(Guest Post)activities in Chicago and beyond

For many of us, finding ways to stay active starts with getting motivated to actually embark on the journey of getting back into shape. This often times is one of the hardest part, especially if your previous workout experiences left you bored and exhausted. If you’re tired of monotonous exercise routines that follow the same order and routine, break away from videos and one-option fitness guides and try something new.

In this article, we will explore five fitness trends which are gaining in popularity which will not only leave you in much better shape, but get you there in new, revitalized ways which yield higher motivation to stick with it! If you haven’t tried these new fitness trends yet, consider giving them a whirl. Some may require memberships to facilities that have the appropriate equipment or trainers, but in this list there should be something for everybody.

  1. Obstacle Course Racing

While obstacle course races have been around for quite a few years now, they are becoming more popular than ever. From mild resistance races like the Warrior Dash (typically 5k) to grueling races such as Tough Mudder and Spartan Race (upwards of 12 miles with over 20 obstacles), there is a growing variance of these races which allows for beginners up to fitness gurus to all have opportunities to grow. These races encourage training regiments that focus on high-level cardio exercise, as well as strength training as both will be required to successfully complete these obstacle races. If your daily run is stagnant and you’re hoping to find an end-goal to train for, consider signing up for an obstacle race coming near you. If you are not already at the level of fitness required for such a race, allow for at least 12 weeks to train (and many of these races even provide training modules for you to utilize).

  1. Aerial Fitness

Aerial fitness is a newer trend gaining in popularity. By utilizing a hammock by which you hang, your body is able to take on shapes and exact maneuvers that otherwise would not be possible. Aside from a tremendous core workout, because of the unique nature of this equipment, you will have the opportunity to utilize both fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle building to deliver even more effective gains. A simple online search should help you find if any locations that offer this fitness movement are near you. Variations including yoga and other forms of movement can be incorporated, as well.

  1. High Tech At-Home Fitness

If that stairclimber you bought five years ago serves solely as a clothes rack in your basement next to the washing machine now, we have good news. At-home fitness is stepping into a higher level of technology to ensure that you have the opportunity to stay fit and motivated from your own house. If your work schedule leaves it difficult to get to a gym or a 24 hour fitness building isn’t in your town, working out at home can feel like your only option. Enter Peloton. Peloton is an at-home fitness bike that streams live classes from the New York studio and even includes the fitness data of other class participants so you can compete from home. By utilizing this technology, Peloton not only operates on your schedule, it provides the motivating factor many of us need to push ourselves when, otherwise, no one would be looking.

  1. Trampoline Fitness

Similar to the idea of aerial fitness, this movement seeks to introduce a level of spontaneity into your fitness regiment through the atypical workouts trampolines provide. While this fitness trend has had a worldwide following for a few years now, it is only beginning to take hold in the United States. Luckily, while the first official Jumping Fitness gym isn’t slated to open for a few more months in New York City, there are numerous online routines which you can utilize on your very own trampoline. Now you can turn your kids’ toy into your next workout and the continual movement is excellent at torching calories, allowing for a high-speed set of exercises that utilize less impact than typical jump-based movements.

  1. Competition Based Fitness Courses

If you haven’t investigated competitive fitness classes, now is the time. Programs like the most well-known program CrossFit not only introduce a variety of workouts which allow you to stay mentally engaged while physically pushing yourself, the courses very purposefully rely on your competitive nature to push you to work harder than you would in a tradition, partnerless workout routine. Through competition based courses you not only find yourself working harder, you also create accountability with others to stay the course. Between the ever-evolving exercises and the communal sense of teamwork, your likelihood to drop out diminishes.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who is trying to be healthier this year. She currently writes for AEDs Today, a leading supplier of automatic external defibrillators.