Body weight training will be a leading trend in 2013
Photo above: A small group personal training is cheaper and more enjoyable. According to the much-awaited annual worldwide survey of fitness trends recently released by the American College of Sports Medicine and completed by 3,346 health and fitness professionals from every continent, body weight training, which includes basic exercise moves like squats, push-ups and planks, appears in the top 10 for the first time.
An annual survey like this is important so that people will become more aware of fitness trends and health issues.
Being informed can effectively motivate one to adopt a healthy lifestyle without resorting to fitness and diet fads.
Here are the top 10 fitness trends for 2013:
1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals.
In the top spot for six years now, this is proof that fitness is a never-ending quest for the most effective ways to address worldwide health issues like stress, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating.
It is wise to connect with a credible fitness professional.
The survey also explained the importance of regulating the growing number of fitness professionals by encouraging them to enroll in advanced courses and go for fitness certifications.
2. Strength training. Resistance training should always be a part of one's exercise routine.
At least twice a week of resistance training focusing on major muscle groups for at least 15 minutes will help improve your strength, body composition and health status.
More accessible options
3. Body weight training.
Fitness professionals agree on the value of body weight training when it comes to getting fitness results and making exercise a part of one's lifestyle.
To effectively address obesity and sedentary lifestyles, experts should introduce strategies that will give people cheaper and more accessible options.
Body weight training can be done any time, anywhere, by using your own body as the resistance.
Even the most expensive health clubs worldwide promote body weight training with or without extra equipment.
4. Children and obesity as a fitness focus.
The health industry should focus on effective programs for children that will help resolve global obesity issues.
We can now find fitness studios offering programs for kids (kids' yoga, Pilates, boot camp, Zumba).
But parents and teachers play a major role in transforming a person's lifestyle, so they should collaborate with health and fitness professionals to create effective health programs for children and the family, as well.
Parents should introduce healthy eating and an active lifestyle to their kids by being healthy role models.
5. Exercise and weight loss.
The exercise and diet weight loss strategy has been used by most people, because the focus now is about controlling weight while getting stronger, as opposed to dieting only.
Fitness programs also include healthy eating education.
Nowadays, fitness professionals incorporate sustainable behaviour-modification strategies, aside from diet and exercise, to promote lifestyle change.
6. Fitness programs for adults.
More and more retirees are realizing the importance of an active lifestyle, so fitness professionals create more effective programs that will encourage participation by the elderly.
There are several programme options to choose from, depending on the client's condition, fitness level and interest: a personal training service at home or in a gym, sports conditioning (golf, running, cycling, swimming) and mind-body fitness class like yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates.
7. Personal training.
This is very visible in commercial fitness centers, which hire more than 30 personal trainers, as compared to five trainers 10 years ago.
More companies with corporate wellness programs invest in fitness trainers to take care of employees.
Qualified fitness professionals are hired by hospitals. Public organisations demand the services of fitness professionals.
8. Functional fitness.
According to the survey, functional fitness is the use of strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power and endurance.
This can make you more productive in activities like self-care, household chores, walking, climbing stairs and a lot more.
More balance training and a combination of exercise moves using different equipment have become part of group exercise training.
9. Core training.
If you have a strong core, then you can play sports more efficiently without compromising safety.
Fitness professionals emphasise the importance of training to stabilize the core (muscles of the abdomen, thorax and back) to be more efficient in daily living, sports and other exercise programs like strength and cardio training.
Core training can progress by using popular fitness equipment like balance boards, stability balls and foam rollers.
10. Group personal training.
Now, fitness trainers and fitness studios/centers can attend to more clients in a single session.
Exercisers are becoming more attracted to small group personal training because it is cheaper and more encouraging to exercise with people with the same goals.
Instead of paying P800-P1,500 (S$24-S$45) per session, a client can save more money by paying 40- to 70-per cent less than the original price-and still get the same results as a private session.