The annual worldwide survey by the American College of Sports Medicine into fitness trends, shows the growing demand for educated and experienced fitness professionals claimed the top spot for the fourth consecutive year.
The survey, now in its fifth year, was distributed to ACSM-certified health and fitness professionals worldwide and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments.
The top ten fitness trends predicted for 2011 are given below.
1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Due to increases in the number of organisations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through accredited programmes.
2. Fitness programmes for older adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programmes to keep older adults healthy and active.
3. Strength training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity programme for all physical activity levels and genders.
4. Children and obesity. With childhood obesity growing at an alarming rate, health and fitness professionals see the epidemic as an opportunity to create programmes tailored to overweight and obese children. Solving the problem of childhood obesity will have an impact on the health care industry today and for years to come.
5. Personal training. More and more students are studying sport and exercise science, which indicates that students are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and the possession of recognised qualifications for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.
6. Core training. Distinct from strength training, core training specifically emphasises conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen – all of which provide needed support for the spine.
7. Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss programme. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programmes are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and calorific restriction for better weight control in their clients.
8. Boot camp. Boot camp is a high-intensity structured activity programme modelled after military style training and led by an instructor. Boot camp incorporates cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility drills in both indoor and outdoor settings.
9. Functional fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programmes for older adults are closely related.
10. Physician referrals. Physician referrals partner medical and health and fitness professionals to allow the simple integration of exercise into patients’ lives.
The full list of top 20 trends is available online in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2011” published in the ACSM’s journal, Health and Fitness.