- Wearable technology. This includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices and smart eye glasses. According to ACSM, “some business analysts have predicted that sales of the Apple iWatch alone will exceed 485 million devices by the year 2018.” - Coach Rick Says: I use mainly GPS watches for my running and cycling. I have used step counters but found them to be not so helpful. My body feels it on days with a lot of steps and I really don't need a watch to track that...I feel it enough. I guess it could help in overall activity volume for a week as a good measurement tool, but I track enough of that anyway with my distances on the bike or on runs, and frequencies of strength workouts.
- Bodyweight training. Although bodyweight training has been in existence for some time, ACMS explained “new packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has made it popular in gyms and health clubs around the world.” - Coach Rick Says: You can get a lot of Bodyweight exercises that are sensible and manageable to do with HWR.
- High-intensity interval training. ACSM stated, “Despite the warnings by some health and fitness professionals of the potential for increased injury rates when using HIIT, this form of exercise has become popular in gyms all over the world.” - Coach Rick Says: Been doing HIIT style exercise for many years, nothing new to me, but it offers a great variety of choices versus just picking a distance to travel on a bike, treadmill, or cross-trainer. "Speed" workouts for running are HIIT without being called that. I get plenty of this effort with running speed workouts.
- Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals. ACSM explained there are more “third-party accreditations offered by national accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals, and a registry designed for exercise professionals.” In addition, the standard for fitness professionals is now higher than ever. - Coach Rick Says: experienced professionals are a great resource, but don't forget the new ones out there, too. They need the experience to get over to the "experienced" status.
- Strength training. “Many contemporary and innovative health and fitness professionals incorporate some form of strength training into the comprehensive exercise routine for their clients and for their patients,” according to ACSM’s survey report. - Coach Rick Says: This one is just an essential. Strength is the foundation for everything else. If you don't strengthen your bones and muscles, you're placing undue stress over time on your body. This shouldn't be just a 'trend', but a necessity.
- Group training. Although group training has made the list as a top trend before, this is the first year the exercise has ranked so high. - Coach Rick Says: Group Training is a fun activity to do with friends and also meet new ones. The built in support system helps people stick with exercise programs. Just be careful of the group exercise programs you choose, some can not be ideal for some people if they are too high-impact (i.e. a lot of jumping exercises) for you.
- Exercise is Medicine. According to ACSM, “Exercise is Medicine is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients and referring their patients to exercise professionals.” It has recently gained traction, and ACSM speculates will continue to do so. - Coach Rick Says: More medical professionals should incorporate exercise plans, in my opinion. Just an improvement in cardiovascular health and overall strength can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels greatly in a matter of a few short months. I've had seniors go off of medications once they stuck with a solid exercise plan. The medical field needs to partner more with fitness professionals on this.
- Yoga. ACSM explained yoga remains a top trend “due to the fact that it is reinvented and refreshed every year, making it an attractive form of exercise.” - Coach Rick Says: I've never been a big fan of Yoga, but it can blend into an overall exercise regimen. I don't see it as all-or-none solution though.
- Personal training. ACSM said personal training continues to be a top trend, stating, “Since this survey was first published in 2006, personal training has been in the top 10 of this survey …. Much attention has recently been paid to the education (through third party accreditation of CAAHEP) and certification (through third party accreditation by NCCA) of personal trainers.” - Coach Rick Says: Trainers can be helpful, for sure, as I was once a trainer in the field for a number of years. However, not everyone has the time or can afford them either. Online assistance can be a much more affordable option and another avenue for trainers to continue their efforts in helping people out. Many people will get online personal training, even through video feeds today.
- Exercise and weight loss. According to ACSM, “Exercise in circumscribed weight loss programs has been a top 20 trend since the survey began. In 2014, this trend was ranked no. 6, where it remained for 2015, and was no. 9 in the 2016 survey. The combination of exercise and weight loss emphasizes caloric restriction with a sensible exercise program.” - Coach Rick Says: Not everyone exercises to lose weight, but for many people, that is the initial reason to start exercising. Exercise can compliment a weight loss strategy very well, especially in conjunction with a well rounded dietary plan to follow.
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