Hottest Exercise Trends of 2012

Every year or so, a new exercise fad comes along that has everyone rushing to the gym. It’s a very healthy occurrence—since working out can become tedious after a while, it is important for people find a reason to be reenergized about staying in shape. As we’ve progressed through aerobics, yoga, Pilates, Tae-Bo, hot yoga, and the numerous other exercise trends, only a few have stayed around through the decades.

If you feel out of the loop as you review the current list of classes at your local gym, here’s a description of what’s hot in working out for 2012:

  • Body Flow—A workout that combines yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates for a workout that builds muscle and increases flexibility and balance.
  • Zumba—This Columbian dance fitness routine has been all the rage in gyms for the past couple of years. Classes combine dances like salsa and merengue to help participants lose weight while having fun.
  • BodyCombat—Incorporating various forms of martial arts, including karate, boxing, taekwondo, and Tai Chi, this class uses music and moves to create an intense workout that is as challenging as it is fun.
  • Boot Camp—This type of training has been popular in gyms for several years. An instructor runs participants through a series of exercises, encouraging participants to work in teams and be competitive. These classes can be held in gyms or at parks and were initially inspired by the military style of training but have in some ways evolved to focus more on teamwork and competition.
  • Body Pump—A workout class that remains popular year after year, many devotees change gyms to continue to participate. The class puts weightlifting to music, with participants lifting barbells and doing step aerobics.

Most gyms will allow members to try each one to find the right fit for them. Each year offers new possibilities when it comes to fitness, it’s just a matter of finding the one that motivates you to get fit and stay fit.

Tips from Dr. William Knudson: How to Have Healthy Feet

    Dr. William Knudson

Dr. William Knudson

Virginia podiatrist Dr. William Knudson ’s goal is to help his patients have long-lasting foot health. While he often sees patients after foot problems have begun, whenever possible Dr. William Knudson counsels patients on preventing future foot problems by exercising proper foot care. Here are a few recommendations from Dr. William Knudson for the long-term foot health of his patients:

  • Thoroughly dry the feet after showering. Dr. William Knudson notes that many people jump right from the shower into socks and shoes. This is to be avoided for the fact that it can promote the growth of fungus. When drying the feet, Dr. William Knudson advises ensuring the space between each toe is dry. Once the foot is completely dry, you can put on fresh, clean socks and shoes. If you tend to have feet that sweat a lot, Dr. William Knudson recommends sprinkling talcum powder to help keep them dry.
  • Make sure your shoes fit. Ill-fitting shoes cause many foot problems, Dr. William Knudson reports. Trying to squeeze the feet into shoes that are too tight or have narrow design is a recipe for foot disaster. Problems like bunions, hammertoe, and Morton’s Neuroma can result from improper shoes. Don’t skimp by buying bargain shoes, Dr. William Knudson says. Instead, Dr. William Knudson recommends that shoppers on a budget visit the sales aisles at nicer shoe stores for better quality shoes at a discount price.
  • Do not sit for long periods of time. If you must, Dr. William Knudson advises walking around periodically in order to get the blood circulating. Even worse is sitting with your legs crossed. If someone must sit with crossed legs, Dr. William Knudson emphasizes the importance of changing position often to avoid inhibiting circulation.
  • Never wear used shoes. Borrowing shoes or buying used shoes can be dangerous, since some foot problems can be passed through shoes.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed. Dr. William Knudson emphasizes that untrimmed toenails can lead to ingrown toenails and other painful foot problems. Dr. William Knudson tells his patients to set a specific schedule for toenail trims and stick to it.
  • Consider a pedicure. Not only can this help keep your toenails trimmed and feet clean and healthy, the massaging action of the water is good for circulation, Dr. William Knudson tells patients. Pedicures can be especially useful for older patients who can no longer reach their feet comfortably.

Dr. William Knudson reports that if he has the opportunity to give these instructions to patients early, they prevent painful foot problems later on. He says that wearing good shoes and taking care of the feet today will ensure the wearer doesn’t regret his or her choices later.