Thursday, November 29, 2012

Top 20 Fitness Trends heading into 2013

1. Educated, Certified, and Experienced Fitness Professionals
Holding on to the no. 1 spot for the last 6 years, this is a trend that continues and drives the need for education and certification programs that are fully accredited by national third-party accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals. People are choosing trainers who are certified and up to date.

2. Strength Training

Strength training remains at the no. 2 position for the second year in a row but has been a strong trend since the first year of this survey. This trend calls for both men and women to incorporate strength training into their exercise routines or to use it as the primary form of exercise. This makes sense because with popular circuit type programs you can incorporate all modes of fitness in one.

3. Body Weight Training
Appearing for the first time in the trend survey is body weight training. Body weight training did not appear as an option in previous surveys because it has only now become popular (as a defined trend) in gyms around the world; this is not to say that body weight training has not been used previously. On the contrary, people have been using their own body weights for centuries as a form of resistance training. Packaging it as an exercise program has now made it popular in all kinds of gyms. Body weight training often uses minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive way to exercise effectively. Most people think of body weight training as being limited to push-ups and pull-ups, but it can be much more than that. Body weight training may be a trend to watch as more people get “back to the basics.”

4. Children and Obesity
Retaining a spot in the top 10 in this year’s survey is exercise programs aimed specifically at the problem of childhood obesity. The problem with childhood and adolescent obesity continues to be a major health issue in most developed and developing nations. Fitness specialists are working towards curbing this disturbing trend.

5. Exercise and Weight Loss
For many years, weight loss programs have been trying to infuse a regular exercise program into the caloric restriction diets of many popular commercial programs. Most well-publicized diet plans incorporate exercise into their daily routine of providing meals to their clients. The combination of exercise and weight loss is a trend toward incorporating all weight loss programs with a sensible exercise program. This has been a growing trend since the survey began. The combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight loss maintenance and can improve compliance to caloric restriction diets and in particular weight loss programs.

6. Fitness Programs for Older Adults

The concern for the health of aging adults has been consistently at the top of the survey. The baby boom generation is now aging into retirement, and because they may have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts, fitness clubs should capitalize on this exponentially growing market. Fitness programs for older adults will remain a strong trend for 2013.

7. Personal Training
As more professional personal trainers are educated and become certified (see trend no. 1), they become more accessible to more people in all sectors of the health and fitness industry. Personal trainers are employed by community-based programs, in commercial settings, in corporate wellness programs, and in medical fitness programs. Personal training has been in the top 10 of this survey for the past 7 years.

8. Functional Fitness
Functional fitness may be defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to improve one’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Functional fitness programs reflect actual activities one might do as a function of daily living. Functional fitness is often used in clinical programs to imitate activities done around the home.

9. Core Training
Core training stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax, and back. It typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back, and abdomen, all of which provide support for the spine and thorax. Exercising the core muscles improves overall stability of the trunk and transfers that to the extremities, enabling the individual to meet the demands of activities of daily living and for the performance of various sports that require strength, speed, and agility. Core training often uses stability balls, BOSU balls, wobble boards, foam rollers, and other pieces of equipment. Some respondents argued that core training may be losing some of its popularity as new forms of exercise are developed. This will be an interesting trend to watch in the next few years, especially with fitness gurus like Gary Gray emphasizing 3- D core training.

10. Group Personal Training
This trend allows the personal trainer to continue providing the personal service clients expect but now in a small group of two to four, offering potentially deep discounts to each member of the group Training two or three people at the same time in a small group seems to make good economic sense for both the trainer and the client. Group personal training will continue to be popular in 2013.

11. Worksite Health Promotion
This is a trend for a range of programs and services designed to improve the health of workers and incorporate systems to evaluate their impact on health, health care costs, and worker productivity. Many of these programs are physically housed within the company or corporation building or on campus, whereas other programs may contract with independent commercial- or community-based programs. Within the context of health care reform in the United States and rising health care costs, health promotion programs may take on additional importance in the future.

12. Zumba and Other Dance Workouts

Combining Latin rhythms with interval-type exercise and resistance training, Zumba requires energy and enthusiasm from the instructor and the participants. It appeared as though the popularity of Zumba was growing, with a rapid escalation between 2010 and 2012. Future surveys will determine if this is a trend or a fad.

13. Outdoor Activities
This is a trend for health and fitness professionals to offer more outdoor activities to their clients. Outdoor activities can be done with family and with friends, with a group or by yourself. Outdoor activities typically include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and games or sports. Outdoor activities also can include high-adventure programs such as overnight camping trips.

14. Yoga
Yoga now comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and yoga done in hot and humid environments. Other forms of yoga include Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga, Bikram Yoga (the hot and humid one), Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Anuara Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga. Instructional tapes and books are abundant, as are the growing numbers of certifications for the many yoga formats.

15. Worker Incentive Programs
Appearing for the first time in the survey top 20 in 2011, worker incentive programs stayed in the top 20 for 2012. It now appears at no. 15 for 2013. This is a trend toward creating incentive programs to stimulate positive healthy behavior change as part of employer-based health promotion programming and health care benefits.

16. Boot Camp
Boot camp is a high-intensity structured activity patterned after military-style training, usually dome 1st thing in morning. Boot camp includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility drills and usually involves both indoor and outdoor exercises typically led by an enthusiastic instructor. Boot camps also can combine sport-type drills and calisthenics.

17. Outcome Measurements
This is a trend toward accountability. There will be efforts to define and track outcomes to prove that a selected program actually works. Measurements are necessary to determine the benefits of health and fitness programs in disease management and to document success in changing negative lifestyle habits. Fitness Guru Paul Chek states, “If you don’t asses you guess,” The proliferation of technology will aid in data collection to support these efforts.

18. Circuit Training
Circuit training is a group of 6 to 10 exercises that are completed one after another and in a predetermined sequence. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a set period before having a quick rest and moving on to the next exercise. Circuit training appears in 2013 for the first time in the top 20 trends, which is not surprising with the strength and cardio, and small group components.

19. Reaching New Markets

This is a trend that identifies new markets in all aspects of the health and fitness industry. With an estimated 80% of Americans not having a regular exercise program or a place to exercise, commercial, clinical, corporate, and community programs will reach out to tap into this huge market. Health and fitness professionals and their employers will be searching for new ways to deliver their services to most people who are still not engaged in their programs.

20. Wellness Coaching

This is a trend that incorporates behavioral change science into health promotion and disease prevention programs. Wellness coaching often uses a one-on-one approach similar to a personal trainer, with the life coach providing support, guidance, and encouragement. The wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision, and goals. According to this trend survey (and results from past surveys), it seems as though wellness coaching and its principled techniques of behavior change have been adopted by personal trainers and other health and fitness professionals.

These trends make sense with conjunction to the shifts of the fitness industry. Fitness pro’s must be accountable and their clients need to make fitness strides to continue the relationship. Many trainers, including this fitness director / trainer have had the same loyal dedicated clients for over 7 years plus. It is both encouraging and extraordinary that savvy people choose to work and make the monetary sacrifice to work fitness pros. But, … what better investment than in your own personal “Health and Wellness”!


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