Not every year is defined by a big-name diet or fitness trend – think Atkins or the Thighmaster. That's a good thing. Such popular quick fixes so often turn out to be just fads. The science that really defines how we think about health and fitness requires more time and consideration. Major studies confirm our hunches (that nuts are good for us), shed light on hidden health hazards (oral sex and brown rice), and give us better ways to get fit and look good, such as high-intensity interval training regimens, which are on the rise now. Here are the nine best health and fitness trends we spotted this year – the ones we think will last.
Shorter workouts, better conditioning
In gyms everywhere, high-intensity interval training replaced hour-plus cardio sessions. The prevalence of these short, full-body circuits is most evident in the popularity of CrossFit's intense, minutes-long "workouts of the day." "Shorter workouts allow greater intensity," says Ryan Halvorson, senior editor of 'IdeaFitness Journal.' "That's why marathoners can be gaunt or plump, while avid CrossFitters tend to be lean and muscular."
Credit: Getty Images