- Wearable Technology: From straps to apps, just about anything a triathlete can dream of is trackable. For an up-to-date list of the best fitness trackers for triathletes, check out this comprehensive review.
- Group Training: Research shows that working out in a group setting increases motivation and adherence to fitness programs. To get the most out of exercising with others, choose your partners wisely. Researchers at Kansas State University found that people who exercised with someone they thought was better than them (perception is key) increased their workout time and intensity by 200 percent! In 2019, you can stop trying so hard to beat the guy who keeps getting on the podium and invite him to join you for a few workouts instead.
4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults: I know, I know. You were with me until this one. It’s a Boomer thing, but the point here is that exercise programs geared toward “older adults” are serious business. The aging population is fitter, richer and living longer than ever before. If you are a triathlete who believes sixty is the new forty, you can find both camaraderie and serious conditioning in age-specific gyms and classes.
5. Bodyweight Training: It’s completely free, functional, requires no equipment, improves strength and flexibility simultaneously, and protects your joints. Planks, push-ups, lunges, squats and their endless iterations will increase your lean body mass without lifting weights or leaving your home. Google “bodyweight training for triathletes” for tips and examples of the best exercises for you.
6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals: Huh? What you need to know about this one is that gyms and other fitness facilities are not just hiring anyone anymore. Formal education and legitimate certifications are more important than ever before, so before you book a personal training session or sign up for specialized training, inquire about your instructor’s educational background and expect to be impressed.
7. Yoga. Hot yoga, Yogilates, Power Yoga. By now we’ve pretty much heard it all when it comes to yoga. Refer to this article for a review of the benefits of yoga for triathletes and a link to my favorite at-home yoga videos.
8. Personal Training. When you are a committed athlete who knows how to plan a workout, hiring a personal trainer may seem like an unnecessary luxury. But the popularity of personal trainers is increasing for good reasons. Working out with a trainer can help even the most knowledgeable triathletes break through training plateaus, avoid injuries and stay motivated.
10. Exercise is Medicine. This global health initiative encourages primary care providers to prescribe physical activity for conditions such as diabetes, depression, cancer and hypertension. As a triathlete, you have plenty of other reasons to stay active but reframing exercise as medicine is another powerful reason to keep on racing.
Now that you are in the know and there are plenty of new – and free – things to try this year, what will you do differently in 2019?
Written by Holly Pennington, PT, DPT/Outpatient Physical Therapy