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fitness trends

The American College of Sports Medicine’s annual Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends recently released its 2016 report in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. Now in its tenth year, the report highlights some new trends that appeared last year like body weight training and high-intensity interval training, as well as some other trends that were once again supported this year by educated and certified health fitness professionals.

Trends vs. Fads

The survey notes the difference between fitness “trends,” which are those programs within the health and fitness industry that have staying power, versus fitness “fads” which are often times product gimmicks marketed through infomercials or celebrity endorsements. The report based on their survey findings focuses on the top twenty trends so that it may help health and fitness for-profit, non-profit, and clinical businesses make informed buying and program decisions for their upcoming year.

In the 2016 survey, ACSM received nearly 3,000 responses using a Likert-type scale ranging from a low score of one (least likely to be a trend) to a high score of ten (most likely to be a trend) to determine which new technologies and programs that have been identified in the previous year by fitness industry experts. Some findings include the fact that Zumba, Pilates, and indoor cycling are not among the top twenty trends for the second year in a row. Here are the top 10 trends from the report.

  1. Wearable technology. Includes wearable technology like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.
  2. Body weight training. Programs that use minimal equipment.
  3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT). Involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest and typically takes less than thirty minutes to perform.
  4. Strength training. Remains popular in all sectors of the health and fitness industry and for many different kinds of clients.
  5. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals. Fitness accreditations offered by national third-party accrediting organizations for health, fitness, and clinical exercise program professionals.
  6. Personal training. Educated, accredited, and professional personal trainers are increasingly more accessible in all sectors of the health and fitness industry.
  7. Functional fitness. Provides older adults with strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living.
  8. Fitness programs for older adults. Exponentially growing market provides age-appropriate and safe exercise programs for the aging population.
  9. Exercise and weight loss. Incorporates weight loss programs that emphasize caloric restriction with a sensible exercise program.
  10. Yoga. Comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram. Yoga seems to reinvent and refresh itself every year, making it a more attractive form of exercise.

The full 2016 Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends report can be viewed online here in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

Want to help others realize their fitness potential?

LHAA offers academic programs in both certified personal training and certified yoga teacher training for exciting and rewarding careers in the health and wellness industry. We encourage you to explore these programs – request a catalog to learn more.

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