Healthy Living: What's In & Out in 2009

fitness goalsIt's the start of February, and I can't even remember what my resolutions were. But I am still trying to stay fit, and I'm willing myself to avoid things called Death by Chocolate.

Here's an interesting perspective on health and fitness trends for the new year from one of my favorite bloggers and fitness experts, Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit.

Maybe some of her ideas on what's in and out in '09 will give you resolution reminders--or at least a little bit of inspiration.


Outdated idea: Dieting was restrictive, requiring deprivation.

In approach: Eating for health will be the goal; weight loss will be the by-product. Fruits and vegetables replace fried foods and sugary drinks. Because calories count, information on the caloric content of fast foods and food products will become increasingly available—sometimes voluntarily provided and other times mandated by law.

Outdated idea: Exercise was only in the gym, and repetitive and disciplined.

In approach: The introduction of exer-gaming (Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution) will bring fun and appealing exercise activities back into the home. Green Gyms, an exercise program involving constructive outdoor ecology projects, will expand throughout the United States because it meets both social and fitness goals. A return to the popular exercises of childhood (using a Hula-Hoop, jumping on a trampoline, dancing and playing outdoor games) will occur.

Outdated idea: Dieters just wanted to look better.

In approach: Functional training—that is, exercises that improve the body’s ability to function whether carrying groceries, climbing stairs or unloading the washing machine—will be emphasized. For example, training with the use of kettle balls will strengthen the body’s core, thereby reducing back problems, improving posture and building muscles that support the spine.

Outdated idea: Medical intervention was the only way.

In approach: We’ll acknowledge that exercise is medicine, replacing drugs and surgery as the first line of defense against lifestyle-induced health problems. The wellness industry, which grew from $100 million a decade ago to $2 billion in 2008, will continue to grow exponentially as individuals take greater personal responsibility for their health and fitness.

Outdated idea: Employers ignored our lifestyles.

In approach: Medical insurance costs doubled since 2002 and reached $12,106 for a family of four in 2008. To bring these costs down, employers will offer employees incentives to make positive changes (such as quitting smoking or losing weight) or charge penalties for those who refuse to change habits that elevate health care costs. Employer-subsidized online lifestyle coaching for employees will become more common.

Outdated idea: Thin was in.

In approach: We will seek fitness at every age, size and time of life. Individuals can be overweight and fit, or they can be thin and unfit. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Finding the appropriate weight and level of fitness for each person, given the circumstances of his or her life (for example, a pregnant woman’s needs versus a seventy-year-old’s), will be the goal.

Carole Carson gave us more great tips in December, check out my post, Squeeze in Diet & Exercise During the Holidays.

I, for one, am glad that tight spandex biker shorts are about as cool as nose hair. Is there any fitness trend you'd like to push out the door?

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