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.
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.
"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. Baby 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 fitness. 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 loss. Incorporating both as one regimen.
13. Sport-specific training.
14. Balance training,
15. Group personal training.
16. Outcome measurements. Defining and tracking outcomes.
17. Comprehensive health promotion programming at the worksite.
18. Reaching new markets. Commercial, clinical, corporate and community programs.
19. Worker incentive programs. Employee based health programs.
20. Wellness coaching. Focusing on the clients values, needs, vision and goals.
For more information regarding the top 20 trends for 2008 please visit the World Wide Fitness Survey.