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Health and fitness trends in 2016

Building strength is becoming a major fitness

Building strength is becoming a major fitness goal. Photo Credit: iStock



The formula for maintaining a healthy lifestyle never changes — a mix of regular exercise and a well-balanced diet — but the wellness landscape is a diverse one that’s always changing. We asked trainers and nutritionists what they think will be big in 2016.



Building strength

The CrossFit influence is strong. “One of the biggest trends we are seeing now is revolving around strength,” says Josh Feldman, district fitness manager at Crunch. “People want to get strong now, not just look good.” That means exercises like squats and dead lifts in a one-on-one or small group setting. “If you want to get strong you have to lift really heavy weights, only a few reps,” Feldman says.


Increasing mobility

Bring on the foam rollers. Increasing mobility through stretches and foam rolling to move more freely and reverse the effects of poor posture will become more popular in the new year, says Feldman. “I think you’ll see more of those tools popping up in gyms and people’s homes and more trainers incorporating that into their programs for clients,” he said.


Regeneration programs

Relaxation is becoming a major wellness focus, from yoga classes to meditation. “We will continue to see a diversity of practices for energy and mindset management, ranging from meditation, breath practices and sound baths to new offerings in energy medicine and biofeedback practices,” says Lashaun Dale, vice president of content and programming for 24 Hour Fitness.




Many people added a new word to their health vocabulary this year — probiotics. “Learning to incorporate probiotic foods, like fermented foods, that’s been a really big thing this year,” says Keri Glassman, a Manhattan-based nutritionist and Women’s Health contributor. The focus on digestive health is only just beginning, she says. Glassman also sees people continuing to incorporate more plant-based meals and sea vegetables, like seaweed, into their diets.


Coconut butter and oil

The healthy fat is on the rise. “I think you’re going to see a lot more of it used in recipes, meals, even packaged foods,” says Glassman, who prefers coconut for its antibacterial properties.


Meal kits

Subscription programs like Blue Apron that deliver ingredients and recipes to your door each week are only going to become more popular, says Glassman, who is a fan because they get people making their own meals, as opposed to ordering in, and they limit food waste. She’s not alone in liking them — last month, food writer and healthy eating advocate Mark Bittman joined the vegan boxed-meal startup Purple Carrot.