Debunking Fitness Trends: Fit Facts on What Works Best

Whether you’re 10-K-a-day fitness fundi or more of a novice, understanding the latest health and fitness trends can get confusing. How on earth do you know which type of workout is right for you, or whether you’re doing it right for that matter? 

TomTom shares insight into some of the latest fitness trends to help you understand a little more about the fitness game and debunk some common misconceptions – whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle or simply improve your fitness.

Body-weight training

The idea of getting a great workout without having to use extra equipment is appealing on so many levels. For one thing, body weight training is free, not to mention easy to perform and convenient enough to do just about anywhere, but those who swear by free weights and dumbbells for a great workout might understandably be a little sceptical.

Research shows that bodyweight training improves strength and endurance, and if done correctly, can also burn calories. Taking bulky gym equipment and cumbersome weights out of the equation means that it’s easier and quicker to transition between postures without breaking your stride and losing momentum, which allows you to maintain an elevated heart rate and burn calories. 

Wearable tech

From the launch of the first wearable fitness watch to the many fitness trackers equipped with some seriously high-tech features, wearable technology has certainly come a long way. Fitness trackers have changed the face of fitness for the better, and with wrist-bound BPM (beats per minute) tracking, having an idea of your actual fitness level is no longer a shot in the dark.

Knowing how your heart rate changes is the key to keeping your training on track, and GPS Sports watches like the TomTom Spark, TomTom Runner and TomTom Adventurer devices provide 24/7 heart rate data that allow you to make the most out of understanding your heart rate zones. This is vital when it comes to keeping track of your cardio fitness goals and ensuring you’re performing at the optimum level, without working your ticker too hard.

 Online personalised training

Personalised workouts have grown in popularity thanks to the evolution of fitness trackers and smartphone technology, with users making the most of their nifty little tracking devices. Using motion and monitoring data from a fitness device, along with accompanying smartphone apps, people can now tap into workouts that are customised to their specific goals and behavioural patterns. However, those who prefer their fitness instruction face-to-face are still unconvinced, so how effective is online personalised training, really?

Along with being a far more affordable option when compared to personal training at the gym, virtual workouts allow you to get the exercise you need, when you need it, and at the level of intensity you know is right for you. This is vital, considering people will often skip a workout when they feel life’s other priorities – like work, spending time with the kids or socialising with friends – should take precedence. TomTom’s personalised workouts are designed with this in mind, utilising insights from your fitness tracker to generate 50 personalised workouts that adapt to your fitness level even as it improves over time. That level of ingenuity is key when it comes to taking a proactive approach to achieving fitness goals and seeing measurable results from your fitness efforts.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

When it comes to burning fat, building muscle and improving your heart health, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to go about it, but whether this type of training works for you or not depends on what you hope to achieve and your approach to HIIT. For instance, many people believe that the longer the HIIT workout, the better. However, a good high-intensity workout involves pushing yourself to the max in staggered intervals of rest and active time, and 30 minutes or less is all you need.

For those hoping to shed a few pounds, HIIT is one important element of an overall health and fitness plan. Diet, rest and making sure to include a variety of other workouts are important considerations too. HIIT is certainly an effective way to improve fitness over time, which helps you stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals.

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Author: Mariska du Plessis

Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, Bootcamp Instructor, Writer, Photographer and Wellness Blogger.

Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_