If you struggle to fit in training around trading, now’s the time to get involved in one of the latest fitness crazes. From obstacle courses and virtual reality training to surfing without water and working out while sitting down, we’ve rounded up the weirdest, toughest and most effective fitness trends that’ll get you in shape without demanding too much time away from the charts.
Dust off those trainers… on your marks, get set, go!
Body Weight Training
What is it? A fancy name for all the moves you’ve been doing since the first time you hit the gym – planks, squats, lunges, press-ups and burpees: to name but a few.
Tell me more: There are countless gadgets, bits of tech and crazy new fitness regimes out there – but the American College of Sports Medicine surveyed 3,000 fitness professionals to find the best new fitness trend, and old-school body weight training came out on top. It might not sound ground-breaking, but body weight training (basically, using your own body weight for resistance instead of opting for weights and machines) is predicted to be the next big thing in fitness.
Pros for traders: Body weight training has one big pro for everyone: all you need is yourself. No fancy equipment, workout gear or gym memberships are required – you can do body weight training anywhere you like. Squeeze in some press-ups while you’re waiting for your trades to be stopped out, and review your trading plan from the plank position – no excuses!
What is it? Basically, surfing without water – balancing on a mechanical surfboard that moves around to challenge your core muscles while you do squats, jumps
Tell me more: CEO Mike Hartwick noticed that during the winter, his fitness regime caused him to bulk up and lose the lean, toned physique a summer of surfing gave him. So he designed a machine that would mimic the workout he got while surfing. It wouldn’t be quite as cool as catching real waves, but it would keep him in peak physical condition when he had to leave the ocean behind.
Pros for traders: It’s more fun than going to the gym. So you’re more likely to do it.
Learn more about Surf Set Fitness and buy your board here.
What is it? Think boot camp on a treadmill, combining high intensity intervals and incline training.
Tell me more: The trend for treadmill classes started in the Big Apple, where the first treadmill running studio, the Mile High Run Club, opened in November. And it’s spreading. The idea is to train smarter – instead of training on your own, you’ve got group motivation and a dose of healthy competition to keep you motivated and stop you slacking off.
Pros for traders: Okay, an exercise class might not sound like the easiest thing to fit into your trading schedule – but here’s two good reasons why you should make the time: 1) Because classes are scheduled in at a certain time, once you’ve got them in the diary, it’s more difficult to make excuses not to go; and 2) At a class, you’ll be more focused than if you’re going it alone, so you’ll burn more calories in less time and be back to the charts before you know it.
What is it? The clue is in the name with this one – it’s literally a chair with arms that you push, pull and move to get a workout without even standing up.
Tell me more: The Tao chair is designed to work out multiple muscle groups all over your body while you kick back and watch TV (or keep an eye on the charts). It has built-in sensors to track how many calories you’re burning, and syncs with an app to take you through a range of workouts you’ll hardly even notice you’re doing.
Pros for traders: Sometimes, exercising is the last thing you feel like doing (we know). If making time for exercise means chipping away at the time you have left to relax at the end of a long trading day, maybe this is the solution – you can keep fit while still keeping on top of your favourite TV shows. And if you’re really desperate, you could even trade from the chair while working out – so there’s really no excuse for not being able to fit exercise into your week.
Pre-order the Tao chair here. And we also like the GymyGym chair (featured in ‘Best Office Equipment and Gadgets’) – if you can’t get to the gym, bring the gym to the office!
What is it? Keeping track of all your workouts and your calorie intake with fitness gadgets.
Tell me more: Fitness trackers are not new – but they are getting cleverer. Take the GoBe, for example. This new tracker, launched at CES 2015, can automatically measure your calorie intake as well as tracking how many calories you’re burning through exercise. Apparently, it’s more accurate than manually entering your calorie intake (and you can’t lie…) Or go for the FitBit Surge – a “fitness super watch” that has GPS tracking, monitors your heart rate, works on all sports and general daily activities, allows you to monitor sleep and even gives you call and text notifications so you won’t miss anything while you’re working out.
Pros for traders: Fitness trackers will help keep you motivated by showing you how you’re progressing faster than the results will show on your waistline. And having cool new gadgets to use is motivation to exercise too, right?
Obstacle Course Races
What is it? You’ve probably heard of Tough Mudder, the hardcore 10-12km obstacle races and mud runs designed by British Special Forces.
Tell me more: This is another level of working out – jumping through rings of fire, climbing obstacles, crawling through underwater tunnels, swinging across monkey bars – it’s not for the faint of heart. Sign up for a challenge like this (especially if you’re doing it for charity) and you’ll have no choice but to get training, so it could be just the workout incentive you need!
Pros for traders: We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you that you need to be pretty mentally strong to be a successful trader. So put your physical and mental strength and endurance to the test!
Head over to toughmudder.com for more information.
Virtual Reality Workouts
What is it? Working out in a virtual space instead of your usual running spots.
Tell me more: Virtual reality is the talk of the tech world, so it’s no surprise it’s starting to have an impact on the fitness world. Runtastic for Oculus is a new app that’s currently built as a proof on concept, and it allows you to run in a virtual world – so ditch the treadmill and jog down the beach, in the countryside and even in a black hole. You even have a virtual trainer to take you through lunges, squats and other exercises, and all your stats and reps are automatically tracked.
Pros for traders: It’s more fun than the gym, you can take it anywhere (you just need a clear space) and the change of scenery will help keep you motivated to drag yourself away from the screens.
Runtastic for Oculus Rift is still being developed – see how it’ll work in the video below: