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the year in exercise research – and trends for 2023!

I LOVE reading the latest studies on fitness and health, even if the findings contradict what I believe and experience. Occasionally a study comes along that you think – really? this needed to be researched? (case in point: Facebook mom groups stress people out…we all knew this!)

Among the many research articles that came out this past year, a few really stood out to me and I will highlight them here:

  1. HIIT takes a hit – From a new study that showed better cardiovascular capacity for heart patients who did Nordic walking vs. HIIT training, to a study that showed better exercise adherence with steady-state cardio vs. HIIT, HIIT exercise seemed to fall from favour a bit this past year in research.
  2. The importance of sleep was reinforced – New studies found that sleep is just as important to heart health as exercise, essential for good gut health, and that lack of sleep can lead to inflammation in our bodies.
  3. Exercise in any dose is valuable – Research published this year (January and December) showed that short “exercise snacks” of 1 minute throughout the day improved heart and lung health. Similarly, a study showed that it is the frequency of exercise not the amount that determines the effect on our health. Doing something smaller every day may be even better than a longer session, less frequently.
  4. Nothing you love needs to be off limits – If you love (and can tolerate/safely eat) coffee, a beer, sugar or eggs, don’t feel guilty! While I may be cherrypicking this research, it’s published in reputable journals 😊 – I think we need to stress less about eating and enjoy food a little more!

Coffee drinking (2+ cups a day) linked to longevity

New research on artificial sweeteners suggests a small amount of natural sugar may be better!

Eggs may enhance cognitive skills

a daily beer may help your gut microbiome

Trends for 2023

Well and Good recently put together a podcast series on the latest trends that experts envision for 2023 when it comes to health and you can read it all on their website. They predict a big return to IRL (in person) fitness classes and studios, a continued focus on mental health and stress relief, and mobility training. It’s interesting to take a peek at their predictions!

From my perspective, I think people will continue to look to exercise for community and stress relief since so many of us are still recovering emotionally from the pandemic. I also feel that with the ramp up of activity after COVID (is it just me who signed the kids up for a crazy amount of extracurriculars?!) and the research emerging about the benefits of shorter workouts, people will experiment with brief workouts rather than devote a lot of time to a single class or workout. Personally, when I work out at home I only ever do 30 minute workouts and still feel confident that it was effective for my fitness.

I work out both at the gym and at home and hear from many of my friends that they do the same thing; I think the hybrid home/gym workout trend will continue into 2023.

What do you think will happen in 2023 in the health/wellness world? I would love to hear your thoughts!

~Justine

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