Won’t leave home without your smart watch, fitness tracker or GPS tracking device? If so, you’re not alone. More consumers and health and fitness professionals are using technology to monitor heart rate and collect other daily health metrics. Not surprisingly, wearable technology is forecast as this year’s most popular trend in fitness according to more than 2,000 health and fitness pros surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine conducts a survey to determine which fitness trends the world can expect to see the following year. Last year, their 2019 list included wearable tech (also the No. 1 trend again this year), HIIT, and group exercise classes—and they were definitely onto something.
So with their 2020 list newly released, we had to take a look.
- Wearable Technology: Includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.
- Group Training: Group exercise instructors teach, lead and motivate individuals through intentionally designed, larger, in-person group movement classes (more than five participants). Group programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals achieve fitness goals.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. Despite concerns expressed by some fitness professionals, these 30-minute or less sessions continue to be a popular form of exercise around the world.
- Fitness Programs for Older Adults: As Baby Boomers age into retirement, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
- Bodyweight Training: Bodyweight training uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
- Employ Certified Fitness Professionals: Hiring health/fitness professionals certified through programs accredited by the NCCA is more important than ever. ACSM is one of the largest and most prestigious fitness-certification organisations in the world.
- Yoga: Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.
- Personal Training: With the growing emphasis on increased physical activity, more people are preparing for careers in allied health fields like personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers remain important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.
- Functional Fitness Training: This trend focuses on strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.
- Exercise is Medicine®: This global health initiative by ACSM encourages health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated referrals to certified fitness professionals in the community as part of every patient visit.