The American Council on Exercise recently announced its top 2012 fitness trends to watch this week. The group of more than 1,500 fitness experts say their clients are combining traditional exercise with life coaching that shows a greater understanding of the gravity of the obesity epidemic.
"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, Ph.D. "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."
Here are more 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. The recently released Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report that showed a modest improvement in the nation's obesity rates for the first time in more than three years is a very encouraging sign. However, the fact remains that three out of five Americans are still overweight or obese.
-Whole-life training: Lifestyle coaching will become a bigger trend with more personal trainers looking to improve their clients' lifestyles. Fitness facilities will hire nutritionists and other 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, including activities in gyms, parks and recreation centers. Local leaders are taking a more active role to address health issues in their communities. This includes proactive measures through school-based education programs and engagement with low-income and at-risk families.
-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.
-Senior and youth specialties: Aquatic fitness and group fitness classes will be the most popular forms of exercise for older adults. 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.
-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.
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