As we approach the end of 2017, we thought it was time to reflect on the year that’s gone by and take a look at what’s been trending in the world of healthy living and fitness. Here’s what's been hot in 2017, and what we see as trends that will continue to make the lists in 2018.

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HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Not a brand-new concept in 2017 by any means, but this year certainly saw a rise in awareness of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). The beauty of this form of workout - and a big reason why it’s so popular - is that it helps you to blitz calories fast. By alternating fast bursts of high intensity exercise with short recovery periods, it’s a sure-fire way to achieve maximum fat burn. Workouts tend to be between 15 and 30 minutes long, meaning they can be far more easily slotted into busy schedules. HIIT workouts are often done using your own bodyweight for exercises such as burpees and squat jumps, and functional equipment, such as kettlebells, can also be used for added intensity. However, fitness equipment is also being produced to offer the same HIIT effects, such as Bowflex’s Max Trainer.

Championed by countless fitness gurus, we can’t fault this exercise phenomenon and know that this will continue to gain momentum and praise in 2018. Not tried it yet? Check out these HIIT workouts.

Strength Training
The importance of incorporating some form of strength training into our fitness programmes has become far more common knowledge in 2017. As important as cardio is, strength training also plays its part – and a big one. Lifting weights helps build muscle mass, burns more fat, boosts metabolism and is essential for creating a toned, sculpted body. An increasing number of women are more aware that lifting will not result in bulking up, but will help to shape the body they crave. Read more on why every woman should lift.

Strength training is so versatile, with a host of equipment to choose from. This ranges from free weight equipment such as weight plates and barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells to training apparatus, including multi-gyms and power racks.

CrossFit is huge, and is becoming bigger by the day. If you’re unfamiliar, CrossFit is a type of exercise where you continuously perform varied functional movements at high intensity. It’s a way to improve health, as well as being a massive test of strength and bettering that strength over time. The CrossFit community is rising, and there is even an annual CrossFit Games for the most competitive fanatics. WODs (Workouts of the Day) may include sprinting, squatting, box jumps, pull ups, burpees, deadlifts, clean and jerks, and more. Equipment includes Olympic bars and Olympic weight plates, battle ropes, dumbbells and kettlebells, medicine and slam balls, plyo boxes, power bags, skipping ropes, and rigs. Cardio fitness products also get in on the game. The Schwinn AD8 Air Cycle is very popular and was the official bike used at the Games!

Exercising at Home
Hectic schedules mean that finding time to train is getting harder. This is why more and more people are opting to work out at home. With high quality fitness equipment easy to get hold of, endless online advice and workouts available and our homes being far more convenient, it seems the wisest move to forego the gym memberships and invest in equipment for home use.

Getting online
Although the internet has been second nature to us for over a decade now, it’s actually only fairly recently that the fitness industry has started embracing the advantages of online coaching and advice. Online fitness gurus are increasingly becoming household names, with massive social media followings. Available 24/7 and constantly posting new content, it’s incredibly convenient for us consumers, who can log on whenever, wherever and get the guidance we need. Those, coupled with our home fitness equipment, can be a great combination.

Smartphone exercise apps are also getting more and more popular, as they offer the motivation and detailed workout tracking we now demand. Lots of fitness equipment offers compatibility with these apps, such as Run Social, and some even have their own apps, such as Nordic Track’s iFit Live.


“Free-from” diets
Whether it be refined sugar, gluten or dairy free, “free-from” diets have been big in 2017. Unlike some of the “fad” diets we see, these “free-from” diets can have excellent health benefits – when done correctly. Cutting out refined sugar is undoubtedly a wise move, as sugar provides no nutritional benefit. (Shame it tastes so good, eh?) Refined sugar can easily be replaced with natural sugar alternatives, such as honey, maple syrup and fruits.

Gluten and dairy free diets need to be approached with caution, but the rise in popularity of these diets is great news for anyone who suffers from celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, allergies or other intolerances as more celebrity foodies start to feature them more in their recipes.

Chia, sesame, flax, pomegranate, sunflower – the list of seeds featuring in healthy diet influencers’ recipes is almost endless. A simple sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on your salads, or cooking with a few teaspoons of chia seeds thrown into the mix is big right now, and it’s easy to understand why. Filled with goodness, such as phytonutrients and antioxidants, they can help you stay well and healthy.

As well as more awareness being available on the negative effects of eating meat and animal-based products, a surge in veganism has occurred in 2017 because of its health benefits. With more awareness of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, more people are becoming aware of the need to improve their lifestyles, so a plant-based diet, rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals, is an attractive option. This type of regime usually means a diet lower in saturated fats, and can also help increase energy. Check out our guest post, Emma's 30 Day Vegan Challenge.

In summary, it’s been an exciting year of new food and fitness exercise trends, with 2017 paving the way for an even more stimulating 2018. The increase in fitness online has undoubtedly helped inspire more and more people to get into fitness and set new goals and we can’t wait to see what else 2018 brings!