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What's Up Magazine

Up, Down, All Around

Aug 28, 2014 09:35AM ● By James Houck
Exercise and fitness—the omnipresent activities highly recommended to all of us by our doctors and constantly pitched to us by industry heads and celebrities. Every year there seems to be new ways to stay active, burn calories, and even have fun while doing so. We call these trends and fads—the “best” new ways to work out. But there are many ways to stay in shape or start one’s path toward a more fit and healthy self. Here is a hot list of new and popular exercises to please yourself and your doctor.

One of the fastest growing sports in our water-dominated region is Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). Born from the Hawaiian surf scene, the concept of standing on one’s surfboard and using a paddle to maneuver spread eastward to California and now the Chesapeake, becoming a popular sport and industry. There are a plethora of local outfitters at the ready to teach you the basics and get you on the water. Yoga on paddleboard is an offshoot routine also gaining a following—somebody had to think of it.

Back on land, you can still “catch a wave” with the newly introduced Surfset Fitness—think balancing board-meets-surfboard. Surfset allows for calculated fitness routines that mock surf maneuverers. Classes are slowly starting to pop up locally at gyms and specialty fitness centers.

Similarly, Yoga helps relax the body and mind, while also working on core strength and flexibility. There is a misconception that yoga is more female oriented. Believe it or not, many professional male athletes integrate yoga into their fitness regimen. Yoga is also popular because it’s low impact on the body, which allows people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to partake. Yoga is a very common workout but has many varying and specific styles; as such, nearly all local gyms offer yoga classes of some form or another.

Can’t commute to the gym due to your hectic schedule? Solutions to this common issue come in the form of stay-at-home workout videos. Though Jane Fonda and Denise Austin popularized “home workouts” in the ’80s, today’s most touted programs include Shaun T’s Insanity Workout and P90X. Neither is an average home workout program. Both have the reputation of being increasingly difficult as the program progresses, but also achieve very satisfying results. We have seen this first-hand. And all you need is 45 minutes per day, a TV, pull up bar, and a few free weights.

Running on a treadmill or through the same streets can become quite boring and tedious. Mix things up and sign up for a mud run, color run, or obstacle course run. These are not your normal 5Ks; they provide a fresh way to run and do so with others, often for a charitable cause. The challenges encountered during these runs can include wall climbs, crawling under barbed wire, and running through water or mud—it’s like military training for the average Joe.

Dance classes such as Zumba and Doonya are becoming very popular with guys and gals of all ages looking for an energetic and social workout. Zumba is more Latin/Spanish influenced, while Doonya is Bollywood inspired. Either offers great exercise and the opportunity to try something new and fun.

Cross Fit, known as high intensity interval training, is an intense workout fit into a short period of time. Instead of spending two hours at the gym, the workout integrates a progression of micro-bursts of techniques, including gymnastic, plyometric, weightlifting, and powerlifting. However, Cross Fit is not intended for beginners and is seen as a workout for those already in good shape.

Developing an exercise regimen with a personal fitness trainer is fast becoming a go-to option for able clients. In fact, the fitness trainer industry is expected to grow 24 percent by 2020. Fitness trainers allow you to receive continues motivation and detailed instruction on how to properly work out…for you specifically. Group personal training is also becoming popular with adults as a means to personalized workout attention within a more social atmosphere.

Functional fitness is buzzword training being used by some trainers and especially physical therapists. It dictates that individuals do workouts and exercises that resemble activities of daily living, such as carrying grocery bags. These workouts were originally designed for rehabilitating from serious injury or a medical condition, but are now widely integrated into fitness routines—everyday training for everyday tasks.

Your smartphone as an essential tool to being healthy may seem crazy, but it can provide another helping hand. Whether it’s an Apple iPhone or Android the app market is ripe with fitness apps that provide a myriad of services such as managing eating habits, tracking runs, and community support. You can also use it to create lists and reminders that will motivate you to work out.

An extension of smartphone technology is the Fitbit and similar devices. This nifty, high tech wristband allows its users to easily track daily activity (like a pedometer), keep track of their fitness achievements, and set new goals. Some say the technology is a precursor to the rumored Apple iWatch.

—Andrew Giganti and James Houck