Wearables Named the Top ACSM Fitness Trend for 2022
The annual ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal survey is used to determine industry trends by health and fitness professionals. More than 4,500 health and fitness professional participated in the survey and named wearables as the top trend in 2022.
The full Top 10 trends are as follows:
- Home Exercise Equipment
- Outdoor Activities
- Strength Training with Free Weights
- Exercise for Weight Loss
- Personal Training
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Bodyweight Training
- Online, Live and On-Demand Exercise Classes
- Health/Wellness Coaching
According to ACSM, wearable technology includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices. The wearable market is promising, with shipments reaching almost half a billion in 2020, boosted by the development of 5G technology, according to Statista. Experts say more growth is expected in the future, as the market is still far from reaching the saturation point.
Home Exercise Gyms
People across the U.S. and the globe started to invest in home gym equipment in 2020 when their local facilities were forced to closed. Fitness experts believe many will continue to utilize their home space out of convenience, the ability to take online classes and the abundance of new equipment. In the 16 years of this survey, this is the first time home gym equipment has appeared as a fitness trend.
Similar to at-home equipment, many people began taking their workouts outdoors in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An increase of runners, bikers, walkers and hikers are expected to continue into 2022. Offering hiking or walking clubs at your facility is a great way to cater to the need in your community while also keeping memberships.
Strength Training with Free Weights
Previous ACSM surveys included a category described as “strength training,” but this was determined to be too broad a category. Strength training was dropped in favor of the more specific free weight training. This trend is up four spots after ranking eighth in 2021. Many operators are capitalizing on this trend by having less cardio pieces on the fitness floor so members have more room for free weights.
Exercise for Weight Loss
Health and fitness professionals predict that because of the self-quarantine imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting perceived — or real — weight gain, exercise for weight loss will make a comeback in 2022. In 2021 this trend ranked 16th on the list.
Personal training has been a top trend since the first trends report in 2006. Many fitness facilities are seeing people returning to gyms with a desire to work with personal trainers in order to get back in routine, meet their goals or just prioritize their health.
ACSM defines HIIT as programs that typically involve short bursts of high intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest or active recovery. It has moved down two spots from 2021.
Bodyweight training requires no equipment and is an inexpensive and functional way to workout. After two years of facing the COVID-19 pandemic with closures and stay at home orders, it’s no surprise this is in the top 10.
Online, Live and On-Demand Exercise Classes
Virtual online training was first introduced on the annual survey for 2019 and debuted at #3 before dropping to #26 in 2020 when the “virtual” was dropped from the title in favor of the more specific online training. For 2021, online training was the No. 1 trend. For the 2022 survey, online training was redefined more specifically as online and on-demand exercise classes.
Health and Wellness Coaching
Rounding out the top 10 is health and wellness coaching. ACSM defines this trend as integrated behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs. Health/wellness coaching uses a one-on-one approach with the coach providing support, goal setting, guidance and encouragement.