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Three workout trends to try in 2014

Riddle Hospital January 24, 2014 General Wellness

It seems like every week there’s a new workout routine in the spotlight. Keeping up with the trends can be confusing, and pricey if you’re trying every new workout that comes your way. To save you some time (and money), we’ve identified three workouts that can be adapted to meet any fitness level.

Obstacle races

Not only can running on the treadmill or on the same trail every day get really boring, but your body also becomes accustomed to the route, which means you’re challenging your body less with every run if you’re not pushing it to go faster or further. This year, sign up for a local obstacle race. Unlike a regular 5K or half, obstacle races present challenges for you along the way that make it a full-body workout—think climbing up hills or crawling on the ground.

“Obstacle races can be a great workout, but your body has to be prepared for it. Before you sign up for one, make an appointment with your doctor to ensure that it’s healthy for you to participate,” says Katy Coughlin, manager of the Riddle Fitness Center at Riddle Hospital.

It's important to train correctly. Meet with a fitness professional to map out a specific plan to identify an individualized routine to prevent injury and progress appropriately. If an obstacle race sounds too intense, try a fun run instead, like a color run or holiday 5K. They’ll give you something to train for, and doing it can break you out of a running rut.

Barre workouts

Barre workouts can be misleading for someone who has never tried it before. After all, how challenging can an exercise using a ballet barre for help really be? But don’t be too quick to write it off—Barre classes offer a total-body workout that emphasizes small, quick movements to target problem areas like the hips, thighs, and abs.

“The benefit of a barre class is that it still provides a good lower body workout with less impact on your joints as compared to movements like running or jumping,” explains Coughlin.

The slowed-down pace of Barre classes and workout aids like the ballet Barre or exercise ball also make Barre an ideal choice for anyone with joint pain.

Interval training

Intense workouts like P90X and CrossFit have popularized the idea of interval training. Faster, intense intervals coupled with slower ones can help burn more calories in less time. The only problem? Not everyone can keep up with the intense routines demanded during these workouts.

Instead of demanding your body keep up to what might be an unrealistic pace, design your own interval training routines based on what exercises you’re used to. If you like walking, try walking quickly for two minutes, then slowing for two minutes. If you’re a runner, alternate sprinting and jogging. If you prefer riding your bike, challenge yourself to a greater speed or incline. Take the trend and make it work for you, not the other way around.

Meeting with a professional can help identify your current level of fitness. They should consider any limitations such as previous injuries and guide you to set realistic fitness goals. Remember, whether you are running, walking, or participating in a barre exercise class, you are up and moving and creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself. Visit our website to find a doctor in your area who can help you carve out the right plan for you.

The Riddle Fitness Center now offers zumba, yoga, and Pilates classes. Ready to get started? Call 484.227.3045 or email Katy Coughlin at [email protected] for more information.