11) Fitness programs for older adults
Baby Boomers ushered in an unprecedented fitness revolution back in the '80s, and now, they're reaching retirement age and still enjoying the perks of physical activity, the survey suggests. More businesses are tailoring classes to better serve this aging population. “Even the frail elderly can improve their balance and ability to perform activities of daily living when given appropriate functional fitness program activities,” the survey says.
12) Functional fitness
Functional training gives you the type of strength that really matters: the kind that lets you move furniture, lift a suitcase into an overhead bin, or carry your toddler. In other words, it improves your coordination, balance, force, power, and endurance and helps enhance your ability to perform normal daily activities. This trend has moved up and down on the survey ranking since 2007. In addition to being a big part of CrossFit programs, functional fitness is often used in clinical programs to help with rehabilitation and independent living for older adults.
13) Outdoor activities
Think a personal trainer will only have you working out in a gym? Not so much—these days, they're recommending all kinds of outdoor activities to clients as a way to enhance their overall fitness, the ACSM survey says. The survey considers outdoor activity as anything from kayaking to pick-up basketball to high-adventure excursions like camping and rock climbing. Experts say you can burn upward of 530 calories an hour when hiking, and even more if the wind resistance is high. Outdoor excursions have mental benefits too: greenery elicits a mood-boosting response after just five minutes. Plus, doesn’t a breathtaking mountain view sound much more exhilarating than your gym’s television screen?
14) Group personal training
This trend mixes the effectiveness of a one-on-one personal trainer with the economic sensibilities of a group class. Between two and four people can elect to use a group personal trainer, who can focus on this small group while not charging the same high prices they would for a purely individual session. “In these challenging economic times, personal trainers are being more creative in the way they package personal training sessions and how they market themselves to small groups,” says the survey. That explains why this trend has made the list since 2007 and remained through 2017
15) Wellness coaching
As opposed to personal training, health and wellness coaching focuses on the more mental aspects of wellness, like goal-setting. These coaches provide support and encouragement for clients who want to meet certain goals in their health, like participating in rehabilitation or disease prevention. Recently, personal trainers have implemented the techniques of wellness coaches into their fitness practices, blending the two trends into one.
16) Worksite health promotion
Companies are beginning to realize that a healthy employee is a happy, more productive employee—and that creating programs and services that promote positive behaviors like working out, quitting smoking, and losing weight ultimately controls rising health care costs. If your company already offers things on-site yoga, gym reimbursement, or Weight Watchers, ACSM predicts you'll see more of that in 2017.
17) Smartphone exercise apps
At this point, who hasn't tried MyFitnessPal or Nike+ Training Club? Fitness smartphone apps will continue to be trendy in 2017. Whether you're looking for meal planning help or programs that let you work out in your own home, there's probably an app out there for you. Similar to wearables, these apps have been questioned for their accuracy, but younger gym-goers and fitness lovers don’t seem to mind. It’s projected that as these apps become more accurate, usage will rise too.
18) Outcome measurements
You may have never heard of this trend before, but there’s a chance you’ve used it. It’s quite literally using numbers to measure your progress. It’s a way to hold your instructor or personal trainer or yourself accountable when trying to meet fitness goals. For example, weight can act as an outcome measurement if your goal is to shed a few pounds. If your personal trainer says he can help you to lose 30 pounds in 3 months and you fall short, it’s a way to check your trainer’s ability to help as well as your own habits.
19) Circuit training
While similar to HIIT, the survey defines circuit training as a lower-intensity option when compared to its non-stop work counterpart. Typically, 10 exercises are chosen and completed one after another in a circuit with rest between each exercise. Then, the circuit is repeated. For beginners who want to get in a workout but find high-intensity interval training intimidating, circuit training could be the answer. This form of training, which has been around since 1953 according to the survey, can be done on your own or at gyms with more specialized equipment.
20) Flexibility and mobility rollers
Stretching before and after a workout has been considered useful for some time now, but foam rollers, which offer more deep-tissue massage action, have become popular in the last few years. These tools, which come in smooth or raised-bump cylinders, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension.