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The Top 10 Most Effective Programs and Tools for 2017

Over 1,400 fitness professionals were surveyed in December to predict what they felt the most effective fitness trends would be in 2017 and they have been compiled in a top ten list. Conducted by canfitpro (Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc.), this is the third edition of this survey that distinguishes between what is popular and what actually will be effective. Here are the results:

1) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT involves intense periods of exercise followed by brief durations of rest. This high intensity approach is increasingly popular because it provides a good workout in a shorter time than steady-state cardio and because it works for all fitness levels.

2) Functional fitness
Functional fitness uses multiple muscle groups to strengthen in a holistic way, versus one specific muscle group at a time. Functional fitness programs include practical, balance-challenging movements that simulate activities like shovelling snow, carrying groceries, or unloading the car.  

3) Older adult training

Older adult training moved up three positions from number 6 in 2016, based on the growing demand from Baby Boomers looking to adopt healthier habits to maintain their health and quality of life into their 60s and beyond.

4) Express workouts

Express workouts encourage participants to do multiple exercises at a fast pace to generate maximum results. This is an effective approach for people on a tight schedule – perfect for lunchtime or after work.

5) Nutrition and healthy eating programs

Combining exercise with healthy eating is the best approach to see the results of your efforts sooner – whether it’s weight loss or advancing your overall fitness level.

6) Circuit training and boot camps

Circuit training involves a series of exercises performed in rotation with minimal rest. A fitness boot camp mixes traditional calisthenic and body weight exercises with interval training and strength training.

7) Wearable technology

Wearable technology is making its way up in the top 10 list (from number 13 in 2016) as more Canadians adopt tech-powered fitness trackers like MYZONE, FitBit, Garmin and others to track their activity, sleep and hydration.

8) Group personal training/small class training

Group personal training involves small groups doing a series of exercises at their own rate, coached by a fitness professional. Participants benefit from the motivation and competitive spirit of working out in a group, as well as the expertise and tips provided by the trainer leading the class.

9) Body weight training (using your body as resistance)

Using your own bodyweight to create resistance is a growing workout trend among Canadian fitness professionals and consumers. This form of exercise builds strength and muscle and burns fat without the need for equipment, making it easy to get started and less intimidating for beginners.

10) Personal training

More Canadians than ever are choosing to work with personal trainers to accelerate their workout results. Trainers create customized fitness plans, offer advice for healthy eating and provide one-on-one motivational coaching to reach fitness goals safely and with proper form.