A brief scroll through the fitness hashtags on Instagram will tell you all you need to know about how millennials get fit. From before-and-after selfies to brand name workout wear, millennials are making fitness a fashion trend.
Here are the top ten most popular fitness trends of 2016:
1. Anti-Diet is the New Diet
Mainstream fitness brands are changing their tunes to a more body positive mantra. Lean Cuisine launched a campaign called “#WeighThis,” which encourages women to weigh their accomplishments instead of their body weight. There is a similar change overtaking Weight Watchers with Oprah’s help. Weight Watchers ditched the counting calories thing and is now focusing more on super foods and supporting the healthy lifestyle choices of women.
2. Mindset Over Thigh Size
In the midst of modern trends, a new fitness philosophy is emerging. It’s no longer about slimming down to fit the jeans you wore in high school. Instead, fitness is being looked at holistically. Millennials are asking: How does fitness improve my mood, my concentration, and my mental health? In March 2015, Lena Dunham posted a picture of herself to Instagram during her Tracy Anderson workout. She talked about how exercise has helped her cope with anxiety. It isn’t about being skinny anymore; it’s about being happy.
Everyone remembers watching those Jillian Michaels’ tapes while working out on the living room floor. Now, personal trainers and workout plans are a finger-touch away. Instagram has become an entire network for personal trainers to get their plans and products out there while racking up some followers. More than four million people follow Kayla Itsines and her “personal training journey” on Instagram. They call themselves #Kaylasarmy and are obsessed with her fitness advice.
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4. High-Intensity Training
If you’ve heard of Tabata or Insanity, you probably know that these are HIIT workouts. They pack a ton of training into a small amount of time and include short bursts of activity followed by short rest periods. These workouts will kick your ass because you go all out for 20 seconds, rest, and then repeat. Your body will be burning calories for hours after doing a HIIT workout!
5. High Tech Fitness
Wearable fitness devices are all the rage. Living in the computer era, are you really surprised? Fitbits are extremely popular as well as smart watches, which can act as GPS devices and fitness trackers. Everyone is counting steps, heart rate, miles walked and ran. It’s an efficient way to track weight loss throughout the day, without breaking out a notepad to write down your meals and calories burned.
6. Nutritional Beauty Products
Health and fitness are no longer just about what you eat and how you exercise; it’s also about how you take care of your skin. Several cosmetic companies are starting to sell farm-to-bottle organic skin care. These products are advertised as green skin care, sustainable, and natural.
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7. Cha-Cha-Cha Chia
Chia seeds are tiny grain-looking things that are rich in fiber, protein, Omega 3s, Fatty acids, and antioxidants. They have been tied to multiple health benefits such as weight loss and a lower risk of heart disease.
8. Superherbs and Adaptogens
We’ve heard of superfoods, but what about super herbs? These herbs such as ashwagandha, moringa, and maca, are proven to help our bodies adjust to environmental, immune, or emotional stress. They keep things in balance, fighting off disease and strengthening your immune system!
9. Body-Weight Training
We know, it’s hard to imagine going to the gym and no picking up heavy weights. This training method, which is a combination of resistance training and minimal equipment strength training, is gaining momentum. That doesn’t mean you are restricted to push-ups, sit-ups, and planks. You’ll be doing exercises that engage all 29 muscles in your torso to build a stronger core. It’s not only a kick-ass way to get it shape, but it also prevents heart disease and diabetes too!
10. Outdoor Sports
This one is getting big with college students. Most colleges have climbing walls and outdoor sports equipment rentals for hiking and kayaking. They also offer outdoor yoga classes! There is a push for millennials to be more aware of nature because of environmental concerns. Not to mention, the growing popularity of outdoor sporting brands like Patagonia and Eddie Bauer.