Top 2008 Fitness Trends

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."



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.


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?