The way we workout is changing. Advances in science and technology have found their way into the gym, and are changing the way we exercise. To make sure you get the most out of the time you spend working out, the following five fitness trends outline how you should develop your fitness routine.

High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.)

H.I.I.T. helps you maximize the time you spend exercising. Short-term bursts of intense movement, followed by shorter recovery periods define this fitness program. It’s designed to keep your cardiovascular activity near its capacity, helping burn fat, while increasing muscle strength and endurance. The combination of full-body strength training with intense cardio conditioning tones muscles, melting away fat. Most H.I.I.T. training programs can be completed in 30 minutes or less, like Tabata, a 4-minute workout that we discussed in our last blog.

Bodyweight resistance training

The most appealing aspect of bodyweight training is its flexibility. It anywhere, with little need for exercise equipment. It’s the ultimate minimalist’s workout – you become the barbell. Developing a circuit that works different muscle groups with each movement is the best way to incorporate body-weight resistance training into your routine. For example, do reverse lunges then hold a forearm plank for 30 seconds with very little rest between exercises, quickly moving on to an intense set of burpees. Finish off the circuit with as many pull-ups and push-ups as you can do, resting only to change positions. You will be feeling it after 3 or 4 sets.

Variations of Yoga

As a compliment to H.I.I.T. and other circuit training routines, yoga has become an even more popular source of stability and mobility training. Yoga isn’t new, but the variety it now offers appeals to the masses. The core fundamentals of yoga remain the same. Though relaxation breathing and a series of poses, it stimulates the mind-body association, increasing flexibility and improving posture. Yoga comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram Yoga – also called hot yoga – and many others. Through reinvention, yoga continues its popularity into 2014.

Wearable fitness devices

New technology promises to streamline your physical data, providing easy, real-time access to it anywhere. With instant access to personal biofeedback – like heart rate info, breathing patterns and blood pressure readings – sharing information and analyzing it with a trainer has never been easier. This helps them develop a fitness program that suits your individual level of fitness. Technological advances have made sensor nodes smaller and more accurate, allowing fitness to merge with fashion. Sleek, fashionable designs have made wearable fitness devices more popular than ever, and these devices are here to stay. As technology and connectivity improve, fitness devices will continue to evolve.

Functional Fitness

Teaching your muscles to work together rather than isolating them with bars and machine restraints is the principle behind functional fitness. The exercises are designed to be a full-body workout, making it easier to perform everyday activities. It uses strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance. Functional fitness programs replicate actual activities from everyday life. Not only will it make your daily activities easier, but will also reduce your risk of injury, thus improving your quality of life.

It’s always recommended you talk to a trained fitness professional before starting any new exercise routine. They have the expertise to tailor a personal functional fitness routine that incorporates H.I.I.T., bodyweight training and yoga, complemented by the use of fitness technology.