When it comes to fitness, just like all other aspects of my life, I have never been the “bells and whistles,” type. In fact, I am completely the opposite. Sure, there are many fancy machines, and lots of awesome apparatus to help one get fit, but I have never been personally moved by them. 30 plus years ago, when I started teaching fitness, it was before the word AEROBICS was coined, and we taught something called TEAM TIME. It was simply about a group of people moving to music. Looking back, while it was incredibly primitive, it worked about as well as any aerobic session I have ever taught. When I became a big believer in women doing strength training, all believed we needed was ourselves…and maybe a set or two of dumbbells. Even when I took my Pilates training, it was right there on the mat, with no apparatus, that I enjoyed the practice most. Sure Pilates equipment is beautiful, and for those that can afford it, it is wonderful, efficient and effective, but by no means necessary.
Fast forward a few decades and I am happy to see that going back to basics is the fitness trend for this year. Strength training, in particular body-weight weight training, is way up on the the list of the top 10 trends for 2013. Exercise for seniors is on that list along with exercise for children, personal training, core and functional training and small group personal training. This is a great option for people that can’t afford (or just don’t want to spend) the money on a trainer, but desire the guidance, structure and knowledge that one can provide. I have always thought of my fitness classes as large group personal training but clearly small groups or couples/trios can get much more individualized workouts. I feel good about this year’s list and am happy to see that crazy fads are NOT on that list. Fitness can be fancy and trendy but as with all things in life, fads don’t often last….and fitness should definitely be a forever thing.
I, like so many from my generation, am deeply saddened by the much too soon passing of Richie Havens. It’s near impossible to say the word Woodstock and not immediately conjure up images of him strumming his guitar and singing about freedom. I was lucky to have had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions when I worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He did beautiful things for children and was a great friend of the organization. He will always be remembered as an Icon for OUR time. RIP, Richie Havens and thanks for your many contributions in music and in the world.