Apple cider vinegar and hotpod yoga: wellness trends set to dominate in 2018
Heather Snelgar rounds up the exercise and wellness trends set to dominate in 2018
There was a time when getting fit was associated with monotonous hours in the gym or pounding the city streets. However, these days a lot of emphasis has been placed on the fun side of working out - and luckily there is something out there to suit every fitness level and preference. Here's what to expect this year...
1. Learn the ropes
HIIT has been raising the heartrates of fitness fanatics around the globe for quite a while now. And its popularity isn't showing any sign of waning any time soon.However, we are seeing a trend towards tougher workouts which incorporate battle ropes, suicide bikes, rowing machines, squats, kettle bell swings, sprints and so much more. These gruelling classes are designed to keep things interesting while ensuring you finish with absolutely nothing in the tank. They are absolutely brilliant for overall strength and cardio fitness and are genuinely great fun too!
Where: With monthly membership starting at just €29 at FlyeFit (flyefit.ie), this is one of the most cost-effective places to get your HIIT fix in Dublin. Flatline is by far the best class on its jam-packed timetable. You'll be screaming for mercy. CrossFit gyms across the country will also put you through your paces.
2. Lighten up with a LIIT session
While HIIT will remain popular in 2018, you'll almost certainly hear the word LIIT bandied around too.
Low Intensity Interval Training sessions can burn the same amount of calories as its higher-octane cousin HIIT, but without the brutal heart pumping intensity. However, LIIT sessions take 30 to 40 minutes longer than your average HIIT session. LIIT activities can range from anything like a simple walk to a relaxing swim, but you will need to vary the intensity throughout your session. Researchers at Ohio State University measured the health benefits of varying walking speeds and found that 8pc of energy used in walking is due to the energy our bodies require to simply stop and start. Changing the direction we walk, turning around or walking in a curve can burn 20pc more than walking in a straight line.
Where: This session can be done anywhere. Head out for a 60-minute walk changing direction and speed every four to five minutes to keep it interesting.
3. Find a change of scenery with virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) workouts offer people the opportunity to run in some of the world's most scenic locations or cycle in the biggest races without ever leaving the comfort of your living room. Virtual Runner allows you to interact with race courses, popular running routes and scenic locations on any treadmill. Available on Android, iPad, TV or PC, it is a mobile application that you can bring anywhere. Zwift is a great app for cycling fanatics - you can take on the world's toughest climbs, famous Grand Fondos or simply opt for a nice flat ride without ever leaving the house.
Where: At home
4. Bounce to the beat
Move over Zumba, there's a new kid in town. Boogie Bounce claims to work every muscle in the entire body including the face muscles. Taking place in a party atmosphere, the exercise class is conducted on mini trampolines and is choreographed to pumping music. The session includes cardio and a pretty punchy bums, tums and thighs section at the end.
Where: Various locations nationwide. Check out boogiebounce.ie for the full list.
5. Pound it out
This cardio jam session is great for those looking to let off a little steam. Using lightweight drumsticks, specifically designed for exercise, you will beat your way to a better body - literally! Combining cardio, conditioning, strength training along with yoga and Pilates-inspired movements, Pound claims to burn up to 900 calories per hour. It also claims to improve rhythm, timing, speed, agility and endurance while cinching the waistline, slimming the thighs and building strength. Drumming has been proven to reduce stress levels too.
Where: Pound Fitness with Carla is currently only available at three locations in Dublin. Visit facebook.com/poundfitdublin
6. Push the boundaries
The outdoor event scene has exploded in Ireland over the past few years and it's showing no sign of slowing down. In 2018, we are going to see the plethora of running, cycling, and multi-sport events offered in Ireland increase once again.Single day running and adventure races like those offered by Quest, Gaelforce and 26Extreme are still going to be a big feature on next year's calendar. However, we are also going to see race organisers up the ante by offering longer endurance challenges. The Coast to Coast Multisport race will see competitors paddle, run and cycle 300+km across the country in May, Gaelforce West Ultra (gaelforceevents.com), a 154km mountain run and cycle will take place in June, and Quest (log on to questadventureseries.com) is hosting 12 and 24-hour unsupported adventure races in August. The addition of these events to the calendar just proves people's appetite to push the boundaries.
Where: 26Extreme's Coast to Coast (26extreme.com) departs from Sligo, Gaelforce West Ultra will start from Kilary Fjord in Co Mayo, and the Quest events will take place in Kerry.
7. Turn up the heat with hotpod yoga
Traditionally hot yoga was only available in specific Bikram or hot yoga studios. However, that is all about to change thanks to hotpod yoga. A massive hit in gyms all over the UK, these space-age inflatable domes can slot into almost any space, which means that in the near future people will be able to get their hot yoga fix in their local gym.
Where: Hotpod yoga has just come to Ireland and is currently available at Perpetua on Hanover Quay, Dublin. It is set to move to a more permanent space on Windmill Lane, and there are also plans for pop-up classes in gyms and at large fitness events around the country in 2018. For more, see hotpodyoga.com
8. Improve digestion with apple cider vinegar
Ever since Victoria Beckham posted a picture of a bottle of apple cider vinegar on her Instagram, fitness fanatics and healthy eaters have gone bonkers for it. And with good reason. I first heard about it from my mother-in-law (who looks much younger than her 60-something years) a few years ago and have been a devout user ever since.
Containing a compound called acetic acid, apple cider vinegar helps improve digestion by stimulating stomach acid production. It also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, which in turns helps to keep sugary cravings at bay. It's also great for the skin too. Washing your face with a splash of the stuff will help to remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking fresh.
Where: You don't need to buy the fancy stuff, any bottle of apple cider from the supermarket will do the trick.
9. Take the plunge
Venture down to the Forty Foot in Co Dublin on any given day in any weather conditions and you will be left in no doubt about the growing popularity of year-round sea swimming. Previously an activity reserved for a group of auld lads, we are seeing all ages, male and female, taking daily dips throughout the year. Plunging into cold water is said to boost circulation, the immune system and libido. And it's also good for the mind.
Where: Swimming spots across the country attract groups of year-round swimmers.
10. Upgrade to wearable tech
The trend for keeping track of your diet and exercise looks set to stay, but it's evolving. Bulky watches and bracelets will soon be a thing of the past as people start to opt for sleeker, more inconspicuous alternatives. The Motiv ring is currently taking the US by storm. This lightweight titanium ring syncs with the Motiv app to measure your activity, heart rate and sleep data and also helps you to set goals to improve your health.
Where: The Motiv ring costs $200 (€170). Ringly also offers something similar with slightly more fashion-forward designs. Shipping is currently restricted to the US, but keep your eyes peeled as they are set to be rolled out worldwide.