Unless you’re one of those superhuman types, it can be hard to muster the energy to hit the gym or take the same old run, day after day – especially when your run involves dodging dog-walkers, slow-moving tourists, and other urban hazards. But you’re in luck: These days, whether at home or on the go, fitness choices extend way beyond jogging. Sneak a peek at our list—and let us know your favorite fitness fads in the comments below.
From your heart rate to the calories you burn to your REM cycles and how many steps you take in a day, there’s a lot to know about what your body’s up to – and personal tech is there to help keep track. From FitBit to Misfit, there are more device choices these days than ever for those after some cold, hard data. But this isn’t just meaningless number-gathering: If you’re in need of some motivation, products like the Jawbone can prompt you to make healthy choices each day, while the Withings Pulse O2 activity tracker slips into your pocket for super portability.
Forget those Richard Simmons VHS tapes that your parents keep in a box in the basement. There’s almost no limit to the exercises you can do in your apartment with just an internet connection – no cheesy ‘80s workouts required. BeFiT, Popsugar, and DailyBurn are only three of an ever-increasing number of high-quality streaming services on tap. If you’re feeling fancy (and if your busy schedule makes it hard to show up for fitness classes on time), you can even splurge on a Peloton: The high-tech stationary bike lets you virtually take part in professionally taught courses from home.
A personal trainer can be an awesome tool in your quest to get fit – but, thanks to pretty hefty price tags, trainers are often more luxury than daily routine. Hence the recent rise of group training sessions: With a couple of buddies in tow, a personalized workout is suddenly way more accessible.
And it can even be free. Endeavors like the November Project – initially founded in Boston as a way to get snowed-in urbanites out-and-about during those long winters – encourages people of all fitness levels and ages to get active… and to join a friendly and supportive exercise community in their own city.
Step aside, big-box gyms: This year, speciality studios that hone in on one area of fitness are decidedly in. Ballet-inspired Pure Barre is one example of the recent phenomenon, with studios and classes popping up around the country, though everything from spinning studios to Piloxing specialists (that’s kickboxing and Pilates) count. Can’t decide – or want to do some dabbling? ClassPass caters to restless city-dwellers by giving you prime sampling access to tons of different classes all over town.
Acronym alert: This year, workout trends are all about the HIIT (that’s high-impact interval training). From bootcamp to CrossFit to Tabata Training, this workout style means you’ll be in for short but intense bursts of exercise. Once you’re all red-faced and sweaty, the flip side is hardcore relaxation: Whether you’re indulging in invigorating massages or restorative yoga classes, there’s nothing like a bit of chilling post-schvitzing.
The best way to make working out fun? Simple: Transform it into one big game. Smartphone apps like Zombies, Run! make your jog in the park more about escaping the undead than shuffling around the neighborhood, while Tough Mudder is king among the obstacle course challenges that see you belly through mud baths on your way to the finish line. And if you’ve got a competitive streak, classes like Orangetheory encourage participants to go head-to-head by displaying live heart rate data to see who’s really working.
Looking for more fun than intensity? Odds are there are all kinds of quirky classes in your city that are putting a fun spin on exercising. Why not sign up for Doonya (that’s a Bollywood-inspired dance workout), Punk Rope (badass jump rope classes for grown-ups), or even SURFset Fitness (which combines core-strengthening with indoor surfing)? If “cardio” is anathema to you, never fear. These classes are so fun, you’ll barely remember that you’re exercising in the first place.