Industry Buzz: ACSM Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2017

fitness trends

With 2017 on the horizon, now is the time to keep abreast of the top fitness trends expected to be paramount in the industry over the next 12 months. ACSM recently released the results of its annual survey of worldwide fitness trends. Here are the top 10 trends in order.

  1. Wearable technology. This includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices and smart eye glasses. According to ACSM, “some business analysts have predicted that sales of the Apple iWatch alone will exceed 485 million devices by the year 2018.”
  2. Bodyweight training. Although bodyweight training has been in existence for some time, ACMS explained “new packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has made it popular in gyms and health clubs around the world.”
  3. High-intensity interval training. ACSM stated, “Despite the warnings by some health and fitness professionals of the potential for increased injury rates when using HIIT, this form of exercise has become popular in gyms all over the world.”
  4. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals. ACSM explained there are more “third-party accreditations offered by national accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals, and a registry designed for exercise professionals.” In addition, the standard for fitness professionals is now higher than ever.
  5. Strength training. “Many contemporary and innovative health and fitness professionals incorporate some form of strength training into the comprehensive exercise routine for their clients and for their patients,” according to ACSM’s survey report.
  6. Group training. Although group training has made the list as a top trend before, this is the first year the exercise has ranked so high.
  7. Exercise is Medicine. According to ACSM, “Exercise is Medicine is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients and referring their patients to exercise professionals.” It has recently gained traction, and ACSM speculates will continue to do so.
  8. Yoga. ACSM explained yoga remains a top trend “due to the fact that it is reinvented and refreshed every year, making it an attractive form of exercise.”
  9. Personal training. ACSM said personal training continues to be a top trend, stating, “Since this survey was first published in 2006, personal training has been in the top 10 of this survey …. Much attention has recently been paid to the education (through third party accreditation of CAAHEP) and certification (through third party accreditation by NCCA) of personal trainers.”
  10. Exercise and weight loss. According to ACSM, “Exercise in circumscribed weight loss programs has been a top 20 trend since the survey began. In 2014, this trend was ranked no. 6, where it remained for 2015, and was no. 9 in the 2016 survey. The combination of exercise and weight loss emphasizes caloric restriction with a sensible exercise program.”

For free access to the full survey results, click here.

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