With the new year in full swing, it’s a safe bet that most New Year’s resolution lists include at least one item related to getting in shape.
For fitness professionals, that means anticipating what the top exercise trends will be for the year.
Over the past 13 years, the editors of American College of Sports Medicine have circulated an annual electronic survey to thousands of professionals around the world to determine exactly what health and fitness trends rank highest. The editors represent the four sectors of the health fitness industry, corporate, clinical, community, and commercial, as well as from academia.
Through the online service SurveyMonkey, the survey was sent to 37,075 health fitness professionals. Of that total, after 6 weeks and 4 additional notices, 2,038 responses were received from just about “every continent and included the countries of “United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States.”
For the 2019 survey, there were 39 possible trends, and 25 were top choices from previous years. Using a Likert-type scale, the pros ranked the survey’s options from a low score of 1 (least likely to be a trend) to a high score of 10 (most likely to be a trend).
After tallying the results, here are the pros’ top 5 predicted fitness trends for 2019:
1. Wearable Technology first appeared as a fitness trend in 2016 and ranked #1 before dropping to #3 for 2018. It includes fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking. With technology continuing to advance and becoming ever more convenient, available even on your smartphone, we can expect this trend to remain stable for years to come.
2. Group Training includes group exercises that instructors teach and lead through intentionally-designed, in-person classes. Group exercise training made the top 20 in 2017, appearing at #6 before rising to #2 in 2018. The great thing about group classes is that they are designed to be motivational, giving you that extra push when you need it most.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was ranked #1 in 2014, and it has been in the top five every year since. With HIITs, what you give is what you get. It involves short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults made a comeback in 2018, reaching #9. After being in the top 10 since 2007, the trend had dropped to #11 for 2017. With more older adults looking for ways to stay active and healthy, this trend is steadily keeping pace -- it emphasizes and caters to the fitness needs of the Baby Boom and older generations.
5. Coming in at #5 is Bodyweight Training, a program which uses bodyweight as the training modality with minimal outside equipment. It ranked at #3 the first time it appeared in 2013, moved up a notch to #2 in 2017, and then dropped to #4 in 2018.
Though not making the top 5 list, one of my favorites to keep me going -- not only physically, but mentally -- is yoga. Ranked #8 in 2017, yoga can be practiced at home, in a gym, or even in your local park. A few benefits of yoga are that it improves your flexibility, builds muscle strength, and increases your blood flow.
The 2019 survey, as with the previous surveys, was ”designed to confirm or to introduce new trends that have a perceived positive impact on the industry according to international respondents.”
For a complete listing of all 20 survey results, please visit the Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends for 2019 here.