The New ‘Hot’ Fitness Trends: Alternative exercise programs and equipment

Cassandra Lingenfelter stretches during her yoga practice at River Yoga in Clayton. Yoga is a trending exercise and meditation practice that helps balance the mind, body and spirit. 

BY: Katie Machia
Experts recommend exercising at least three days a week, and with technology constantly changing, the introduction of artificial intelligence and new minds at work curating the next big workout, there are more ways than ever to get up and get your heart pumping. For the past couple of years, spinning classes, yoga pants, and interval training have taken over the market, but now we see the trend moving more towards individualized workouts, mindfulness, and incorporating exercise into your daily life. 

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology can track your workouts, give you advice, and provide real-time feedback. Companies like FitBit and Garmin have created watches which can track your exercise habits, food intake, weight, and even your sleep patterns. Knowing this information can work to your advantage in tracking your progress and improving upon your results. Other brands like TICKR FIT are introducing heart rate monitors you can wear on your wrist or even clip onto your shirt. Under Armour has even introduced a sneaker that can track your activity, proving that technology is the future of fitness.


The normalization of wearing athletic clothing everywhere is now entering the workplace. Workleisure is mixing your gym clothes while still sporting a work-appropriate outfit. Designers are now combining the comfortable, breathable, fabrics you wear to the gym into everyday attire. Whether it be a sport jacket that doubles as a running hoodie or a pair of pants you can wear to a meeting and then to your Pilates class, there’s a piece that fits everyone’s lifestyle and makes it just a bit easier to get to the gym after work.

Virtual Reality Workout

Long gone are the days of sprawling your workout gear across the living room to follow along with an exercise video. The new trend is working out in a virtual reality. Exercise machines, like the Peloton bike, are being used to create your own version of a workout class in your home. The Peloton bike lets you follow along with a virtual instructor or work out with a live class while listening to music and pedaling. We’re at the brink of seeing actual virtual reality headsets being used to create life-like workouts.

Mindful Workouts

With longer work days and an increase of life stressors, mindful workouts are on the rise. In fact, with the introduction of meditation apps like Headspace and Calm, the idea of slowing down has gone mainstream. Begin by setting an intention for whatever activity you’re doing, put on music that suits your workout, and keep track of your breathing. The key to a mindful workout is paying attention and staying aware.

Professional Stretching

Professional stretching studios have become more popular since the introduction of high-intensity fitness classes. With the intense pounding and straining of muscles, injuries become more common. In a typical session, you have a personal trainer or massage therapist stretch your body from head to toe. They can also target problem areas and teach you new techniques to protect you from additional pain.

Suspension Fitness

Suspension fitness classes take your workout from the floor to the air. With hanging silks, a fitness instructor leads you through a variety of different poses to wrap yourself in the fabric and engage your body for a full body workout. The most common type of suspension fitness is Aerial Yoga. Different flows, such as Vinyasa, are incorporated with the silks, for a unique spin on the traditional yoga class.