The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has been surveying annual fitness and wellness trends for 14 years. This survey, which breaks down a wide variety of popular health trends, is sent to thousands of different people within the fitness industry in order to determine if something is actually a beneficial development within the way things are moving within the health and wellness world, or if it’s just a random fad that only lasts for a certain period of time. With that being said, let’s take a look at the top trends for 2020!
1- Wearable Technology
Holding its place as one of the top three trends for the last five years, wearable technology is continuing to be a top fitness trend. From Garmin and Apple watches to Fitbit and Samsung, all sorts of wearable tech gadgets are popping up to help people track their health stats throughout the day in a quick and convenient way.
Short for high-intensity interval training, programs that involve HIIT are typically short, powerful, and convenient ways to incorporate exercise into a routine. With big bursts of work paired with minimal rest breaks, HIIT is continuing to be on the rise in gyms everywhere.
3- Group Training
Essentially a large group of people in one class, group training has only recently been added as a fitness trend within the last few years. Highly motivating and easily accessible for people at any fitness level, group training classes can include dance, resistance training, and cardio, just to name a few.
4- Training With Free Weights
With fitness equipment that includes items like kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, and medicine balls, training with free weights such as these is on the rise in the wellness community. With an instructor nearby to correct and manage form and technique, training with free weights will surely be an ongoing trend through 2020 and further.
5- Personal Training
Working one-on-one with a certified personal trainer has been a top ten trend since 2006. Working with a trainer who can determine a workout plan based off your exercise and medical history while encouraging you to achieve your specific goals is key for progress, and continues to be an ongoing trend.
6- Exercise Is Medicine
Known worldwide as EIM, this trend has been in the running for the last four years – and for good reason! EIM partners healthcare and fitness professionals together in an effort to incorporate physical activity into the prescriptions of patients and clients alike, in order to improve treatment parameters and overall health and wellbeing.
7- Body Weight Training
A form of exercise that utilizes the resistance provided by the body, this type of training only recently appeared as a popular trend. Body weight training allows you to work on form, technique, and movement within all different planes in order to improve strength, cardiovascular health, and flexibility, to name a few – and with no equipment necessary!
8- Fitness Programs For Older Adults
With the prevalence of the older generations living longer and being able to participate in physical activity to improve their health and wellness, fitness programs for this demographic are promising! A top five trend last year, programming fitness that appeals to older adults to help them stay healthy is ideal.
9- Health/Wellness Coaching
A top ten trend for the last ten years, health and wellness coaching encompasses leading and guiding clients to make positive changes to their overall health. This can be done by breaking down what short and long term goals the client has, and then providing encouragement and motivation to achieve those goals each day.
10- Employing Certified Health Professionals
With perspective and current employees that are registered and certified as health and wellness professionals, it makes it much easier for employers to confirm they’re hiring someone who is accredited in the field. This trend moves from number six to ten, still keeping it a top priority for hiring professionals.
11- Exercise For Weight Loss
Physical activity in correlation with diet modifications has always been a top contender on the survey; thankfully, most programs today incorporate both fitness and behavior modifications in order to help with weight loss, so this trend will probably not be going anywhere anytime soon!
12- Functional Fitness Training
This type of training can be found anywhere from CrossFit boxes to local fitness boutiques, and aims to improve every area of wellness – strength, balance, flexibility, and overall endurance. Very popular among the older generations while also gaining momentum with the younger crowd, functional training is trending to help people move and train in ways similar to everyday life.
13- Outdoor Activities
Taking movement and activity outside of the walls of the gym has been a popular trend for the last eight years or so. From mountain biking and hiking with friends to walking neighborhood trails and doing yoga outdoors, planning for activities that get you in the sunshine and out of the four walls of the gym is a good way to get some exercise as well as Vitamin D!
Whether through hot yoga, Pilates and yoga combined, Yin yoga, or even Power yoga, these styles of movement are making the top twenty list for a few years now! Instructors can be certified in several different forms of this flexibility enhancing practice, and many fitness centers offer multiple types of classes to suit the yogi-need.
15- Licensure For Fitness Professionals
An up and coming trend for the last three years, obtaining a license for those in the fitness field (i.e. health coaches, personal trainers, exercise physiologists, etc.) is becoming much more popular. This regulation requires these professionals to hold a license or certification in their prospective field before calling themselves fitness professionals, much like doctors or therapists would.
16- Lifestyle Medicine
This type of practice focuses on increasing healthy behaviors that can aid in improving one’s quality of life, and is new to the trend list! Lifestyle behaviors that can be improved upon can include things like quitting smoking, reducing alcohol, better sleep habits, exercising, and consuming a more well-rounded diet, just to name a few.
17- Circuit Training
A style of training very similar to HIIT, circuit training has made its rounds through the trend list. Circuit training is typically set up as 10-12 different exercises that are rotated through for a set amount of time, and usually at a level that is moderate to intense with rest built in between movements.
18- Worksite Health Promotion
Utilized by corporate and commercial services alike, worksite health promotion programs are in place within many different companies in order to help boost the overall health and wellness of their employees. Programs can range from nutrition and wellness to onsite gyms and physical fitness programs.
19- Outcome Measurements
Dropping from number sixteen in 2019, outcome measurements are still a vital area of importance within the fitness arena in order to determine how well programs are doing, as well as to see how well health and wellness incentives are decreasing the risk of adverse health effects within a population.
20- Children And Exercise
With childhood obesity and other correlating physical conditions on the rise, promoting physical activity for young children within a fitness setting can be an ideal avenue for those looking to focus on exercise for the youngest of clients.