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Saturday, 30 December 2017

2018's biggest fitness trends, tried and tested

www.telegraph.co.uk for the latest news from the UK and around the world.
Could virtual reality make spin classes bearable? CREDIT: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Save perhaps for a December blip, we’ve never before exercised so much. And our obsession with all things health and fitness shows no signs of abating. But this year we’re going to get smarter about working out. Instead of mindlessly smashing HIIT sessions in the gym, we’re going to slow down the pace with LISS training and Pilates.
And exercise is getting more hi-tech: from our personal data flashing up on a screen for all to see mid class, to virtual reality crushing the boredom of a spin class, prepare for your workouts to go digital. Read on for the biggest trends in fitness this year. 
The Telegraph's Maddi Howell trying out hot pilates with head instructor Lee Hopkins at Fitness Fusions, Clapham
Hot Pilates is another one to look out for CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH

1. Prehab, not rehab

Now that more of us are weekend warriors, Lycra-ing up and running marathons in our spare time, it’s not a surprise that we’re getting athlete-worthy injuries. Hello stiff hips and crunchy knees. In response, preventative “prehab exercise” has become the latest fitness buzzword. “Quite simply, prehab reduces injury risk. It’s about taking a little time and effort to build a solid foundation,” says Neil Dimmock from Ten Health & Fitness. 

2. Data-driven fitness classes

From our fat and muscle percentage, to step counters and sleep trackers, we’re obsessed with our personal data – and it’s about to infiltrate classes: Third Space in London (thirdspace.london) is due to replace its spinning studios with bikes that connect to big screens so you can see your – and others’ – heart rate, resistance and speed stats writ large, while Virgin gyms (virginactive.co.uk; nationwide) has Race the Pack, a class where two packs of spinners cycle against each other – their data projected up front. Meanwhile, Apple has launched GymKit, cardio equipment that allows users to pair Apple Watch with treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes and save the metrics from the machines to their wrists. 
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4. The new gym membership

For luxe fitness on the cheap, sign up to MoveGB, which has just been named one of the UK’s fastest growing tech businesses in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. Similar to ClassPass, it allows you to work out at various studios in our local area; members can visit each venue as many times as they like. It has 300,000 users and 5,500 physical activity providers across the country. Membership starts from £1.45 a week; movegb.com.
Women wearing wetsuits and goggles
Group fitness sessions help motivate individuals CREDIT:  ERIK ISAKSON/ BLEND IMAGES

5. Immersive fitness

Virtual reality is set to transform the way we experience our workouts: the Studio Society (studio-society.com) in Hampstead, north London, has floor-to-ceiling cinematic projections, surround sound, choreographed lighting and even scent to make you feel like you’re on a beach in Thailand as you do your yoga. Similarly, you ride in front of cinema-scale screens at The Trip at Les Mills gyms (lesmills.com; nationwide). Check out Sweat and Sound (sweatandsound.com), an “immersive fitness experience” where you might be taken on a HIIT workout that includes a treasure hunt in the woods, or a yoga class set to live orchestra music in a candlelit church. 
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7. Brolates

Pilates has been around since the start of 20th century, but men are finally starting to take it seriously. Perhaps spurred on by reports that Andy Murray, the All Blacks and Tiger Woods all use Pilates, or the fact that around 80 per cent of us will suffer from back pain, there has been a rise in men signing up. “The number of men coming to our classes has increased by 400 per cent over the past five years,” Justin Rogers, co-founder of Ten Health & Fitness, confirms. “The guys who come to us enjoy the precision and intensity of the classes, they’ve seen improvements in muscle tone and endurance, and as many are desk-bound, they appreciate the postural alignment.” See also hot Pilates, left.

8. HIIT and yoga combi

There’s a growing realisation that pumping ourselves up in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) class, then rushing to work isn’t great for our Zen: instead, a range of classes will start to combine HIIT and yoga. “The two biggest reasons to combine HIIT with meditation are to reduce cortisol in the body, and for quick recovery,” says Jo Murphy from Frame, where HIIT and Chill classes start in January. “With cortisol levels under control, your body can focus on recovery and make sure you get that well-earned hit of endorphins.” Namaste. 
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10. Pet-sercise

If you don’t want to exercise alone, but can’t stand human workout buddies, then taking your pet for an exercise session is about to become a key 2018 trend, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Dog owners are already fitter than most – next year why not try bikejoring (bikejoring.com), bike racing while being pulled by your dog? For a more chilled out experience there’s “doga” (dog-yoga) in Shoreditch, London (dogamahny.com), while the Cat Cafe (catcafe.co.uk) in Manchester offers human and cat yoga sessions. Good luck with that.
Group of young people doing Pilates exercises
Pilates? Let's roll! CREDIT: SKYNESHER/VETTA

11. Play time

Catering to the toddler in all of us, a range of classes are tapping into our nostalgia. Rabble (joinrabble.com; nationwide) puts on team games including dodge ball and British Bulldog, a trampolining centre in east London is about to start offering fitness classes (zapspace.co.uk), and forget crunches, sculpt abs at a hula hoop class (hooptone.com). There are even classes teaching adults to climb trees (bigtreeclimbing.co.uk; nationwide) and opportunities to join a Quidditch team (gosweat.com). Just be prepared to explain any injuries at work the next day with a straight face. 
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13. 50+ female triathletes

Think you’re too old for a triathlon? Inspiration comes in the form of 86-year-old Sister Madonna Buder, who is the oldest woman to have ever completed the Hawaii Ironman. “There have been more women, particularly mature women, taking up triathlons,” says Sandra Barden, a former British Triathlon Federation coach who co-founded Tri50, coaching for mature athletes. “Triathlon is one of the few sports where you can start at 50, or older, and as it offers three different sports, you don’t have to be an expert in anything.”
Start training now for the women-only Shock Absorber event in July at Dorney Lake, near Eton, Berkshire (tri50.co.uk). But it’s not just triathletes that are getting older: Equinox in London says the number of gym members aged 50+ has steadily risen since 2012. “The shift in the fitness landscape to that of health and longevity has attributed to the number of older clients in the club,” Carl Martin, personal training manager at Equinox, says. “It is never too late to change.”
Man playing Quidditch
Quidditch is surprisingly physically taxing CREDIT: JEFF GILBERT

14. Mindfitness

Roll your eyes, but mindfulness is going nowhere. Studies by Rutgers University show that by incorporating mindfulness into your workout, you can train harder, as well as more effectively fighting symptoms like depression and anxiety than just using mindfulness on its own.
The DeRose Method, which actress Salma Hayek and Victoria Secret model Tatiana Kovylina swear by, uses a programme of breathing techniques, physical postures and meditation; the class is packed with stressed-out City boys (derosemethodsoho.co.uk); Equinox has a class called Headstrong, which employs breathing techniques and a short mindful reflection to train self regulation, and the soon-to-open Re: Mind studio in London will provide drop-in meditation classes that feature restorative yoga poses (remindstudio.com). Two birds, one stone.

Olivia Walmsley from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/2018s-biggest-fitness-trends-tried-tested/

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