A Look At The ACSM’s Top 20 Fitness Trends For 2011
Check out the schedule for your gym's upcoming fitness classes and you may see an interesting trend. Going away are the specialized classes such as Pilates and coming back into fashion are the "basics" — boot camps, strength training, and core fitness. According to the latest survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, these types of offerings are among the top 20 predicted fitness trends for 2011.
The survey is based on an online questionnaire sent to more than 2,200 health and fitness professionals certified by the ACSM not only in the U.S., but also from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America. Notably, many fitness centers appear to be moving toward more economically-feasible services, based on the current recession.
First and foremost is a very positive trend — incorporating more trained and experienced professionals into classes and services. More and more people are getting injured using uncertified personal trainers, says Walt Thompson, a professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Consumers should look for those who have received a license or clinical certification in health and fitness from a qualified organization, such as the ASCM. A Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist (CES) or a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP), for example, are professionals who hold college degrees in addition to a minimum number of hours of practical experience. These professionals also must be certified in Basic Life Support and CPR, just in case something were to happen while you were under their care.
Second, the new health care reform bill has put more of a focus onto wellness activities, including worksite wellness programs that promote healthy behaviors to prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. You may notice that going forward, comprehensive fitness and wellness programs are more likely to be included as a reimbursable expense from your insurance carrier. So fitness centers are gearing up to be able to deliver these types of services and will work with your doctor to find a program best for your personal needs.
Third in new fitness trends for 2011 is the inclusion of programs for those who aren't the typical "gym-goer." Programs for older adults are likely to be added as the population ages, and to combat childhood obesity, specialized programs for children may be put into place. Sport-specific training programs to keep athletes fit in the off-season is also a predicted trend.
Treadmills, bikes, and other cardiovascular exercises are mainstays in most people's exercise regimen. Many forget the importance of strength training — a key component of a complete program, says Thompson. Look out for classes in core fitness (emphasizing the muscles of the middle-body, such as the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen) and personal training sessions that include free weights or weight machines.
Boot-camps are among the more popular classes being offered, primarily geared to the more experienced exerciser but also toward those looking for a significant change to their bodies (think: Bridal Boot-camps as part of wedding preparations). These are structured, high-intensity workouts modeled after military-style training which boast a greater caloric burn in a relatively short amount of time. For a (slightly) slower pace, spinning classes are predicted to come back into vogue.
While health professionals predict that fewer fitness centers will offer Pilates, yoga is here to stay. Not only does yoga provide physical benefits including flexibility, increased strength, and improved posture, there is also the added mental benefits such as better mood, improved concentration, and increased calm. What's more — just about anyone can do it, and there are a wide variety of yoga practices so you can choose one that suits your style best.
Thompson says that about 80% of Americans do not have a regular exercise program. Hopefully, one of these new trends will get you excited about exercising.