SAN DIEGO– The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness advocate, today announced its fitness trend predictions for 2002. Through its research, “workout watchdog” studies, and worldwide network of certified fitness professionals, ACE continues to accurately monitor America’s growing interest in fitness. As 2002 begins, ACE’s predictions show increased participation, a focus on motivation and the concept that physical activity is not just about looking good, but about feeling good.
- Group fitness has expanded beyond a simple cardio workout. Goal-oriented classes are putting more emphasis on motivation and less emphasis on choreography. Classes that prepare the student for hiking, triathlons and marathons are increasing and have become more like practices.
- Men attending group fitness classes have increased. Because classes are less regimented and focused on more sports related activities, men are more apt to walk away from free weights.
- Classes with hip-hop, salsa, belly dancing and West African dance themes are not new, but that concept has evolved. The latest trend in some clubs is learning the choreographed routines from pop artists such as the Backstreet Boys, Destiny's Child and Christina Aguilera.
- Urban Rebounding becomes more and more popular. The concept is based on the idea that the body will gain strength more efficiently if it is not busy absorbing the shock of high-impact aerobics. Clubs in New York and Los Angeles offer several of these classes a week.
- Activities that best replicate what we do in real life will survive. Biking, for example, is a normal, everyday activity and spinning classes continue to be popular. Step classes, which have been around for almost a decade, tap the daily motion of climbing stairs.
- People are getting active for health and function not only appearance. Americans want to be in shape in preparation for an emergency that might require them to run several blocks or climb stairs. People are coming into karate schools looking for ways to avoid being victimized and to be able to defend themselves in hostile situations and learn self-defense.
- People are viewing exercise as a way to treat physical and emotional disorders. Americans are turning to Yoga, spinning and time at the gym to reduce stress, build confidence, and treat back pain, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Many Americans have started and stopped programs without reaching their goals. Simple lifestyle changes are the key. Time, access, and accountability are the issues. A new trend toward creating very small changes, often one at a time, can work. Simple steps are achievable, and help individuals create one good habit at a time.
- Personal trainers will act as the “gate keeper” of health and fitness information for their clients. People want one trusted resource to deliver the most relevant and digestible ways to live healthier. This includes everything from the right types of exercise equipment, shoes, the latest myths and diets.
- Electronic fitness equipment gets easier to use. The trends toward mega feedback, multiple programs, and multitudes of buttons on treadmills and elliptical trainers have decreased. Consumers want easy to follow instructions and a few programs that really work.
- Health care organizations will be proactive and advise patients to make better choices about their health. They will guide and coach their patients to take better care of themselves before a medical incident occurs.
- The mind and body connection will continue to grow and reach the largest of populations. Yoga, Pilates, stretching and strength training have merged. The total mind and body workout will include all of the best elements of each discipline in formats that work for individual lifestyles.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org
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