Trends all about moving toward fitness

Paula Reece
Paula Reece

Every year the American College of Sports Medicine  (ACSM) compiles a list of what’s hot in the fitness industry for the coming year. As with any business, trends are determined by the people who use the products and services. What’s great about the fitness industry is that it not only offers new ideas on staying healthy and fit, but also adds a little variety we can incorporate into our lives.

A little history about fitness trends — they become an evolution. Some ideas that are a century old have come back because the basic principals were good ideas the first time. As we all know, the human body remains pretty much the same. Although technology, physiology and education have grown by leaps and bounds, the basic need for movement hasn’t changed.

Keep in mind the difference between a fitness fad and a fitness trend. According to the ACSM, trend is “a general development or change in a situation or in the way people behave, whereas a fad is a fashion that’s taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period.” Remember the ThighMaster? That’s a great example of a fitness fad. I think I still have one of those in the basement somewhere.

Let’s get on with the fitness trends for 2016. Drum roll, please.

The top trend is wearable technology. This includes such devices such as fitness bands, heart rate monitors and GPS trackers. The newest wearable technology is the smart watch.  The reason these have taken the fitness world by storm is that they provide immediate feedback. This form of recording activity helps users become more aware of their current fitness levels and can motivate them to achieve fitness goals. Moreover, these devices can be worn by anyone at any fitness level.

Body weight training came in at No. 2, dropping from its top spot last year. The basic principal isn’t new. Using our own body weight to create an effective workout goes back to the basics. Think of such familiar exercises as pushups, lunges and squats and you’re thinking about body weight training. These types of exercises require little to no equipment and can be incorporated into many types of workouts.

High-intensity interval training ranks third. This type of workout involves short bursts of exercise followed by a short periods of recovery. This training provides a dynamic workout with many health benefits in a short session, usually less than 30 minutes.

The next four trends involve a personal trainer and strength training. Hiring a certified personal trainer or other experienced fitness professional is on the rise. Strength training is one of the main components of a fitness program. The others are cardio and flexibility. By working out with a trainer, you get not only the benefits of strength training, but  also an educated coach preparing a workout program to fit you and your needs.

Functional fitness is also a trend that uses strength training and emphasizes balance and the movements required for daily living.

Other areas that made top spots for 2016 include weight loss, yoga and age-appropriate fitness for older adults.

This list offers a sampling of what’s available. Whether you’re looking for a fitness facility or just getting started in your fitness journey, it provides options.

The ultimate goal of providing this information is to keep you moving. Whether it’s a fitness fad, a studied trend or something new, finding fitness activities you enjoy is the key.