For Your Health
Fitness Trends for 2009 Predicted
More educated, experienced professionals, children and obesity top the list
-Julie Ryan Evans
For the past three years the American College of Sports Medicine has published the results of a survey among fitness professionals around the world to uncover trends and predict what the coming year will look like in the fitness world.
Here’s a look at the top 10 trends for 2009:
1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Because of an increase in the number of organizations offering fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified by programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, such as those offered by ACSM.
This trend also topped the chart in 2008. “The forecast for 2009 not only suggests active people will have good and safe options when choosing a trainer to complement their fitness routines, but there’s also an enhanced appreciation for the education and training of these professionals, which we see expanding each year,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., ACSM, lead author of the study. “Reading through the survey results, the innovation in training, public health issues and wellness is evident for the year ahead in health and fitness.”
2. Children and obesity. This trend – and designing exercise programs to reverse it – is high in the minds of fitness professionals not only because of the number of children who are currently overweight or obese, but because these children are more likely to become obese adults.
3. Personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for health and fitness professionals who act as personal trainers has become increasingly important and is an integral part of staffing for health and fitness facilities.
4. Strength training. Strength training is an essential part of ACSM’s Physical Activity and Public Health Guidelines. Lifting weights isn’t just for bodybuilders; it’s crucial for maintaining bone-mass density as you age and is used in a variety of rehabilitation settings.
5. Core training. Different from strength training, this type of training emphasizes conditioning the back and abdominal muscles and improves spine stability.
6. Special fitness programs for older adults. With more and more of the baby boomer population reaching retirement age, health and fitness professionals are designing age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and happy well into their golden years.
7. Pilates. Pilates incorporates a great deal of core training while strengthening and toning the entire body. Part of its appeal is that many Pilates exercises can be done with a simple mat – no extra, expensive equipment required.
8. Stability ball. Because the size of stability balls varies so greatly, many exercises can be performed with them. It can teach balance and strength in addition to stability.
9. Sport-specific training. This trend distinctly relates to young athletes. High school athletes are incorporating training into their off seasons in order to stay in top shape for their sports.
10. Balance training. Numerous activities feature balance training, including yoga, foam rollers, BOSU balls and more. This trend has risen to the top 10 after not having made the trends list in 2007 and having been listed at No. 14 in 2008, possibly because of the increased emphasis on its importance for older adults.
The full list (top 20 trends) is available in the article “Worldwide Survey Reveals Fitness Trends for 2009.”