The ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal conducts an annual survey to determine trends in the fitness industry in order to help fitness professionals develop the most beneficial programs possible. The Journal does make a distinction between trends and fads, citing fads to be more transient than trends. Below are ten of the biggest fitness trends for 2014.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training-or HIIT-is the top fitness trend for 2014. It is a full-body workout, consisting of alternating periods of high-intensity anaerobic exercise and short periods of resting time. The workouts are short, typically lasting a maximum of 30 minutes.
Body Weight Training
Body weight training uses the person’s own weight as a source of natural resistance. Because gym equipment is usually not necessary for this form of exercise, it can be done in most spaces and with most budgets.
Educated, Certified and Experienced Personal Trainers
Personal training is known for its lax regulations, causing huge differences in the quality of personal trainers. Two third-party accreditation systems-CAAHEP and NCCA-have stepped up, providing quality education and certification programs for fitness professionals. Personal trainers with these certifications are better able to devise quality fitness plans for their clients.
Fitness Programs for Older Adults
These programs are aimed at adults who are retirement age and above. They provide a variety of intensity levels to suit active older people as well as those who are more fragile. The programs improve strength and coordination, allowing for more active daily activities.
Functional fitness allows people to carry out their daily lives with more strength, balance and endurance. The programs are ideal for older adults and for those who have recently gone through physical therapy.
Group Personal Training
Groups in this type of personal training usually range from 2-4 members. It is a popular option because many times it is less costly than individual personal training. It also allows friends or family members to train together.
Yoga fluctuates as a fitness trend, but is on the rise again in 2014. There are many incarnations of yoga, but most have the common thread of promoting strength, flexibility and balance. Mostly done in a group environment, with consistent practice one can achieve mental and emotional balance and stability along with a toned physique.
Fitness Programs for Children
These programs have developed in response to the rise of childhood obesity coupled with the decline of in-school fitness programs. Children’s programs focus on keeping kids active and teaching them proper exercise and nutritional habits.
Core training focuses on strengthening the abs, thorax and back muscles. It is especially helpful to people with a high likelihood of back problems, but is generally beneficial to everyone.
Getting exercise outdoors by swimming, canoeing, hiking or playing team sports has benefits that indoor activities do not. The difference of terrain helps work different muscles and sunlight provides higher vitamin D levels.
ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal provides ten more 2014 fitness trends, and it updates its list every year. Before starting any fitness program, especially those that are very intense, consultation with a certified fitness professional or physician is advised.