Once again, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released the results of its annual fitness trend survey. Here are the top ten trends in order of how they were ranked by 1800 fitness professionals from around the world:
• Wearable tech
• Bodyweight training
• High intensity interval training (HIIT)
• Demand for highly trained and experienced fitness professionals
• Strength training
• Group training
• The “exercise is medicine” initiative
• Personal training
• Exercise and weight loss
To no one’s surprise, this trend remains at the top of the list from 2016. Gadgets have become integral tools for nearly every area of life, and fitness is no exception. If you enjoy measuring your progress by numbers and graphs, find it motivating to compare your workouts to others, or enjoy engaging in virtual competitions, keep your eyes peeled for updated and new versions of wearable tech (and even clothing) this year.
Many in the fitness field are re-discovering the simplicity and effectiveness of using our own bodies as resistance to improve overall strength and balanced, functional fitness. If you’re interested in jumping on this trend, start with pushups, pullups, planks, squats, lunges, and ask others to demonstrate new or modified moves you can do at the fitness center and from your living room.
Research continues to show that shorter, more intense workouts are just as effective, if not more effective, than longer, below-maximum effort workouts. HIIT might be a good style to try if you’ve started to plateau, are bored with your cardio sessions, or have minimal time to devote to daily workouts.
Highly experienced professionals
Many of us enjoy the freedom of working out on our own, but we still want some guidance. To benefit the most from your workouts, look for a fitness gym that employs a knowledgeable team capable of helping you personalize a routine based on your goals, learn how to use a new piece of equipment with the right form, and provide support and feedback when you need it most.
This trend recognizes the role of muscle in looking good, feeling good, and avoiding injuries in daily life. If you’ve been timid about strength training, ask one of those friendly experts at the fitness center to help you get started with free weights, machines, or barbells. Strive to strength train at least twice a week in addition to your cardio workouts.
If you enjoy the encouragement and motivation of working out with outs, group training can be a fun, approachable pathway to fitness. Look for new types of classes and group training formats to become more common in the upcoming year. Even if you have a routine you enjoy, changing things up with a group training session is a great way to cross train and avoid burnout.
Exercise is medicine
Considering the cost of health care and the tremendous benefits exercise is proven to have for our health, more people are pushing for physicians to include exercise in the treatment plans they prescribe for their patients. Just like nutritious food, exercise can be the most effective, natural medicine.
Yoga is a great way to stay flexible, de-stress, and avoid injuries. Check out dedicated yoga classes at your fitness gym or add some yoga moves into the cooldown at the end of your usual workout.
Hand in hand with experienced professionals, personal training is increasingly important to us. Having someone who can guide you, keep you accountable, and encourage you along the way is invaluable to making fitness a lifelong priority.
Exercise and weight loss
Finally, we’re still focused on the role of exercise in helping us maintain and lose body fat, in addition to healthy eating habits. Dieting alone is not as effective as combining balanced nutrition with fitness center workouts.
Be sure to take advantage of current and future opportunities to embrace these newly-ranked fitness trends for 2017.