High-tech lives spur back-to-basic fitness workouts

Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:28am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - While people are becoming more dependent on high-tech gadgets in many areas of life, fitness experts say they are turning back to basics for their workout routines.

They see more exercisers shedding prop-heavy fitness classes for short-burst, equipment-free workouts.

"It's my theory that we've hit a critical mass in group fitness," said Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programming Crunch Fitness. "Mats, Bosu (stability) balls, body bars: by the time you put all this stuff on the floor it's 10 minutes into your workout."

These days, Cyrus said, most successful fitness classes require very little equipment and many are 30 minutes long, down from the hour or more that was standard a few years ago.

She chalks it up to the time saving necessitated by the 24/7-connected world.

"With every minute taken up by social media, and people never out of a working state, (it's) a way for people to get these workouts in," she explained.

Cyrus' observation are supported by a recent survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, which predicted High Intensity Interval Training and bodyweight training will be the top two fitness trends of 2014.

"It appears that people are going back to basics," said Dr. Walter Thompson of ASCM, which has conducted the survey since 2008.   Continued...

A woman works out in an outdoor exercise area at Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx section of New York City, September 13, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar