Forget high-intensity interval training. More and more people are realising that easy-going, thoughtful exercise can have surprising benefits

This year, the Harper’s Bazaar list of “best new fitness trends and classes to try for 2018” included an incongruous addition. At No 7, wedged between hula-hoop body-toning sessions and trampoline fitness classes, was “walking” – plain, old-fashioned walking, that anyone can do for free. It seemed an odd choice of “new” activity to highlight in a list of fitness trends.

The idea that walking is suddenly fashionable appears, at first, to be at odds with everything we’re told about where fitness is going – and the pace at which people want to be doing it. A worldwide survey of fitness trends shows that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most popular fitness trend in the west this year. In the UK, spinning is most popular, according to an industry report from UKActive and DataHub.

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