There seems to always be something new in the fitness world. Whether it is a new piece of equipment in the gym, a new exercise class, or a new way to perform traditional exercises, the fitness industry is constantly evolving. Some of these become popular enough that they are considered “trends,” attracting attention from fitness experts and exercise novices alike.
Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys health and fitness professionals to identify exercise trends for the upcoming year. The 2019 report was published this month, so it is a good time to catch up on the leading fitness trends to look for in the upcoming year.
The biggest fitness trend for 2019 is wearable fitness technology. From activity trackers to heart rate monitors to devices that do both and more, the newest “wearables” are sophisticated tools for recording your steps per day, the distance you run, and calories you burn. Make sure to pick the device that meets your needs… and your budget, as they can get expensive!
Number two is group training, exercise classes that are led by a trained instructor. Group exercise classes aren’t new, but they are becoming more popular, especially for people who want to try new types of exercise. The group dynamic provides motivation and encouragement and the instructor can teach proper techniques, so these classes are good for beginners and experienced exercisers.
Next on the list is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which uses repeated cycles of short, maximal or near-maximal exercise alternated with short rest periods. These HIIT sessions typically last less than 30 minutes but lead to fitness improvements that exceed those of traditional longer-duration training. Beginning exercisers should note that HIIT training is intense, so starting slow is recommended.
Fourth is fitness programs for older adults. Now that people are living longer, staying healthy and active in old age is a priority for many. Exercise can improve strength and endurance to help people who are recovering from cancer or other chronic illness and allow older adults to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Body weight training is next. Popular for building strength and endurance with minimal equipment, body weight training goes far beyond the push-ups and pull-ups you may remember doing in PE class. Now the focus is on dynamic movements to build strength and endurance. This type of training can be done almost anywhere, which is good news for people who are on a budget or want to train at home.
Sixth on the list is certified fitness professionals. You should look for a facility that requires the staff to have fitness certifications that involve both education and experience. Finding a personal trainer or group exercise instructor who has experience working with people like you is important, so ask for recommendations and references to get the best match.
Rounding out the top ten are yoga, personal training, functional fitness training, and exercise is medicine. Exercise is Medicine an initiative that aims to get physicians and other health care providers to ask about and promote physical activity in every interaction with patients. Treating exercise like a “drug” that should be prescribed reflects the importance of being active for good health. It also emphasizes the role of exercise professionals as an integral part of the health care team.
Based on the list this year, you are sure to find something in the fitness world that appeals to you. At the very least, make sure you dedicate time every day to be active. Staying active, healthy, and fit will always be trendy!