Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2009
American College of Sports Medicine Survey Predicts Next Year's Fitness Trends
Nov. 5, 2008 -- Ready for a sneak peek at the top 20 fitness trends for
Those trends were ranked in an online survey by 1,540 professionals
certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Here are the survey's results, reported by exercise science expert Walter
Thompson, PhD, FACSM, FAACVPR, Regent's Professor at Georgia State
- Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Certification and
accreditation for health and fitness programs and professionals are becoming
- Children and obesity. Fitness programs to address childhood obesity are a top
trend for the third year in a row in the ACSM survey.
- Personal training. Personal trainers are becoming more accessible to
more people, according to the survey.
training. Men and women are lifting weights; staying strong
while aging is increasingly part of their motivation.
- Core training.
This trend is about strengthening muscles in the abdomen and back to stabilize
- Special fitness programs for older adults. This trend includes aging
baby boomers, frail elders who want to get stronger for daily tasks, active
older adults, and master athletes.
- Pilates. Done on a mat or special equipment, Pilates trains the core
muscles and improves flexibility and posture.
- Stability ball. These big, inflatable balls (also called Swiss balls
or balance balls) are used for crunches, push-ups, and other exercises. Staying
stable on the ball is part of the challenge.
- Sport-specific training. This trend is about athletes training in
the off-season to build their strength and endurance.
- Balance training. In balance training, you might stand on a wobble
board or use a stability ball to hone your balance. It's a trend for all ages,
- Functional fitness. A functional fitness workout preps your body for
daily activities such as running for the bus or lifting groceries -- not just
gliding along on the elliptical machine.
- Comprehensive health programming at work. This trend is about
improving employees' health -- and lowering employers' health care costs.
- Wellness coaching. Wellness coaches support clients in making
behavior changes for better wellness.
- Worker incentive programs. Some employers are giving their workers
incentives to make healthy changes.
- Outcome measurements. This trend is about accountability and
measuring progress toward fitness goals.
- Spinning (indoor cycling). Spinning classes, fast-paced group
workouts on stationary bikes, have been around for a while, but they're still
- Physician referrals. Doctors are increasingly referring patients to
health and fitness facilities, according to the ACSM survey.
- Exercise and weight loss. Sensible or
"sensationalized," most diets now include an exercise component,
- Group personal training. Groups of two or three people can often get
discounts from personal trainers.
- Reaching new markets. Thompson estimates that 80% of the U.S. public
doesn't have an exercise routine or a place to exercise, which amounts to a
"huge market" for the health and fitness industry.