Dr. Prescott's journal
Earlier this month, I peeked in my crystal ball to see what's in store for health and science in 2013. Now let's see what Mr. Marathon thinks will be trending in fitness for the New Year.
10. Activity trackers. Pedometers — remember those? — have been replaced by activity-tracking bracelets like Nike's FuelBand and the Jawbone Up. Equipped with accelerometers, these devices will keep you constantly aware of how active you are (or aren't). With accompanying apps, you can compare your data with friends and start a friendly competition. Or just feel guilty.
9. Hot yoga. Yeah, it seems likes there's always a new yoga craze these days. This year, gyms and studios will turn up the heat for clientele who love to sweat and stretch in triple-digit temps.
8. Tough mudders. Bored with the garden-variety 5k and triathlon? Well, just join the hundreds of thousands of weekend warriors competing in extreme obstacle course races that offer the chance to crawl through pits of mud, plunge into pools of icy liquid, and get shocked by live electrical wires.
7. Body-weight workouts. Way back when, we used to call these things push-ups, pullups and sit-ups. But in the American College of Sports Medicine's annual survey of what's hot, these back-to-basics exercises that use minimal equipment (and, hence, are refreshingly cheap) ranked near the top of the charts.
6. Certified fitness professionals. Despite all the great exercise technology and information at our fingertips, it seems that more than ever we want a real, live human being to guide us through workouts — and to yell at us when we start to slack off.
5. Demographic-specific classes. As research increasingly demonstrates that health and fitness are cradle-to-grave propositions, expect to see more fitness offerings targeted specifically at children and the elderly. Pilates for preteens, anyone?
4. Express training. We know you're busy. And with studies demonstrating the effectiveness of abbreviated — but demanding — regimens like high-intensity interval training, 2013 will likely bring more exercise programs like P90X and Insanity that squeeze lots of effort into a small time window.
3. Standing desks. You stick to a rigorous gym regimen and boast a resting heart rate only slightly higher than Kevin Durant's scoring average. Guess what? Research shows that even that doesn't inoculate you from the dangers of sitting at a computer all day. Once an oddity, standing desks and adjustable workstations are rapidly becoming a staple of the modern, health-conscious office.
2. Organic fatigue. In September, after examining 40 years of research, Stanford University scientists concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. Such findings could cause a blip in the rapidly growing organic food market, which surged 12 percent in 2011 (statistics aren't yet in for 2012).
1. Weight training. Lifting weights boosts metabolism and increases muscular endurance. It also builds coordination, lessens the risk of diabetes, and helps older people maintain muscle mass and coordination. Plus, who wouldn't want six-pack abs and a pair of loaded guns?
Some things never go out of style.
Prescott, a physician and medical researcher, is president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Cohen is a marathoner and OMRF's senior vice president and general counsel.