SUMMER is always a good time to get in shape, so why not try something new? Here we take a look at the latest fitness trends taking the UK by storm. And with research from workout app FIIT revealing that only 18 per cent of us are using our gym memberships, we uncover the best ways to work out at home too.
The latest research from Sport England's Active Lives has revealed that group exercise is now more popular than swimming and running.
Studies from fitness experts EMD UK agree, showing 3.76 million more people are participating in group exercise than in 2016.
And there has been a 1.1million rise in people over the age of 45 taking part weekly.
"Group exercise has become more inclusive and readily available. There is something to suit everyone of differing ages, gender and abilities," says Ross Perriam, CEO of EMD UK.
Working out with others is motivational and sociable. And in summer more classes than ever are taking place outside, allowing participants to get some vitamin D too.
"Working out outside provides a challenge with ever-changing terrain," says Ross.
Try a British Military Fitness class, available nationwide, for a social outdoor bootcamp.
Your first class is free, to book visit britmilfit.com.
JUMP TO IT
Studies by scientists at Nasa have recently shown that bouncing on a trampoline is 68 per cent more effective than jogging and requires less effort.
"It is a fantastic way to keep fit and a full-body exercise," says David Stalker, CEO of Oxygen Freejumping trampoline parks.
Bouncing is primarily cardio-focused but is also good for toning and balance.
"Regular trampolining has been shown to gradually allow the resting heart rate to decrease, which is great for the cardiovascular system. Low impact, it is kind to the joints in your lower limbs."
It's also impossible not to smile when having a go.
Oxygen Freejumping is available nationwide and a one-hour session starts at £9.50.
Visit oxygenfreejumping.co.uk for more information.
NHS finds a lot of people use cycling to get their weekly exercise
LET'S GET PHYSICAL
"Dating app fatigue means more and more singles are looking for new ways of meeting people," says Keith McNiven, founder of Right Path Fitness.
Step forward Date-ercise, a speed dating-style fitness class made up of moves that you complete as a pair.
"Exercise is a great leveller and classes are at a pace where you can still chat. Working out as a pair is a good way to build intimacy. Research has also shown that when couples do a fun activity together they rate their relationship better," says Keith.
Healthy cocktails follow the class so you can continue getting to know each other.
Date-ercise will be rolled out across the UK and will also be launching LGBT events.
Classes cost £25, to book visit rightpathfitness.co.uk.
IT'S IN THE GENES
While it would have cost a fortune to genotype somebody when DNA testing was first conceived, the fact that it can now be done for under £100 has led to this high-tech fitness trend.
Some forms of exercise work better for us than others: is your body suited to short, sharp bursts of speed, or perhaps a more endurance-based pursuit?
The FitnessGenes system uses your DNA, lifestyle data and nutritional information to develop the most effective training strategy for you.
"If you are starting out, we remove the guesswork and put you on to the track you should be following," says co-founder Dr Dan Reardon.
To use, simply swab the inside of your mouth and send off the sample.
The FitnessGenes kit starts at £129, for more information visit fitnessgenes.com.
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This circuit is a challenging one designed to get your heart rate up for short spells and challenge the body’s major muscle groups – two crucial elements of fat burning!
ON THE RUN
A new study from fitness app Strava has revealed that runners are happier than the general population.
Indeed, in a study of 8,000 people, 89 per cent said taking part in a Parkrun event boosted their mood.
"Running gives a sense of personal achievement," says Olympic running coach Andy Hobdell.
"This is followed by a sense of progress, of meeting goals however small and moving on to the next one.
"Getting out for a run is also an escape from screens, work pressures and the mania of everyday life."
Running is accessible to everyone and releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body.
To have a go you just need a decent pair of running shoes.
So head down to your local Parkrun and get involved for free.
Visit parkrun.org.uk to find your nearest event.
GRIN AND BARRE IT
Barre, ballet-inspired fitness, is one of the fastest growing fitness phenomena.
"Barre is inclusive to all levels of fitness and provides a mental escape through a fun, energetic workout that will tone, define and sculpt from head to toe," says Israel Rivera, head of group exercise at Virgin Active.
"The moves challenge the small muscle groups that we neglect within our typical workout."
Barre classes are available at Virgin Active branches nationwide, visit virginactive.co.uk for more information.
Also try Pulse at Third Space, a brand new ballet and Pilates mash-up class set to music with strength training moves designed to tone and define muscles.
Classes are available in Third Space branches across London, visit thirdspace.london for more information.
THREE NEW WAYS TO WORK OUT IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME
PT IN YOUR POCKET
Working with a personal trainer can fast-track your fitness goals. However the high cost plus the time needed to schedule sessions can be off-putting.
Now a new app is promising you all the benefits of a bespoke workout but at a fraction of the price.
Freeletics Training Coach offers week-by-week programmes that are designed to work with your own fitness levels and goals.
The app analyses your performance and keeps an eye on your progress, adapting future workouts accordingly to make sure you are always challenged.
No equipment is required and the high-intensity exercises can be done at home, with workouts starting at just 10 minutes.
Freeletics Training Coach costs £32.99 for three months. See freeletics.com for more information.
HIGH-TECH SUPER BIKE
If you love indoor cycling but are fed up of trekking to the gym for classes, Bkool's new Smart Bike could be the perfect solution.
Packed with high-tech features, it takes indoor cycling to a new level.
It's designed to be used with the Bkool simulator, which you can download on to a tablet or phone to give you access to hundreds of virtual rides, from the latest indoor cycling classes to famous real-life cycling routes worldwide. You can even go for a spin round a virtual velodrome.
The resistance automatically adapts to whichever workout you are doing, meaning no more fiddling with a dial when riding and guaranteeing a smooth, stress-free workout.
The Bkool Smart Bike costs £1,199.
Visit i-ride.co.uk for more information.
BRING THE GYM TO YOU
If you've ever been a member of a gym, chances are you'll have come across a Les Mills class. From the weights-based BodyPump to martial arts-inspired BodyCombat, workouts are known for their motivating instructors and upbeat soundtracks.
Now you can do your favourite class in the comfort of your own home with Les Mills On Demand.
For a monthly subscription fee you can watch or download 11 types of class.
For some workouts you will need equipment, such as weights or a step.
Costs £9.95 per month or £95 annually.
Sign up at lesmillsondemand.com.
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