From the January-February 2006 Personal Fitness Professional:
ACE’s 2006 Fitness Trend Predictions:
1) Teenagers and kids are utilizing personal trainers for sport-specific training. As the number of student athletes increases, so does the importance of sport-specific training. On today’s playing fields, the kids are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. A sport-specific training program involves focusing on the specific skills associated with an activity (e.g., tennis players strengthening the rotator cuff muscles to improve their serve), while improving cardio respiratory endurance, muscle strength, core stability and flexibility.
2 ) Clubs and trainers offer more flexible workout sessions. Small-group personal training (usually less than five individuals) continues to grow. 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 an option for families to work out together as well. It’s important that parents show 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.
3) In-home training grows in popularity. Participants are looking for variety in their workout regimen and a home gym can be a comfortable and inexpensive place to work out. Many personal trainers will come directly to the home to offer guidance. This can be very helpful to inexperienced exercisers.
4 ) An increase in 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 your body more limber, stabilizes your joints and lowers the risk of everyday injury.
5 ) Simple exercise habits, such as a walk-a-day, remain popular. The nation’s growing waistline can best be fought with a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day. Moderately intense daily activity can prevent illness and prolong your life. It also can be a great way to meet people or include family and friends in a fit and active lifestyle.
6 ) Balance training continues to be a strong trend. 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.
7 ) 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.
8 ) More and more restaurants are offering healthier nutrition options. Many Americans are demanding to know what’s in their meals and restaurants are responding by offering nutritional content listed on their menus. These listings can keep help to keep you on track and in control of portion sizes when dining out.
9 ) 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.
10) Functional fitness continues its 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.
My comments to follow.