SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Dec. 4, 2006 – The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, today announced its top 10 fitness trend predictions for 2007. Through its research and worldwide network of certified fitness professionals, ACE continues to monitor the movement of this growing industry. 2007 promises to bring programming to special populations, offer alternative and low-cost fitness options and provide the very best in personal training.
- Expanded specialized fitness programming for older adults. A well-balanced fitness program offers many benefits for seniors. It conditions muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to help fight osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, keeping the body more limber and stabilizing joints to lower the risk of everyday injury and enhance overall quality of life.
- Small-group training for all age groups. Small-group personal training (usually less than five individuals) continues to grow. Couples, families and friends will look to this option as a great way to receive the technical instruction and close supervision of personal training at a more economical cost. Specifically, this modified approach offers parents the opportunity to show their children that being active can be a fun and regular part of daily life. These sessions can offer a safe exercise option while under the supervision of a certified fitness professional.
- A focus on youth programming. More and more kids are obese due to a lack of exercise and/or a high intake of calories. The growing waistlines of our nation’s youth can best be fought with a minimum of 60 minutes of accumulated physical activity each day. Fitness programs targeted toward children will grow as the impact of health status reports regarding the nation’s youth motivate community and program leaders, schools and parents to take action.
- Personal trainers taking a team approach. Medical doctors, trainers and nutritionists will continue to make the connection that each member of the healthcare continuum can play a vital role in helping to prevent or reverse many of the disturbing health-related trends affecting our society. With a team approach, the likelihood of success is greatly improved.
- Simple, affordable options and alternatives for workouts. Participants are looking for variety in their workout regimens. Simple walking programs or a “back-to-basics” approach can fit those needs. Moderately intense, daily activity can help prevent illness and prolong life. It is great way to meet people or include family and friends in a fit and active lifestyle. Home gyms can also be a comfortable and inexpensive place to work out. Many personal trainers come directly to the home to offer expert guidance. This can be very helpful to inexperienced exercisers.
- Functional Fitness and Balance Training activities. Exercise programming and equipment (e.g., foam rollers, wobble boards, Bosu balls, etc.) aimed at improving individuals’ performance capabilities continue to be among the fastest growing and most popular exercise options. Health clubs and trainers are offering balance training programs and classes for virtually all levels and types of participants. Functional strength training and/or core strengthening activities enhance balance, coordination, strength and endurance in everyday activities. Focusing on exercising several muscles and joints together rather than working a particular muscle or group of muscles better prepares the body for daily activities and recreational pursuits.
- The mind and body connect for a complete health and fitness experience. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi continue to provide an opportunity and an alternative to higher impact activities. The key elements of mind-body activities include proper posture, breathing and body awareness. By incorporating elements of mental and spiritual fitness, individuals will take better care of their entire being and psychological self, not just their bodies.
- The best in personal training from experts in the field holding an accredited certification. Personal Training is frequently cited as one of the fastest growing professions and consumers are demanding competent practitioners. A certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) helps ensure that those trainers have been certified by an organization that has established high quality standards in certification. By earning a certification from an NCCA-accredited organization, fitness professionals are demonstrating to the public that they possess the knowledge to design and supervise safe and effective workout programs.
- Accountability and measurement-focused programming. Technological advancements are making it possible to more precisely measure a wide variety physiological responses and document training program results. As an example, metabolic testing devices provide more accurate physiological data to improve weight management and performance programming. Such documentation will be necessary in order for insurance reimbursement for fitness services to become at reality in the near future. Consumers are also choosing to use downloadable programs to iPods, PDAs etc., that offer fitness programming with illustrations and/or streaming video.
- Time-efficient workouts for those with tight schedules. A greater demand for group fitness classes and training sessions that are 45 minutes or less. Workouts and exercise programs will continue to respond to the critical need for time-starved Americans to get an effective workout in a very short period of time.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, 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 sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest non-profit 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.