In a recent survey (Fitness
Trends) the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) predicted the following
fitness trends for 2008.

This is the second year for
the survey, which was designed to reveal trends in commercial, corporate, clinical,
and community fitness program environments. The potential trends in the survey
were scored by expert respondents from all over the world including Asia,
Europe, Australia, Africa, North American, and South America.

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This year's response rate
nearly doubled that of last year. The trends were ranked from highest to lowest
based on the scores given by the respondents.

According to the survey, the
availability of more "educated and experienced fitness professionals"
will be the biggest fitness trend, offering exercisers even more options when
choosing a trainer to complement their fitness routines.

The fitness professionals
trend was listed at number three last year.

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"The survey revealed a
few surprises, and also confirmed what has been on the landscape this year in
the health and fitness industry," said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM,
and lead author of the article. "We were interested to find that the
top three predictions for next year were statistically close, but they all support
the idea that the health professional is going to be held to a higher level in
education and certification. Overall, we're seeing these themes develop
now that will help the fitness professional design specialty programs for their
clients. It also creates an expectation for the public, who can glean new
ideas to improve and build upon their workouts."

1. Educated
and experienced fitness professionals.
More organizations are seeking accreditation for academic and
certification programs for fitness professionals, including personal trainers,
which will contribute to industry regulation.

2. Programs to fight
childhood obesity.
The high
ranking of this trend matches the country's concern about childhood obesity and
health. An influx of fitness programs designed specifically for children and
adolescents is expected to help combat this problem.

3. Personal training. This trend moved up four spots from last year's
survey, signaling that the profession of personal training is becoming more
realistic and accessible to the public.

4. Strength training. Moving up from number six last year – both men and
women are incorporating strength training into their exercise regimens.

5. Core training. Core training remains at number five from last year and includes not
only abdominal work but stability balls, wobble boards and foam rollers

6. Special fitness
programs for older adults.
boomers who are now getting older with more discretionary money than their
younger counterparts.

7. Pilates. Exercise that targets the core while using the entire body.

8. Functional
A newer trend using strength training to improve
balance, coordination, strength and endurance all the while improving one's
ability to do activities of daily living.

9. Swiss ball. A surprise in the top 10 since this exercise didn't even break the top
20 in 2007. The swiss ball helps
with stability, balance and strength.

10. Yoga. All varieties of yoga are included at number 10.

11. Exercise and weight
Incorporating both as one regimen.

12. Spinning.

13. Sport-specific

14. Balance training,

15. Group personal

16. Outcome
and tracking outcomes.

17. Comprehensive health
promotion programming at the worksite.

18. Reaching new
Commercial, clinical, corporate and community

19. Worker incentive
Employee based health programs.

20. Wellness
Focusing on the clients values, needs, vision and

For more information
regarding the top 20 trends for 2008 please visit the World Wide Fitness Survey.

What do you think?