Woman doing crunches

The underwhelming recovery from the Great Recession has left most Americans pinching their pennies. The first financial obligations that got cut during the financial crisis are not finding their way back into family budgets. If you haven’t reinstated your gym membership, you are not alone.

The fitness focus for this year may be driven by penny-pinching. In and out of the gym, this year’s fitness routines refine basic workouts, such as running. Here are some back-to-the-basics routines that you may want to try. Most don’t even require an expensive, full-service fitness center.

  1. Group treadmill training. Treadmills are no fun, right? Those involved in group treadmill classes vehemently disagree. These entertaining classes are modeled after spinning and challenge participants to improve their speed and stamina while running as a group to energetic music. Treadmill training even makes your solitary run more fun since improvements made on the treadmill will transfer to your usual running route.
  1. Bodyweight training. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, bodyweight training will be the hottest trend this year. The obvious benefit to this workout is the lack of equipment. Gyms are expected to clear large open spaces for bodyweight training that can be done in groups or with a personal trainer. Do you travel for work? Bodyweight training is perfect for hotel rooms. This will be the year that you perfect your squat.
  1. Punk Rope. Punk Rope is a playful jump rope class that helps participants connect with their inner child. The idea behind this 600-calorie burn is to have so much fun that you won’t notice how fit you are getting. Anyone can participate in Punk Rope; this is one workout that is effective regardless of age or fitness level. According to Punk Rope advocates, the emphasis on play helps participants reduce stress while stimulating both the body and the brain. Themed classes are frequent, and costumes are encouraged.
  1. Yoga. Yoga may be an ancient discipline that integrates the mind, body, and spirit, but it is also becoming a trendy part of this year’s back-to-basics approach to fitness. When you participate in yoga, you can expect to increase both your flexibility and your strength. Yoga options are varied. You can choose a gentle method, such as Hatha, or a more challenging method, such as power yoga.
  1. Barre. This year, barre training is leaving boutique gyms and heading to Main Street. The fastest growing specialty workout is expected to grow even more. The four most popular methods of barre training are already available in almost every state. For those who are still far from a barre workout class, barre DVDs and YouTube videos are flooding the market. Don’t be afraid of this ballet-inspired workout. It’s accessible to beginners as well as experienced exercisers. Expect an impact-free workout that really sculpts muscles.

This year’s back-to-basics approach to fitness is good news for those who have allowed gym memberships and personal fitness to lapse into a distant memory. Basic conditioning doesn’t require fancy equipment or complicated dance steps. So go ahead and lace up your shoes. It’s time to re-start your fitness.

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