THE TOP TEN FITNESS TRENDS FOR 2018
Author – Dr. Zeinia Samar, Sports Physiotherapist
Fitness never stands still. There are new ways you’re going to get fit and healthy as the weather warms. Over the past 12 years, the editors of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal (FIT) have circulated an electronic survey to thousands of professionals around the world to determine health and fitness trends. Fitness trends come and go every year, but we’re going back to the basics in 2018, according to a new annual survey from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published in its Health & Fitness Journal. In 2018, some emerging trends from the last 3 years have been confirmed and two new trends are in the top 10.
Here are the top 10 fitness trends 2018 as per the survey by ACSM:
- High-intensity interval training. HIIT typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform (although it is not uncommon for these programs to be much longer in duration). In 2014, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was ranked number 1, which had previously been held for a long time (since 2008) by educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals, which was number 4 in 2016, number 5 for 2017, and number 6 for 2018. For 2018, HIIT is back to being ranked number 1 after falling to number 3 in 2017.
- Group training. Group exercise instructors teach, lead, and motivate individuals through intentionally designed larger group exercise classes (more than five or it would be group personal training). Group programs are designed to be effective sessions for different fitness levels and are motivational with instructors having leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals. There are many types of classes and equipment, from aerobics and bicycles to dance classes.
- Wearable technology. Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices, and smart eye glasses (designed to show maps and track activity) that were introduced only a few years ago. Examples include fitness and activity trackers like those from Misfit, Apple iWatch, Garmin, EFOSMH, Pebble Time, Juboury, Samsung, Basis, Jawbone, and Fitbit.
- Body weight training. Body weight training has been used previously, in fact people have been using their own body weight for centuries as a form of resistance training. Typical body weight training programs use minimal equipment, which makes it a very inexpensive way to exercise effectively.
- Strength training. Many contemporary and innovative health fitness professionals incorporate some form of strength training into the comprehensive exercise routine for their clients and for their patients. It is not uncommon for cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation or metabolic disease management programs to include weight training in the exercise programs for their patients.
- Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals. As the economy continues to grow and as the market for fitness professionals becomes even more crowded and more competitive, interest in some degree of regulation either from within the industry or from external sources (i.e., government) seems to be expanding.
- Yoga. Moving slightly up the list for 2018 is yoga. In 2017 it ranked number 8 after occupying the number 7 spot in 2015 and number 10 in 2016. Yoga comes in a variety of forms including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram Yoga (the one done in hot and humid environments). Other forms of yoga include Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Anuara Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga.
- Personal training. Professional personal trainers continue to seek the professionalization of their part of the industry. Personal trainers are employed by community-based programs, in commercial settings, in corporate wellness programs, and in medical fitness programs, or are self-employed and work independently.
- Fitness programs for older adults. There is a growing market of older adults who are now retiring healthier than other generations. Health fitness facilities should consider taking advantage of this by providing safe, age-appropriate exercise programs for this once-ignored sector of the population. Health and fitness professionals should consider developing programs for people of retirement age and fill the time during the day when most gyms are underused (typically between 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m.).
- Functional fitness. Functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Functional fitness also is used in clinical programs to replicate activities done around the home.