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iven the latest lockdown, there’s probably never been a better time to get fit.

Most people have no particular place to go and feck all to do.

Which is why Mike Creamer of Greystones’ Power Rowing has put together a little guide to getting your fitness together online.

So when spring and summer rolls around, we can all happily go skinny dipping. Rather than chunky dunking.

Take it away, young Mike…

You were all set to hit the gym with a vengeance this week only to have your New Year fitness resolutions upended by New Year restrictions. Under normal circumstances January is the busiest month of the year for gyms but this year gyms across Ireland will be shuttered for the entire month and maybe longer. You can argue the merits of keeping the gyms open for people’s physical and mental health benefits but just because the gyms are closed it’s no excuse to not exercise. Don’t give up on your resolutions yet.

Fitness facility closures in 2020 forced people around the world to find alternative ways to keep fit at home or outdoors. So it’s no surprise that this year’s annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey of worldwide fitness trends identified online training as the new top trend in fitness for 2021.

1. Online Training uses digital streaming technology and apps to deliver group or individual exercise programs via a mobile device or laptop. Though it is the first year to take the number one spot online training isn’t new. For instance, there has been a growing online rowing community since long before the pandemic and in 2020 many rowing regattas took place virtually.

2. Wearable Technology includes the use of smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices and step counters like the Fitbit, that provide valuable feedback that can help increase exercise motivation.

3. Body Weight Training is an effective low-cost form of exercise that requires minimal equipment and uses your own bodyweight as resistance for exercises like push-ups, pullups, squats, lunges etc.

4. Outdoor Activities such as hiking, biking and running have seen a big increase in participation since the pandemic started last Spring. While it’s always good to exercise in the great outdoors, as we head into the cold dark winter months you might prefer to take your exercise indoors.

5. High Intensity Interval Training continues to be a very popular form of exercise in gyms around the world. Since 2014 HIIT has been in the top five of this list. HIIT programs involve alternating short bouts of vigorous exercise with less intense periods of recovery. According to Daniel Lieberman, author of the new book Exercised ‘the more we study HIIT the more it appears that it should be part of every fitness regimen, regardless of whether you are an athlete or an average person struggling to get fit’.

6. Virtual Training brings the outside indoors by using digital technology to simulate the real life experience of fitness activities like cycling and rowing etc. There are virtual training apps that can be used by individuals on their smart phone at home or for group exercise in a gym on the big screen.

7. The ACSM Exercise is Medicine global health initiative encourages doctors and other health care providers to include physical activity recommendations as part of every patient visit and to refer their patients to exercise professionals. The Covid threat will be with us through the winter months and short of getting the vaccine your best defence is to stay healthy by staying active and boost your body’s natural immune system. See the new ExWell exercise programme founded by former Dublin GAA footballer Dr. Eoin McCaffrey,

8. Strength Training with Free Weights is a back to basics form of strength training that has become a lost art in many gyms today. With the gym closures there has been a run on free weights equipment as people sought to build home gyms. You can get as strong as you ever need to with a barbell, some free weights and maybe a pair of squat racks. And training with free weights, as opposed to machines, develops better balance and neuromuscular coordination for sports.

9. Fitness Programs for Older Adults refers to age-appropriate exercise for people who are at or close to retirement age. Because of an undue fear of hurting themselves many people in this age group prefer more gentle forms of exercise like walking, golf and yoga etc. But as we age it becomes increasingly important to include resistance training to maintain strong bones and functional strength. The ACSM recommends two weekly resistance workouts for all adults.

10. Personal Training continues to be a popular fitness trend that has been on this lists top ten since it was first published in 2006. However just because you have a “personal trainer” it doesn’t mean you are training correctly. A qualified and experienced trainer will assess your fitness needs, help you set goals and design or guide you through an exercise programme to achieve your goals safely and more effectively than you would by yourself.

Power-rowing is a group exercise programme that combines the complete low-impact workout of indoor rowing with bodyweight training and stretching. The classes are limited in size to ensure social distancing and personal attention and are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. From HIIT to strength-endurance sessions Power-rowing delivers a challenging and effective workout with measurable results.

Due to the current restrictions Power-Rowing is now running online classes on the virtual river. To participate all you need is a Concept2 rowing machine and an internet connection.

For more information about Mike’s virtual rowing here in Greystones, click here, or call 0830488082. And check out our Sept 2019 interview here.