Bust the myths, usher in the new and set realistic goals. Sangeetha Devi Dundoo takes a look at fitness trends for the year

New Year resolutions have been made, targets have been set and gym enrolments are at an all-time high. Two months down the line, only a committed few will abide by the resolution while others make a disappearing act. Despite this smokescreen, it's also true that a growing number of people want to give fitness a chance. Here's some trend spotting:

Go for a spin

High-end gyms are incomplete without a spinning room. The American College of Sports Medicine features spinning as one of the top trends for 2011. Yoga, circuit and strength training, core training, boot camp workouts, functional training, group and individual personal training will also rule this year.

Trainers in Hyderabad vouch that variety is the key to beat boredom and get the best results. Gavin Holt feels people are better informed today. “In my 20 years of training, only now I see a two-way communication. People read about fitness and ask us questions without blindly following instructions. This also helps us be up to date,” he says. Insisting on variety, he says, “The body gets used to a workout in 15 days. You need to change your routine to confuse the body and get the best results,” he says. Gavin suggests a combination of exercises, with or without machines. How about 10 minutes of spinning, 10 minutes circuit training, 10 minutes on the cross trainer and so on?

Faiyaz Ali suggests enrolling in a marathon club or a cycling club and taking part in running/cycling outdoors at least once a week alongside gym routines. “Working out in a group helps you stay motivated,” he says. Faiyaz suggests working towards realistic goals. “Unless you set a goal, you won't be motivated. A fitness routine should include core strengthening; functional training that uses the body weight for resistance, and maybe a few sessions of kickboxing. The bootcamp routine is also popular since it makes you do a number of movements both indoors and outdoors. Short but intensive bootcamp sessions are very effective,” he says.

Catch them young

To battle childhood obesity, trainers feel young children are better off taking up outdoor sports rather than hitting the gym. “Parents need to stop overfeeding children and then sending them to the gym to knock off the excess pounds. Sports work best for children,” says Gavin.

Make the best use of Indian weather conditions to vary your routine. While hot or Bikram yoga is apt for severe winters like in Delhi, the summer months in Hyderabad are ideal for swimming and aqua aerobics.

It's high time to bust a few myths as well. Weight and strength training is essential for women and older adults too. Lifting light weights is not going to make you bulky.

Move with every breath

Every actor/actress endorses yoga and urges you to get off machines and get on to a yoga mat. This holistic mind-body routine is proven to be an effective fat burner and youngsters in the city are taking up Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga. Yoga trainer Sharmila Hirendernath busts the myth that yoga is ‘easy'. “The truth is you need to be fit to do yoga in the right way and enjoy its benefits. Yoga as an art that builds strength, endurance and flexibility is yet to be tapped into in a big way in India. The West and South East Asia have overtaken us.”

She stresses on the need to avoid the know-it-all attitude when it comes to yoga. “You don't get benefits by doing the same few moves for years together. It is important to keep learning. When you think the cup is full, you stop learning. Yoga, combined with the right food habits, works wonders. Once you begin yoga, it transforms your lifestyle,” she says.

Whether it is yoga, spinning, swimming or hitting the gym, take stock of your progress every few months.

Top picks

A survey on fitness trends for 2011 released by the American College of Sports Medicine finds more and more people taking to spinning, yoga (hot or Bikram yoga in particular in the US), bootcamp training, functional training, strength training and core training.

The ACSM survey also emphasises on the need to have educated and experienced fitness professionals, fitness programmes for older adults and for children to fight childhood obesity, wellness coaching, corporate fitness programmes, individual and group personal training.

Fitness trainers feel that most of the areas addressed in the top trends hold true in India as well with the exception of Bikram yoga.

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