American Council on Exercise Makes Fitness Trend Predictions for 2005
- Balance training grows in popularity. Balance training activities (e.g., Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, etc.) and equipment (e.g., foam rollers, wobble boards, Bosu balls, etc.) are among the fastest growing and most popular exercise options for adults. Health clubs and trainers are offering balance training programs for virtually all levels and types of participants.
- A growing tendency to blend popular mind-body programs such as yoga and Pilates with more traditional forms of exercise. These fusion classes and programs will combine the traditional elements of a fitness regimen with many of the key elements of mind-body activities including 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.
- Shorter duration workouts continue to become more widespread. Lack of time continues to be the most frequently cited reason why individuals do not exercise on a regular basis. Time-starved Americans continue to seek out effective, yet time-efficient workouts pushing health clubs and trainers to offer express circuits and abbreviated routines.
- Wellness coaching and nutritional counseling are drawing a larger crowd. These services address a more holistic approach to health and wellness. Wellness coaching helps individuals make healthy, positive choices in all aspects of every day life. Nutritional counseling is gaining popularity as many Americans continue to look for ways to manage weight and maximize performance.
- Clubs and trainers offering more flexible workout sessions. Small-group personal training (usually less than five individuals) appears to be on the rise. Such programming is a great way to receive the technical instruction and close supervision of personal training at a more economical cost. This modified approach offers participants more social interaction which can have a very positive impact on exercise adherence.
- Employers are encouraging fitness and weight loss. A vast majority of adult Americans are inactive and overweight, at times costing their employers to lose revenue due to increased rates of absenteeism, higher health and medical expenses, and reduced productivity. Now a growing number of corporations are offering wellness programming to its workers in an effort to encourage physical activity, sensible nutrition habits, and an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Functional fitness and core strengthening have a strong presence in personal training sessions and group fitness classes. Functional strength training and/or core strengthening activities enhance 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.
- Personal trainers and group fitness instructors share clients. Personal trainers will work with group fitness instructors and vice versa to encourage participants to diversify their workout routines. Even the most dedicated exercisers occasionally get bored with their routines. A new variation on activities such as a cardio-funk class or a “boot camp” workout instead of traditional exercise machines or working with free weights instead of step aerobics will help to reinvigorate stale routines.
- An increase in family participation in outdoor fitness activities. More families will look for diverse and creative ways to be active together such as outdoor adventure activities and various recreational sports including soccer, softball, and touch football, etc. It’s important that parents show children that being active can be a fun and regular part of daily life.
- Participation in physical activities for socialization and motivation will become more popular. Not everyone participates to compete. Joining a training group just to finish a marathon, triathlon or adventure race is a great way to meet people or include family and friends in a fit and active lifestyle.
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 .
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