SAN DIEGO—The American Council on Exercise (ACE) didn’t skip a beat when they successfully predicted that online coaching and personal training, adventure workouts, children’s fitness and high-tech fitness equipment were key fitness trends for the beginning of the new millennium.
Through its research, “workout watchdog” studies, and worldwide network of certified fitness professionals, ACE continues to accurately monitor America’s growing interest in fitness. With a new year quickly approaching, ACE’s predictions for 2001 show increased participation and creative diversity:
- Because people spend so much time working indoors, outdoor fitness programs will become more popular. Trainers and group fitness instructors will continue to work with clients in settings such as parks and beaches. Walking, jogging and hiking will bring even more people outside.
- Personal trainers will focus more on the whole person, coaching their clients on overall wellness and stress reduction. The number of full-time personal trainers will double in the next 3-5 years, as personal training moves into the mainstream and is accepted as a preventative health care measure.
- Fitness programs targeted toward children will grow as the impact of health status reports on the nation’s youth stimulate program leaders, schools and parents to take action. More family oriented (parent/child) exercise programs or classes will be offered at gyms and community centers.
- Water aerobics will become more popular and continue to blend with other workouts that attract seniors and physically challenged people. Example: water tai chi and underwater massage.
- Corporations, faced with a competitive employee market, high turnover, and increasing demand from their employees for more balanced lifestyles, will provide a broader menu of health and fitness solutions. This will include corporate fitness centers, on-site personal trainers, Internet coaching, and golf and sports-specific training.
- More hotels, airlines and cruise ships will emphasize spa-like experiences. Nutrition sessions, exercise classes and treatments will be a few of the services offered.
- Fitness devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and heart rate monitors will talk, motivate, and coach based on a person’s goals. For the traveler, cell phones and PDAs will track workout schedules, providing reminders and giving feedback on workouts while on the road. Online personal training and cyber diets will continue to capture the interest of exercisers who are constantly on the go.
- There will be continued diversification in group exercise, including classes based on the styles of dance and music from other cultures, especially Eastern.
- Cardiovascular training equipment, such as elliptical training machines, that offer low-impact conditioning will continue to grow in popularity. Home exercise equipment, including strength and cardiovascular equipment, will increase in popularity for those people who prefer the convenience of working out at home.
- Exercise programs geared toward older adults will grow, focused particularly on low impact aerobics, fitness walking and water exercise. With the upswing in senior fitness, more seniors will become involved in sports that require them to seek the guidance of sports-specific personal trainers.
- Pilates, yoga and other mind/body type classes will continue to be hot and become more mainstream.
- Outdoor adventure activities, including kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and white-water rafting, will continue to gain in popularity.
- Board sports, including snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, skiffboarding and windsurfing, will continue to draw new participants looking for an adrenaline rush and fitness benefits.
- Resistance and core strength training exercises will increase in popularity, especially among women, as exercisers recognize their value for weight management, osteoporosis and overall health.
- Are we having fun yet? Exercise classes will become even more fun and functional. Less focus will be put on how intense a workout is, and more focus will be put on making a workout enjoyable. For example, circus workouts incorporate every component of fitness (muscular strength, endurance, power flexibility, balance and coordination), but make the workout seem like play. Functionally, these types of classes benefit real life movement and everyday activities.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit 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.