The fitness industry always seems to have a next big thing. Many years ago, aerobics was a big deal. Then people seemed to discover Pilates. Yoga followed. Then Zumba. TRX, barre and spin became trendy.
No one seems to do aerobics anymore, although it’s been replaced with other aerobic-like exercises. The other fitness trends have stuck with us, which is encouraging, because it’s good to have a variety of ways to work out and each has its advantages. And we all have different needs and preferences.
It’s a new year and we can expect new fitness trends in 2019. What will be big this year?
I expect use of natural movement and its incorporation into various fitness programs to be the next big fitness trend.
Natural movement is based on the belief that we are no longer using our bodies as they were designed to be used and, over time, we are losing our ability to move in certain ways.
Natural movement incorporates the full range of human abilities to move naturally. It is based on how our bodies are biologically designed to move, as natural movement exercises imitate how the body moves in nature.
Corrective exercises stretch, strengthen and align our bodies to help us execute natural movements, such as squatting, climbing, walking, sitting on the ground, balancing, hanging, crawling and throwing, with modifications as needed.
At The Core Connection, we incorporate natural movement into many of our exercise classes. Our barefoot cardio fusion class, for example, combines natural movement with the best of low-impact cardio exercise, barre, Pilates and yoga. It includes cardio, strength, balance and flexibility exercises for a total body workout that is both fun and effective.
Exercising while barefoot is also part of the trend. Most footwear limits the ability to move and align all of our body, including the 33 joints in each foot. By kicking off your shoes, you can work your entire body, starting at the foundation, for better whole body alignment and a more effective workout.
Working out barefoot improves the strength, mobility and proprioception of the feet, which also helps align the ankles, knees, hips and spine so your entire body will move more effectively. Proprioception is the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion and equilibrium.
Anyone can benefit from exercises that incorporate natural movement. It is especially helpful for keeping the muscles strong, but flexible, slowing the aging process while helping to address issues such as back pain.
Rita Matraia, founder and owner of The Core Connection, is a Certified Stott Pilates Instructor, a Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist, a Certified Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, and a Healthy Foot Practitioner through the Nutritious Movement Center.