Here we go.  The end of the year is coming fast, and already we are looking forward to 2015.  Any why not?  The days will start getting longer by New Years Day, and with that we start getting ready for summer.  And, we should.

Before I start talking about fitness trends for the new year, I want to remind you all of a very important fitness lesson.  That is, listen to your body. If it is telling you that you did not get enough sleep last night, and a nap would be better for both your health and fitness, then take the nap.  This was the case for me yesterday.  There is nothing wrong with it so long as you do not let it become a bad habit.  And of course hard yard work can be substituted any time for a workout.  I must say over and over again that you are in this for the long haul and one day is not going to make or break your health and overall fitness.

So, it has been said elsewhere that bodyweight exercises will be the next fitness trend for 2015.  And why not?  You do not need any equipment to speak of, and you can do them anywhere.  I totally agree with this.  Even though i sell fitness sandbags I do not use them for every workout.  And even when I do, I sometimes combine them with bodyweight exercises.  

There are actually some bodyweight exercises that are harder to do than exercises with free weights or sandbags.  CrossFit has one popular move called the muscle-up that I used to do when I was younger.  I not longer do it because it is too hard and stressful on my shoulder joints.   It works just about your total upper body in one movement.  It can be done on either a pullup bar or with rings.  It combines a pullup with a dip movement.  I congratulate all of you who are good at doing it.

For the rest of us, that leaves running, walking, pushups, pullups, situps, dips, squats, lunges, and what i call stepovers.  I cannot say enough good about pushups.  The bodybuilding industry has put such an emphasis on bench presses that I think it is time to phase them out.  Pushups are actually better for your total upper body fitness than bench presses.  And, by putting either a weight plate or a small sandbag on your back, you can raise the resistance level to that of professional level.  

Pullups can be done with either just your bodyweight or can be taken to a professional level of resistance with added weight.  A dipping belt can hold a weight plate.  A sandbag can be held between your ankles.  You can put either a weight vest or a chain vest on to add weight.  And, if you cannot quite do a pullup, you can use a stool to stand on to give some assistance.

As for the lower body, I cannot over-stress the benefit of climbing either a hill, or stairs, or a stadium.  Again, it can be done with or without added weights as mentioned above.  A favorite leg exercise I have been doing for quite a few years is what I call the giant stepover.  I use an 18" tall plyometric box to do it with.  I either do it with or without a weighted vest.  I just step up and over it with one leg, turn around, and step over it with the other leg.

I think you get the idea.  Whatever you do for exercise in 2015, just do it and keep moving.  Happy New Year!