Hello everyone! This week I have been struggling to find a simple, 1-shot topic to discuss on the blog. Just as my frustration was mounting, something came across my desk this morning that is the perfect subject for a light-hearted newsletter- fitness trends for 2016. With basketball season ready to crank up and preseason polls generating discussion, let’s take a look at a ‘preseason fitness-trend poll.’
Each year since 2006, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has conducted a survey of a diverse group of over 1000 fitness professionals worldwide to assess the top trends in the fitness industry in the coming year. The sample of fitness professionals is typically made up of both full and part-time personal trainers, group fitness instructors, gym owners, medical professionals, clinical exercise physiologists, students, and professors.
Survey respondents are asked to differentiate between ‘fads’ and ‘trends,’ and to focus on trends alone- something that influences the way that individuals behave (trend) as opposed to something that people are very enthusiastic about for only a brief period of time (fad.)
The survey results indicate what over 2,800 fitness professionals’ view as the fitness-related ideas and exercise modes that will be the most popular amongst those who participate in regular exercise in 2016. Without further ado, here are the top 10:
1. Wearable technology (first time in the Top 20- unranked to first!)
2. Body weight training (first appeared in the poll in 2013)
3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) (#1 for 2014 and 2015)
4. Strength training
5. Educated, certified, experienced fitness professionals
6. Personal training (stable in top 10 for last 9 years)
7. Functional fitness
8. Fitness programs for older adults
9. Exercise and weight loss
Positions 11-20: group personal training, worksite health promotion, wellness coaching, outdoor activities, sport-specific training, flexibility and mobility rollers, smart phone exercise apps, circuit training, core training, and outcome measurements.
Notable trends that fell out of the top 20 for 2016 include: children and exercise for treatment/prevention of obesity, worker incentive programs, and boot camp.
The number one trend for the upcoming year does not surprise me, and is actually encouraging. As indicated in the list, both wearable technology and smart phone exercise apps (#17) appeared in the Top 20 for the first time ever in this poll. Reliance on technology is ever-increasing, and some feel that technology is partially to blame for the increasing sedentary nature of modern life. However, if technology can be used to encourage physical activity, then it is absolutely a positive.
How can it help? Quite simply, it allows fitness participants and professionals alike to quantify and track progress. Nothing indicates progress more effectively to the client or the trainer than changing numbers. If technology allows us to more easily and efficiently show results, we may as well take advantage of it!