Top 5 fitness trends of 2011

What sounds more exciting – going to the gym or going out to play? Maybe this year you don’t have to make the choice.  It’s swimsuit season and people actually start using that gym membership that they’ve neglected all year. However, those looking to get into shape are often bored with repetitive workouts. Consumers have found fun fitness options that are both social and cost-friendly, ditching pricey gym memberships and stuffy weight rooms.

1)   Military Inspired

A fearless Tough Mudder | Photo courtesy of Tough Mudder

Those looking to get a total body workout with lots of variety are switching to bootcamp work out programs. Bootcamp-style fitness regimens are among the hottest trends of 2011. These military-like programs combine intense circuit training with Pilates. For those interested in surviving a zombie apocalypse (and who isn’t), the trainers at Zombiefit have developed a program to prepare survivalists to avoid zombies and get in shape at the same time. For extreme fitness fanatics, check out Tough Mudder events, where teams battle through obstacles like mud trenches, low voltage wires, freezing water, and fire.

2)   The Great Outdoors

OC Mud Run participants | Photo courtesy of OC Mud Run

More and more healthy-minded individuals are taking advantage of natural and simple outdoor fitness programs. Both extreme sports enthusiasts and those bored with the gym are switching their workouts to adventure racing. A great example of adventure racing is the “Ski to Sea” relay race. Participants run, ski, snowboard, kayak, canoe and bike 100 miles … from Washington’s Mt. Baker to the Bellingham Bay. Runners looking for a truly unconventional workout (and who don’t mind getting a little dirty) are signing up for mud runs. For example, OC Mud Run & Eco Fest attracted over 8,000 participants, with one 10k and two 5k races.  After the race, mud-baked participants enjoyed a cold glass of locally brewed beer with friends.

3)   Zumba

Zumba class at DGWB

Latin-inspired Zumba classes pop up everyday seemingly everywhere. They feel more like dance parties than work outs. Merengue-inspired beats create a fun and rowdy atmosphere.  However, participants without rhythm may have trouble keeping up with the class. Check out DGWB’s very own Zumba master Melanie Meunier whipping the rest of the team into shape.

4)   Exer-Gaming

P90X is a high-intensity work-out video program for people wanting to make a dramatic, serious change in their lives. Follow its strict regimen, and results are guaranteed within a month. If medium-intensity is more your style, there are all kinds of digital fitness games using your video game counsel, like Nintendo Wii Fit, or The Biggest Loser game on Kinect for Xbox.

5)   Fitness Apps

RunKeeper App | Photo courtesy of Wired

Yes even fitness has gone social. Meticulous record keepers are utilizing fitness apps to track their fitness routine and benchmark their performance. However, the road to health and fitness can be a lonely one. Fitness apps are solving that problem by integrating the social aspect; increasing motivation by providing positive peer pressure and accountability from those closest to you. The popular app Runkeeper may become the Facebook of fitness and the Nike+ Tag app allows users to compete against friends in a virtual game of tag.

DGWB Perspective

Consumers that place a high value on their personal health want to get fit, serve a purpose, and have fun while doing it. And they want you to know about it! As the recession persists, people will continue looking for ways to integrate feel-good and inexpensive activities into their lives. Companies looking to position themselves towards these consumers should aim to serve a purpose in active consumers’ lives.  Inspire them, challenge them, enable them, and of course…reward them!

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