Top Fitness Trend Predictions for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently released its annual fitness trend forecast and not surprisingly, wearable technology topped the list. In fact, the lead author of the survey, Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D, FACSM, noted that consumer interest in technology may be signaling a waning interest in low-cost, DIY exercise options. The new survey polled 2800 health and fitness professionals worldwide. It offered 40 potential trends to rank, and the top 20 were documented by ACSM and shared in the published report.
Here are the top ten trends for 2016:
Wearable technology – This top trend includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart monitors and GPS tracking devices.
Body weight training – This is one of the most affordable ways to exercise, since it involves using your own body weight as the challenge. It is not just limited to push-ups and pull-ups, but can include a variety of back-to-the-basics exercises.
HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training involves short bursts of challenging aerobic intervals followed by short periods of recovery. For example, a runner might run a higher speed of 7.5 miles per hour for 60 seconds on a treadmill, followed by a recovery at a 6.0 pace for 90 seconds. You then keep repeating the intervals. Using HIIT usually means that you can get an effective work out in a short period of time (30 minutes).
Strength or resistance training – Working out with weights, either free hand held weights and barbells, or weight machines is still a core element of most gyms. It’s considered an essential component of a balanced workout program, which should also include aerobic and flexibility training.
Use of educated, certified fitness professionals – Whether you use a personal trainer or group fitness instructor, make sure the individual has been certified by one of several well-regarded professional programs. ACSM is one of those certifying programs.
Personal training – Having a one-on-one relationship with a personal trainer can help individuals achieve certain goals. Working with a personal trainer is also helpful if you are new to fitness, or coping with certain health issues or disabilities. A relationship with a personal trainer can benefit someone recovering from an injury and transitioning from a relationship with a physical therapist to mainstream exercise. Nowadays it’s common for two to four people to arrange workout sessions with a personal trainer to receive more individualized attention and make it affordable.
Functional fitness – Certain fitness routines and programs can help you to improve your strength and balance specifically for activities-of-daily-life. These functional fitness programs are uniquely geared to aging and older adults, and they are growing in popularity.
Fitness programs for older adults – With baby boomers a big segment of the population, fitness professionals are creating workout programs geared to help older adults stay healthy and fit as they age. Improving balance to avoid falls is one consideration. Baby boomers also tend to have more discretionary money to spend on personal trainers and special specialized exercise program.
Weight loss programs – With obesity rates still rising, the fitness industry now recognizes that exercise is a key component of any weight loss program. New programs for individuals who have obesity or morbid obesity, and combined weight loss and diet programs are growing in popularity and because there is an increasing need.
Yoga – Yoga programs can help individuals to improve their health and they also have a relaxation component. Recent studies credit yoga with helping to moderate blood pressure and improve cardiac health. Yoga has been trending strong for years and continues to make it into the yearly top ten fitness trends.
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You can read about the rest of the top 20 fitness trends and decide which of these trends fits your personality and goals, and your wallet.