Thursday, December 1, 2011

ACE surveys fitness trends for 2012

Every year The American Council on Exercise announces the top Fitness Trends to Watch as identified by its extensive network of personal trainers, exercise scientists, group fitness experts, allied health providers, and lifestyle and weight management coaches. 

The following is an overview of ACE’s 2012 Fitness Trends to Watch.  
  • Obesity awareness: Losing weight will continue to be the primary reason consumers seek personal training support as the public responds to the expanded messaging concerning the dangers of physical inactivity and obesity. Three out of five Americans are still overweight or obese requiring more work to be done.  ACE remains commitment to its 25-year vision to reverse the obesity trend plaguing the nation through involvement of communities, businesses, and government.
  • Whole-life training: Lifestyle coaching will become a bigger trend with more personal trainers looking to holistically improve client lifestyle and expanding their education      and training to include this skill set. Additionally, fitness facilities will hire nutritionists and other allied healthcare professionals such as physical therapists and psychologists to serve the expanding needs of their health-conscious members including wellness, nutrition and stress management programs.
  • Behavior modification: While great strides have been made in health education, the average consumer still believes the best way to lose weight is by following a restrictive or fad diet.
  • Community collaboration: Access to fitness services and education will continue to expand in local communities including activities in gyms, parks and recreation centers.
  • Influence of technology: The 2011 ACE trend report showed technology is starting to play a role in complementing in-person fitness services by providing additional motivational support. In the coming year, social media and mobile-based apps will      continue to revolutionize the industry with fitness organizations creating more interactive and online-based programs and classes. Additionally, personal trainers will have more flexibility than ever before to provide one-on-one or small group fitness instruction to consumers anytime and anywhere in the world.
  • Senior and youth specialties: Aquatic fitness and group fitness classes will be the most popular forms of exercise for older adults. ACE’s Trainer program for AARP includes a number of benefits to address the specific needs of the 50+ community which makes up 41 percent of the population. With First Lady Michelle Obama advocating for active children, expect to see more physical fitness in schools, youth-based classes at fitness centers and families who work out or participate in outdoor activities together.
  • Advanced professional education: Fitness professionals will place increased      emphasis on continuing education as an integral action item in further developing their fitness training knowledge, skills and abilities. Because of the valuable education tools and resources offered by certifying organizations like ACE throughout a professional’s career, fitness and health clubs will continue to recognize the importance of hiring skilled employees who hold NCAA-accredited credentials.
  • Workplace support: Due in part to several years of declining economic conditions for business owners, employers will look to outsource wellness programs to local fitness facilities and health clubs that can provide total health management while seeking out employee discounts and reduced membership fees to increase access for workers.
  •  Popular Workouts: Zumba, boot camp-style workouts, TRX Suspension training and interval training will continue to be popular workout trends along with balance and core training becoming more prevalent in 2012.
“While there is still much more work to be done, we are encouraged by the positive attitude change among consumers, which will hopefully foster important fitness-related behavioral and lifestyle modifications,” said ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, PhD. “In the year ahead, personal trainers and other fitness professionals will be called upon to provide more coaching focused on overall health and well-being to spur this momentum and ACE will support this effort by continuing to offer the industry’s most innovative, research-based professional fitness certifications, education and information.”

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