Fitness & Health



Fitness Trends for 2018

Is becoming fit your new year's resolution? Here’s what 2018 holds for fitness – here's to a healthy year!

by / Published: 5 Jan 2018

Fitness Trends for 2018
Photo: iStock

It’s that time of the year again when new year resolutions are made with the most common ones being to exercise more, lose weight and eat healthier. We’ve all made them, followed through and broken them sometimes!

One of the reasons why some of us don’t follow through with our getting fit resolutions is mainly because we have yet to find a fitness regime that keeps us interested and motivated. We then come up with many excuses to veer away from the resolution.

What does 2018 hold in terms of becoming fit and healthy?

The American College of Sports Medicine conducts an annual survey to derive the latest fitness trends for the year. Data is collected over a wide and diverse range of health and fitness professionals leading to accurate results and trend spotting.

Photo: iStock

Wearable Technology

In 2017, there was a continuous rise in the number of people wanting to become healthy and leading a more wholesome lifestyle.

Creative inventions, interesting exercise regimes, peer pressure (in a good way) and inevitably, social media have been good reinforcements.

The first trend we would like to highlight is wearable technology.

Companies are constantly innovating in this field, e.g. making sports trackers easier to use, integrating them into sport attire and creating apps that incite and inspire the wearer to do more.

If you’re into watches and shoes, consider investing in a Garmin smartwatch or a pair of Under Armour smart shoes (currently not available in Malaysian stores).

Photo: iStock

Healthy Eating

The survey also found that a simple change in dietary routines has become a major trend.

Consuming more fruit and vegetables, less oily and salty food and decreasing meal portions not only helps lose those extra kilos but does wonders for your overall wellbeing.

The rise of vegetarianism and veganism has also contributed to the general wellbeing of many. Meal prep and bringing homemade lunches to work has become a common practise and is both economical and healthy.

Social media has played an integral part in this clean eating movement with recipes, exercise routines and ideas on how to lead a better life making instant Instagram celebrities of trainers, home cooks and healthy eating advocates.

This coaxes people to follow and to even share their journey to becoming fitter with others.

Photo: iStock

Body Weight Training

Another trend that will be evident in 2018 will be body weight training where you utilise your own weight to provide resistance instead of machines and free weights.

Common exercises include pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, planks and push-ups; and the big advantage of this is that you can exercise anywhere and anytime.

Next up is strength training, which has been very popular for a while now and continues to gain momentum.

Defined as a type of exercise done to increase lean muscles, decrease weight and improve muscular strength and endurance, this sort of training should be included in everyone’s fitness routine.

There are many types of strength training routines catering for every level of fitness and ability including using free weights and kettle bells, circuit weight machines and elastic bands.

Photo: iStock

Group Training

Fortunately, the cost of getting fit is getting lower as there are cheaper alternatives to gym memberships readily available like professional online tutorials, great fitness apps and more accurate wearable technology.

This means that more people are taking ownership for their health and wellness and saving money.

Group training came into its own last year and is predicted to be a top trend in 2018. The concept is simple – take an instructor-led class with five or more people in anything from HIIT and kickboxing to dance and yoga.

The benefits of a group fitness class are that you need to be committed, it’s social and there are so many interesting classes to try.

Photo: iStock

Senior Fitness

As the global population ages at a faster rate than ever, the market for fitness programmes specifically for older adults is also increasing.

Retired people want to remain active and healthy, and exercise and a wholesome diet are the first steps towards this.

Exercise for those above 65 focuses on maintaining muscle and bone mass, losing weight and helps reduce the impact of illness.

Besides that, two trends that has been on the list for a while now are HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and personal training, with the former showing no signs of slowing down.

HIIT sessions incorporate exercises that require you to go all out for a short period of time (20 to 90 seconds). There are rest intervals in between, and a workout can be between four to 15 minutes, which is perfect for busy individuals.

Photo: iStock


Yoga may be an ancient practice but it’s enjoying a moment in the sun now and has never been so popular or accessible.

There are so many types of yoga to suit everyone from Bikram and Ashtanga to Kundalini and Vinyasa (more athletic) and pre-natal.

And, if you’re adventurous, curious or fancy a bit of a laugh while keeping supple and fit, try Goga (yoga with goats) or Boga (yes, you guessed it – yoga with beer)

With these cost-effective, versatile and personalised ideas, there really is no excuse to not make this year the fittest, healthiest one yet!