The American College of Sports Medicines’ seventh annual Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2013 has just been published in the journal Health & Fitness.
The list of top twenty trends was formulated from the survey results received from over 3,300 health and fitness professionals from around the world.
Much to the disappointment of Pilates instructors all over the globe, Pilates, stability ball and balance training again failed to appear on the list of top 20 trends in the health and fitness industry, supporting the theory that these were fads and not trends.
The top twenty trends were:
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 programmes that are fully accredited by national third-party accrediting organisations for health and fitness and clinical exercise programme professionals.
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.
3. Body Weight Training
Appearing for the first time in the trend survey is body weight training.
4. Children and Obesity
Retaining a spot in the top 10 in this year’s survey is exercise programmes aimed specifically at the problem of childhood obesity.
5. Exercise and Weight Loss
For many years, weight loss programmes have been trying to infuse a regular exercise programme into the caloric restriction diets of many popular commercial programmes.
6. Fitness Programmes for Older Adults
The concern for the health of ageing adults has been consistently at the top of the survey and because they may have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts, fitness clubs should capitalise on this exponentially growing market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11. Worksite Health Promotion
This is a trend for a range of programmes and services designed to improve the health of workers and incorporate systems to evaluate their impact on health, healthcare costs and worker productivity.
12. Zumba and Other Dance Workouts
Combining Latin rhythms with interval-type exercise and resistance training, Zumba and other dance workouts first appeared on the list of potential trends in 2010 and has grown in popularity every year since.
13. Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities typically include hiking, canoeing, kayaking and games or sports, but can also include high-adventure programmes such as overnight camping trips.
Yoga now comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and yoga done in hot and humid environments.
15. Worker Incentive Programmes
Worker incentive programmes also are associated with the trend to provide worksite health promotion programmes in an attempt to reduce health care costs.
16. Boot Camp
Boot camp is a high-intensity structured activity patterned after military-style training and includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility drills and usually, involves both indoor and outdoor exercises typically led by an enthusiastic instructor.
17. Outcome Measurements
This reflects a trend toward accountability. There will be efforts to define and track outcomes to prove that a selected programme actually works.
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.
19. Reaching New Markets
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 programmes.
20. Wellness Coaching
Wellness coaching often uses a one-on-one approach similar to a personal trainer, with the coach providing support, guidance and encouragement. The wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision and goals.