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How High Intensity Interval Training Works!
02:45 - Source: CNN

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High-intensity interval training involves short bursts of intense aerobic activity followed by recovery

Group training -- exercise classes -- and wearable trackers also placed high on the list

CNN  — 

High-intensity interval training will be the No. 1 fitness trend in the coming year, while smartphone exercise apps that prompt your activities will be out – or so says the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018.

Such training, known as HIIT, typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery: intermittently sprinting for 30 seconds, for example, during a moderate-pace jog.

The US national physical activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week with additional muscle-strengthening exercise for adults and 60 minutes a day for children, noted Walter R. Thompson, author of the report and prtesident of the American College of Sports Medicine. “So if you step it up a little bit and get your heart rate up and move from, say, walking to jogging, it decreases to 75 minutes per week.”

HIIT is a worthy way to meet your physical activity guidelines, he said. “But there’s a word of caution with that: Anytime you do high-intensity anything, there may be an increased risk of injury.”

If you doubt your ability to safely exercise in high-intensity bursts, Thompson recommends that you “get a good physical exam” before starting a program.

Over the past 12 years, the editors of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal have circulated an electronic survey to thousands of professionals, including personal trainers and physical therapists, to predict the biggest health and fitness trends for the coming year.

This year’s survey, which included responses from 4,133 fitness professionals around the globe, placed “group training” – classes involving more than five participants – in the No. 2 slot. Meanwhile, “wearable technology” – such as activity trackers and smartwatches – came in third, and “body weight training” – the use of your own body weight as a form of resistance while doing modified pushups and other exercises – came in fourth. “Strength training,” or the use of barbells and weights, placed fifth.

Thompson said the survey was developed for two purposes, the first being “to help guide the fitness industry.”

Although most of the industry is “commercial properties,” the survey is also helpful to community-based organizations, corporate wellness programs and medical fitness centers.

“They need some direction as to what will be the next trend in the industry so that when they use their valuable resources for something, they know it’s going to work,” Thompson said.

“We also do it from the perspective of people who use the gym, the clients,” he said. “It helps them identify gyms across the country that are offering the best kinds of exercise programs.”

Three new trends found a place on the top 20 list: “licensure for fitness professionals”, “core training” and “sport-specific Training.” Licensure refers to the general trend toward more regulation of fitness professionals, such as personal trainers. Core work stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax and back. Sport-specific exercising is usually geared toward younger athletes and focuses on a single sport, such as tennis or boxing.