Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2018


*** This is a synopsis of an article published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal written by Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM

Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2018

  1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - Involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery, that typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform.
  2. Group Training - Group exercise instructors teach, lead, and motivate individuals through intentionally designed larger group exercise classes. Group programs are designed to be effective sessions for different fitness levels and are motivational with instructors having leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals. There are many types of classes and equipment, from aerobics and bicycles to dance classes.
  3. Wearable Technology -Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices, and smart eye glasses (designed to show maps and track activity) that were introduced only a few years ago. Examples include fitness and activity trackers like those from Misfit, Apple iWatch, Garmin, EFOSMH, Pebble Time, Juboury, Samsung, Basis, Jawbone, and Fitbit.
  4. Body Weight Training - People have been using their own body weight for centuries as a form of resistance training. But new packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has now made it popular in all kinds of gyms and health clubs around the world. Typical body weight training programs use minimal equipment, which makes it a very inexpensive way to exercise effectively.
  5. Strength Training - Many younger clients of both community-based programs and commercial clubs train almost exclusively using weights. In today’s gyms, however, there are many others (men and women, young and old, children, and patients with a stable chronic disease) whose main focus is on using weight training to improve or maintain strength. Many contemporary and innovative health fitness professionals incorporate some form of strength training into the comprehensive exercise routine for their clients and for their patients. It is not uncommon for cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation or metabolic disease management programs to include weight training in the exercise programs for their patients.
  6. Educated, Certified, and Experienced Fitness Professionals - Third-party accreditations offered by national accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals and a registry designed for exercise professionals.
  7. Yoga - Yoga comes in a variety of forms including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram Yoga (the one done in hot and humid environments). Other forms of yoga include Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Anuara Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga. Instructional videos and books are abundant, as are the growing numbers of certifications for the many yoga formats. The sustained popularity of yoga seems to be that it reinvents and refreshes itself every year making it an attractive form of exercise.
  8. Personal Training - Personal trainers are an important part of the professional staff of health and fitness centers. Personal trainers are employed by community-based programs, in commercial settings, in corporate wellness programs, and in medical fitness programs, or are self-employed and work independently.
  9. Fitness Programs for Older Adults - Older adults are retiring healthier than other generations, and health fitness facilities must take advantage of this by providing safe, age-appropriate exercise programs for this population, such as strength training, team sports, and HIIT when appropriate. Even the frail elderly can improve their balance and ability to perform activities of daily living when given appropriate functional fitness program activities.
  10. Functional Fitness - Functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living.

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