Have you heard of Fitbit or Strava? HIIT or Fusion classes? Well, according to experts in Canada and south of the border we are in for some fabulous, fitness fun this year as we endeavour to experiment with different activities and tackle new technology. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. (CanfitPro) have both released their top 10 fitness trends for 2016, and, although not dissimilar, they do differ. Let’s look at the comparison.
- Wearable Technology. Fitness trackers and smart watches will be huge, according to ACSM. Fitbit, Garmin and the Apple watch will see a growth, particularly the Apple watch, which can do everything except start your car!
- Fitness Apps. There will be growing need for apps, not just for counting calories but nutrition and coaching and training plans. Strava is one of the latest apps that logs your run or bike ride and by sharing it with others, you can track each other.
- Personal Trainers Practicing Health and Wellness Coaching. Personal trainers will become a one-stop-shop for individuals who want the complete package – trainer and wellness coaching.
- Workplace Health and Wellness. A healthy employee is a happy one. Company gyms, perks such as gym membership, ergonomic aids such as stand up chairs, company-sponsored events – all will grow this year.
- Faith-based Fitness Program. Exercise will become mainstream as churches, mosques and other faith-based communities come together and share health and fitness values.
- Functional Fitness. More specific classes and programs will emerge for different demographics. Youth camps and senior cardio classes will be part of the functional movement.
- Public – Private Fitness Partnerships. Equipment companies and clubs will see how they can work directly with the public, whether it is working with schools or in the community.
- Combined Group Fitness Classes. The trend will be to combine your favourite fitness classes giving you an aerobic and cardio workout in one. Boxing and Pilates (Piloxing) is already becoming popular.
- Group Personal Training. As an increased way of doing business, personal trainers will offer group training for group of two – five.
- Educational Fitness Workshops. In our hunt for knowledge about why we do a certain exercise, there will be chances to learn the techniques and concepts behind the workouts.
- Functional Fitness. Number six on ACSM’s list is number one here, although the definition differs. Here it “involves exercising using multiple muscle groups versus one specific muscle group at a time.” Functional fitness programs include practical, balance-challenging movements that simulate activities like carrying groceries, unloading the car, getting up from a chair.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT workouts involve intense periods of exercise followed by durations of rest, often alternating cardio and weight bearing exercise. HIIT has grown exponentially over the last two-three years and is offered at most fitness clubs.
- Life/Wellness Coaching to Complement Fitness Training. Number three here concurs with the ACSM trend. Coaches provide expertise and support to help clients improve their health and lead a more balanced lifestyle. Trainer, nutritionist and coach all in one.
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating Programs. Nutrition doesn’t appear anywhere in the ACSM trend. But those in health and fitness are becoming more aware of nutrition and how it relates to energy levels.
- Express Workouts. Once called circuit training – a fast, efficient 30 minute workout for those on a tight schedule.
- Older Adult Training. ACSM touch on this in their Functional Fitness trend – designing specialized programs for the older/senior population.
- Fusion-style Group Fitness. Number nine on the ACSM list, these classes combine different disciplines with the goal of developing strength, balance, agility and coordination from one exercise class.
- Personal Training. A stand-alone trend here whereas ACSM grouped it with life coaching. Trainers create customized fitness plans and offer advice for healthy eating, among other services.
- Working with Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals. With so many fitness professionals out there, we want to research and find the best qualified professional.
- Body Weight Training. Using your own body weight to create resistance is a growing workout trend. TRX is an example of a very popular workout with movements such as lunges and push-ups.
ACSM and CanfitPro agree on four of the trends, although some definitions differ, with our American counterparts favouring the growing technology. But all of the predictions are interesting, and we are all bound to find some we can identify with and say ‘yes I will do that this year.’ So why not pick five of these trends and see if you can change up your training this year. Then you can call yourself a trend setter.