expected to gain in popularity this year. These consist in 40 to 60 minute training sessions, split into two different styles of workouts, such as yoga and cycling, yoga and weights, spinning and weights or cycling and TRX suspension training.
This form of training incorporates both cardio and strength exercises, so it’s useful for people who are trying to put on some muscles mass while lowering their body fat percentage and enhancing their cardiovascular performance as well.
By involving the muscles more than traditional yoga, cycling or TRX classes, these workouts can provide faster and more impressive results, hence their growing popularity. Not to mention they gather people together, which seems to be another important factor in deciding a workout’s popularity this year.
Although it’s hard to predict how long will these combo classes stay in the spotlight, they’re very likely to resist in top ten a little longer than Zumba, spinning or Pilates, which were among the predicted trends for 2013 but didn’t manage to maintain their top positions throughout the year.
3. Self-limiting movements
This is something you’ve probably never heard of before, but it’s likely to be the new buzz in the fitness industry, since it aims to help one get ripped, gain muscle, drop body fat, improve their cardio and flexibility and transform their entire body through basic movements.
The principle behind this form of training is one of the simplest: move correctly and consciously limit the movements in order to keep your balance, posture and form during the exercises. Self-limiting movements require complete engagement and focus on correcting bad posture and achieving a near-perfect form while exercising. It’s all about form and fixing the weaknesses for getting the most of your workouts.
This form of training combines strength and cardio routines, and can be performed both indoors and outdoors. A workout session can incorporate jumps, push-ups, pull-ups, climbing, high intensity intervals, body-weight drills, resistance band exercises and so on. The key is to always maintain the proper form and to keep the muscles tensed by working with weights and increasing the load progressively. Fitwall and TRX fit nicely in a self-limiting exercise routine.
Nutrition trends for 2014
Speed, form, strength and control, that’s what the fitness arena will be all about in 2014. But what about the trends in nutrition? Will the clean eating strategy maintain its position in top 3? Seems like it will! So here are the 3 eating strategies expected to gain even more popularity this year.
1. Clean eating
This is already extremely popular among social media users, but it’s expected to gain even more followers within the next months, even among the 30-year and 40-year olds. This eating strategy is not only extremely simple but also very healthy, hence its growing popularity: you’re allowed to eat real, wholesome and unprocessed foods products, while restricting or completely avoiding the intake of processed products.
Fast foods are not allowed, and even homemade foods using unhealthy ingredients – such as margarine, sugar and so on – are forbidden. The key is to avoid anything that could compromise your health or silhouette and weight management efforts, and the best part is this eating style comes with huge health benefits, as your body gets lots of nutrients.
Clean eating followers also pay a lot of attention to the water intake, which is another plus, and prefer homemade fruit juices, gluten-free products, homemade butters, lean meat cuts, low fat dairy products and so on.
2. Gluten-free or better said, anti-wheat diets
Another trend which seems to keep its momentum this year is the gluten-free diet. Still, this is likely to embrace a new form and turn into an anti-wheat revolution, as the wheat belly diet seems to be gaining a lot of popularity lately.
While the gluten-free industry relies a lot on commercial gluten-free products, the wheat belly strategy promotes the use of wheat-free, grain-free and sugar-free ingredients and forbids the use of “junk” carbohydrates like those promoted by GF companies.
This method is more or less a form of paleo, but a lighter one in my opinion, since it allows the use of flour alternatives. Main foods in this diet are organic fruits and veggies, meat and poultry, dairy products including full-fat cheeses, fish and shellfish, eggs with yolks, healthy oils such as coconut or avocado oil, nuts and seeds. It also allows the use of sweeteners like stevia or Splenda.
These are very likely to gain more followers this year, since lots of people are interested in eating healthier and getting more nutrients from their meals. What’s a superfood? Basically, a normal product with a “super” label. It’s not a joke, these are regular foods which are finally starting to be discovered by junk-food consumers.
Quinoa, cauliflower, teff, chia, nuts, kale and collard greens, salmon, broccoli, beets, blueberries, peanuts, raw cocoa, beans and other products with supposed health benefits are now referred to as “superfoods”, simply because they’re more nutrient-dense than other products and thus able to fill the stomach, cut the cravings for unhealthy foods and enhance one’s mood and energy levels in a more efficient way.
Also, these foods are lower in calories, so this is another reason to be called “super” – they boost immunity, improve one’s overall health and help in weight management as well. There’s nothing bad in adopting this eating style, obviously, but more important than focusing only on superfoods is understanding the principle behind this eating strategy: choose your foods based on their nutritional benefits, not on their taste.
To sum it up, this year’s fitness and nutrition scene will probably continue to be dominated by the trends that have peaked in 2013, and these predictions are pretty encouraging, since the previously mentioned training forms and eating strategies all promote a more health-conscious lifestyle. One last prediction: protein-enhanced foods.