The festive period is usually packed full with reasons to over-eat, stay out late, enjoy a lot to drink and neglect your usual fitness schedule. The good thing however is the New Year also presents new opportunities to jump back into the previous cycle or create new ones. For those of you who are bored and tired of the same old - go to the gym and work out routine, we’ve got some great fitness trends for you. Start 2013 with fun fitness plans, here are a few:

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1. Trail Running. While this has been a pastime for a long time now, there’s recently been a particular surge in the number of people using it as part of a fitness regimen and we think it will kick on even more in the New Year. Find a safe trail, grab a friend, some trail-friendly shoes and get running! The best thing about trail running is the serenity around it, you get to focus on your workout without distractions and get your cardio in on a regular basis.

2. Group Fitness Sessions. One of the biggest reasons why most people fail to consistently follow their fitness routine is the lack of motivation. There will be days when you don’t just feel up for it, you feel tired or even just feel “well it’s just one session, I’ll make it up next time”. This is why group fitness sessions are going to keep getting the hype they’ve been getting lately. It involves getting a group of work out buddies together (not too many, 3-6 will do), motivating each other and working out together. There are several gyms and personal trainers who offer their services to groups at discounted prices these days, should be easy and fun to do. The best thing about group fitness is that you will be accountable to your mates and vice-versa. It never feels good when you know you’re the one who let down a group of people, does it?

3. CrossFit. This was all the rage last year and we think even more people will discover and join in on the craze. These are super fast and intense work out that combine a whole lot of activities in one session. You’ll end up running (in sprints, in short jogs), lift weights, do some gymnastics amongst other things. These sessions are built on the premise that by forcing yourself to do so many various activities so intensely, you are able to build strength, power and endurance at the same time. To learn more about Crossfit, check out their site.

4. Get your dance on! Most people don’t know how much a good dance session does for the body fitness-wise. Besides dancing at a party, there are several dance clubs and gym-organized dance classes geared to help you keep in shape. They involve high energy routines and non stop movement for several minutes which mean they are great for cardio. The best part? They are so much fun. Most people like to dance anyway, so dancing to pre-selected music that lets you break a sweat should be motivation enough. Research has also shown that an average ‘Zumba’ class burns more than 300 calories and they also engage your entire body, hitting muscles traditional workouts may miss. 

Most gyms have dance classes, so if you belong to one, be sure to ask and find out where and when the classes are. If not, just find a local dance class in your area.

5. Zombie Runs. Ever since the Hunger games movie, the Zombie runs have gained popularity and rightly so. They are so much fun that it could even count as a 2nd or 3rd date idea. The idea behind these? Participants each start out with “health flags” indicating you are one of the ‘alive’ people, and you get chased by a number of people dressed as Zombies. In the big picture, participants end up running through a 5k obstacle course sometimes (distance varies - you could find shorter courses around you). This is perfect for people who don’t usually have the motivation to just ‘up and run’ by themselves, zombie runs give you motivation as you are being chased along with hordes of others.

6. Can’t make the gym often enough? Go digital. For those who aren’t too keen on going to the gym 3 times a week or just don’t have the time for it, you could try getting your hands on the workout videos that have been getting a lot of buzz lately. Popular video workout series like Insanity and P90X have been the mainstays, they help users follow a few weeks of pre-planned work outs and help you get in tip top physical shape. They are a bit expensive but almost as much as you pay for your gym membership anyway.

7. Bootcamp style workouts. One big trend we predict for 2013 will be the rise in popularity of the US Army’s basic training program amongst us civilians. They are a set of calisthenics (push-ups, squat thrusts, punches, kick, crawling, jumps & skips) used to kick new recruits into shape. Research has shown that they help participants burn up to 600 calories an hour! Just like Crossfit, these are high intensity workouts that push you hard and test strength as well as endurance.

What other Fitness ideas do you have or want to try in the new year?