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Top exercise trends show there are many ways to lose weight
1/16/2019 10:02:43 PM
Whatever program you decide to do, the core message is a simple one: Keep moving.

Top exercise trends show there are many ways to lose weight

Corewell Health

Top exercise trends show there are many ways to lose weight


As an exercise physiologist at the Beaumont Weight Control Center in Royal Oak, Marty Lillystone knows that his clients are on the lookout for exercise trends that can help them lose weight and get healthy.

“I’m working with people who are overweight, and many of them have the health challenges that are commonly associated with being overweight, like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis,” he says.

Those clients also pay attention to exercise trends.

Lillystone cites the American College of Sports Medicine, which polls its members each year to determine the top exercise trends.

Wearable technology

Wearable technologies include heart-rate monitors, GPS trackers and smart watches. One of Lillystone’s favorites are activity trackers, such as the Fitbit, or mobile apps that help track the number of steps you take in a day .

Activity trackers appeal to people who aren’t fans of more structured exercise programs, and they have a way of encouraging users to do more walking - a simple yet very effective form of exercise.

“We encourage our clients to progress up to a point of about 10,000 steps a day,” Lillystone says. “Some of those steps can come from structured exercise activities and some can come from normal activities of the day.”

He cites one client who logs around 14,000 steps each time she goes shopping at Sam’s Club.

Group training

“The appeal for some people with that is they get energy from exercising with that group and there’s also an accountability to it,” Lillystone says. “Other people that you get to know are expecting you to show up.”

One drawback here is that group fitness classes typically last between 45 and 60 minutes, so novices might not be able to last that long. Also, participants sometimes make the mistake of trying to keep up with the instructor, who is probably in much better shape than they are, and quickly wear themselves out or put themselves at risk of injury.

Lillystone advises clients to speak with their instructor before classes start to let them know that it’s your first time so they can tailor the program to your needs.

High-intensity interval training

High-intensity interval training, frequently abbreviated as HIIT, refers to short intervals of high-intensity effort followed by short periods of rest or lower effort. HIIT has taken off across the fitness world as a highly effective way to burn fat.

But Lillystone doesn’t recommend HIIT for novices because of the intensity involved in the exercises. Someone performing a deadlift without knowing proper technique, for example, could get sloppy and cause an injury.

Fitness programs for older adults

One of the best-known examples is a program called Silver Sneakers.

“A lot of insurance companies offer it,” Lillystone says. “It entitles some people to free memberships at some fitness clubs, or at least free exercises at fitness clubs. I often encourage our clients to investigate that. It might make membership at a community fitness facility more affordable for people.”

Lillystone says he likes to incorporate strength training for older adults, since people lose muscle mass as they age.

Bodyweight training

The appeal of bodyweight training is that it requires no equipment and can be performed almost anywhere. Good examples are pushups, squats and planks.

“The challenge with that, especially with overweight people, is we need to make modifications,” Lillystone says.

For example, if you’re a novice trying to do a pushup, it might be best to start off by leaning against a counter. Then after you master that, drop down to the floor but perform them from your knees instead of your toes as you continue to build strength. 

Bodyweight training isn’t a great fit for people with arthritic joints, however.

The bottom line

Whatever program you decide to do, the core message is a simple one: Keep moving. Even small things, like getting up from your desk to go visit a coworker instead of sending an email, can make a big difference.

“We don’t have a set-in-stone exercise program for our clients,” Lillystone says. “There’s a certain value of activity we’re pursuing, but what they do with that volume is dependent on that person’s goals, challenges and health status. I’ve yet to meet somebody in the program who cannot exercise.”

Consultation and guidance from an exercise physiologist are part of Beaumont's weight control programs. Learn more about the medical, surgical and lifestyle weight loss solutions Beaumont offers.

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