What are the health and fitness trends

Fitness trends

How fit is Germany? The number of sports abstainers is decreasing. The awareness of achieving a better quality of life through fitness has grown.

A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. The proverb translated from Latin is more relevant than ever. Too little exercise, stress, poor nutrition - the fitness aspect is given high priority. Those who feel fit are more efficient and more resilient. The growing number of workplaces in offices and in front of computers is causing more and more employers to set up training rooms for their employees. In the USA, the land of unlimited body mass, they are already one step further: Corporations deduct part of their wages from employees if they cannot prove that they are regularly active in sports.

Club or studio - the possibilities are diverse

According to the German Sport Studio Association (DSSV), more and more people in Germany are training in fitness studios. There are now 7,940 of them nationwide. The number of members increased from 5.4 million to 8.55 million between 2001 and 2013, says the President of the DSSV, Birgit Schwarze. From 2012 to 2013 alone, 640,000 new members were added. In the future, women and older people in particular are to be lured into the studios with special offers.
In principle, there are a number of alternatives for those interested in fitness. If you like it sociable, the classic sports club is in good hands and cheap. Here sport means having fun with acquaintances and friends, often combined with the "cozy end". For more and more people, however, independence and flexibility are important. Fitness studios offer these advantages as well as individually tailored training plans. Their customers have their physical training cost an average of 40 euros per month, and the industry's turnover in 2013 was 4.5 billion euros.

Aqua fitness, power plate, ยง 20 courses - the trends

Basically, the demand for endurance and strength training as well as relaxation as a whole is still ahead. Unsurprisingly, it is primarily men who strive to get a little closer to the astral body by steeling their muscles. The female sex primarily sees their own health and a balance to day-to-day business as motivation. In order to keep customers happy - and engaged - the industry always endeavors to search for new developments and to set trends.

Aquafitness offers are gentle on ligaments, tendons and joints. Due to the buoyancy that the body experiences in the water and the associated reduced gravity, the spine, hips and joints are relieved. At the same time, the risk of injury is minimal. Aspects that offer advantages to the growing population group of older athletes. The apparent weightlessness in the water trains all muscle groups in the body, including and especially the abdominal and back muscles. The pulse rate drops by ten to 15 beats per minute, the water pressure acts like a venous pump. The immune system is strengthened by the "sauna effect": To regulate the body temperature, the blood vessels contract and expand again after leaving the water. Overall, the cardiovascular system is trained by the water resistance, the increased energy consumption of the body reduces the fat tissue.

The Power Plate offers a very time-efficient and effective full-body workout. The device primarily consists of a vibrating and therefore unstable support surface. This plate transmits three-dimensional vibrations to the body of the person exercising for 30 to 60 seconds at a time; there are just as many uncontrollable muscle contractions. Effects are regeneration and relaxation, but also cosmetic. The local blood flow is increased, the tissue is stimulated, the metabolism is activated. On the Power Plate, loads can be placed on the entire body, with accentuation of the legs, stomach, bottom, arms or upper body.

Fit and healthy, supported by health insurance. The statutory health insurances in Germany are obliged to support and subsidize so-called primary prevention with courses that meet the criteria of Section 20 of the Social Code (SGB) - offers that serve to maintain health and prevent diseases. Courses are funded in four fields: exercise, nutrition, relaxation and stress reduction, enjoyment and addiction prevention. Regardless of whether it is a sports course, nutritional advice, stress management or smoking cessation - those who attend such a course will get money back from the health insurance company. Up to 80 percent of the course fees will be reimbursed, up to a maximum of 75 euros per course. Requirements: A course must take place at least eight times, last 45 minutes per unit and be led by trained staff.

Learn more about your body with yoga

Yoga is always up-to-date and has never gone out of style. Celebrities and stars like Madonna, Ursula Karven or Wolfgang Joop work with yoga or offshoots like Pilates. Body, mind and soul are to be brought into harmony in various exercises. Through certain postures you learn to deal with your body in a meaningful way. Correct breathing, the use of the sensory organs as well as attention and concentration are also trained. Yoga is a proven technique to compensate for one-sided activities such as long periods of sitting. Yoga has also been shown to help in the medical field, for example with back problems, lung diseases and cancer. Practically every fitness studio offers courses, "the demand is at a consistently high level," says the VDF.

Jens-Peter Krull
works as a sports journalist for the Second German Television (ZDF)

Copyright: Goethe-Institut, online editorial office, January 2008