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Functional Fitness for 2006  

by Anna Fleet

The New Year has brought with it some drastic shifts in the fitness industry. What was hot and trendy in 2005 isn't necessarily still giving off the same steam in 2006. Fitness in 2006 is no-nonsense! Functional fitness marks the return of many tied and true fitness trends that are hardly worthy of the term "trend" at all. Rather, these fitness tactics have proven themselves time and time again:

Functional Workouts - You're bound to hear a great deal of the term "functional training" this year. This refers to any workout that transcends into our everyday activities. Examples of functional exercise include sport-specific training (for novice athletes or weekend warriors), core training and multi-muscle moves that target the muscles we use regularly.

Short Effective Workouts - We're demanding shorter total body workouts. Examples include fitness classes like - cardio-pump and cardio-resistance training fusion workouts such as Boxercise with weighted gloves. Total body circuits made up of multi-muscle exercises like squats, lunges, push ups, and pull ups are also popular.

Core Training -The core is specifically all of the muscles in your abs and back that help strengthen your other muscles and better support your spine. A happy spine will make simple daily tasks - such as reaching, bending and lifting, chasing the kids, even sex - easier and more enjoyable. Get ready to see more core training hit your gym in the form of stability ball workouts, Pilates and yoga strength and stretch workouts, and abdominal-specific workouts.

Common Sense Dieting - There has been a big shift away from low carb - high protein "wonder diets". The vast majority of North Americans know that a healthy body needs carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, fiber, colorful fruits and leafy green vegetables for a complete diet. This shift towards intuitive healthy eating recognizes that 6 healthful small meals a day is a lifestyle and not a diet at all. Better yet, it's an eating plan that people can adopt for life.

Mind-Body Workouts - Fusion workouts with more spiritual origins (yoga and Pilates) mixed with traditional weight training and cardio elements are huge. With mounting stresses at home and work individuals want a way to get in shape physically and mentally.

Fun Workouts - Today fitness is considered a leisure activity, so it has to be fun or people simply won't do it. Fun workouts to hit the scene are largely dance-inspired - belly dancing, cardio strip, pole dancing, and salsa dance workouts. So we get our fun and workout too!

Workouts at Home - If you've decided to get into shape, do you want to spend a ton of money on a piece of fitness equipment that might be a clothes rack in a month? That's why working out at home, in limited space with small, economical pieces of equipment - like resistance bands, dumbbells, stability balls and pure body weight exercises (push ups, crunches, body squats, bench dips) is high on our priority lists and light on our pocketbooks.

About the Author

Anna Fleet is a certified personal trainer. When she is not working out or helping others achieve optimal health, she is the face and voice behind www.fitnessgear101.com - an excellent online resource for information about Fitness Gear, Aerobics Equipment, Workout Routines and more.

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