With the New Year fast approaching, there will be lots of new fitness trends and gadgets to help you get in shape and stay motivated. Here are my thoughts on what’s new in fitness in the New Year.

Going forward, I believe that the fitness industry will continue to grow more than ever. I also believe that there will be a new wave of exercise enthusiasts falling in love with a new activity on their quest to getting healthy and fit. People are starting to truly understand the importance of exercise for maintaining good overall health. With so many styles of exercise from which to choose, even kids and seniors can get in on the action.

Lifestyle Focus
To my delight, I see that the media is moving away from promoting traditional, restrictive diets and quick-fix exercise programs. Instead, they are embracing the idea of overall wellness and healthy lifestyle plans. I love that the focus is shifting towards the big picture of healthy aging and simple functional fitness, with old school, time-tested exercises and activities that involve the entire family. This approach, in my opinion, helps people to maintain a healthy body composition long term.

Fusion Fitness
Many trainers know that a well-rounded fitness plan that includes elements of cardiovascular fitness, strength training, endurance and flexibility is the key to getting great results. It will be exciting to see how fitness professionals combine these elements into fun programs going forward. In the recent past, there were lots of new “fusion” style classes and programs being developed that combined multiple elements of fitness programming into 20-45 minute classes––such as yoga-strength, Pilates-yoga, cardio with strength, cycling with yoga, etc. The currently popular combo of two formats (Pilates + Boxing = Piloxing) may well expand to three or more combined formats. However it shapes up, this fusion approach is exciting and sure to continue into the New Year.

Practical Approach
The back-to-basics of functional body weight training has helped many people get into great shape this year. The introduction of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) style workouts have been a huge success for people who have a busy schedule, and need to maximize their workout time with little or no equipment. The idea of simple, back-to-basics fitness routines will continue, as these workouts can be done almost anywhere in a short amount of time.

Race Crazy
Races such as community 5k’s, mud runs, obstacle course races and triathlons will continue to attract new fitness enthusiasts in the New Year. These events are becoming more affordable, and many come with no-fee preparation groups to help you train for your next event. Signing up for a race is a great way to help you stay dedicated and motivated towards improving your fitness level.

Online Fitness
For most people, gone are the days of heading to the gym for an hour, three days a week and working out a different muscle group. Life is just too busy and people don’t have the patience for such time commitments. The average exerciser wants to spend a short amount of time and maximize their efforts with high intensity bouts on most days of the week. People are starting to place their focus on a daily routine of 20-30 minutes.

As such, the use of technology and efficient online fitness programs will continue to grow. I envision that more people will be using their smartphones to do short, full-body routines. My Herbalife fit tips videos and Herbalife24 Active Body Fit videos are designed for this type of exerciser. And now that live streaming has become so easy, get ready to travel without a passport for a quick-fix class online.

Regardless of the fitness trend you choose to follow in the New Year, understand that the best health and wellness results come from combining your exercise routine with a balanced nutrition plan. Set new exercise goals for the future and get into the best shape ever.

Written by Samantha Clayton. AFAA, ISSA Senior Director, Worldwide Fitness Education at Herbalife.