The Three Most Important Fitness Findings of 2017

People are often surprised at the highly dynamic nature of the health and fitness world. Thanks to advancing technology and an ever-growing understanding of human physiology, the fitness community is always learning and changing.

Which can be a little frustrating. Keeping up with all of these findings – and applying them to your routine – can be a real challenge. So, to help you out, here are three of the most important fitness findings from 2017 and what they mean to you.

Do What You Love

As people in general become more interested in health and fitness, the formation of new, novel forms of exercise is to be expected. And that variety of choices is pretty awesome.

Here’s the problem, though: Each of those classes, books, and fitness philosophies claims to be the absolute best. For everyone. Which is impossible.

To be fair, the concept that enjoyment has an extremely powerful influence over your adherence and overall performance isn’t new at all. In fact, the most often cited study on the topic was published in 2015. So, how is this a new insight?

Really, the important revelation comes from a comparison of the myriad studies looking into the effectiveness of all these different exercise styles. Glancing through the studies, one powerful truth comes to the fore: They all do something.

Rather than allowing fads (or guilt) to dictate what type of workout you do, then, think about your personal goals and preferences. Find what you enjoy and what works for you.

Listen To Your Gut

Interest in the gut microbiome – the population of microscopic organisms inhabiting your digestive tract – has increased rapidly over the past few years. In 2017, though, our understanding of just how much those bugs can impact your health and fitness has deepened greatly.

For example, one study found that elite-level endurance athletes actually have an entirely unique gut microbiome that directly impacts how they process fuel and waste products during exercise. Recent research has also shown that this connection goes in both directions, with your exercise routine improving the health of your microorganisms.

Practically, this research suggests that your diet – which also feeds your microbiome – can have a large impact on your athletic performance than previously understood.

Back Off The Tech

Wearable fitness trackers have pretty much taken over the fitness landscape over the past several years. And for good reason. These convenient – and generally slick looking – little devices can provide athletes with a huge variety of metrics regarding their performance and progress.

Unfortunately, recent research suggest that they aren’t quite as accurate or useful as we’d like to believe. At least, not yet. Specifically, it seems like the most popular fitness trackers have gotten more accurate when it comes to measuring heart rate but still don’t do well when converting that to calories burned.

Then there’s the fact that these devices can easily become a distraction that takes your focus away from your workout. Before investing in a tracker, then, carefully consider what you want it for and whether or not it can do that job discreetly and accurately.