Before I've even had a chance to plan my Thanksgiving menu, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has already predicted what fitness trends will be hot in 2011. While a lot of things on the list are a continuation of past trends — think boot camps and fitness tech — there are a few surprising items on the list.
- Economic upswing: With the economy doing better, people will start reinvesting in fitness regimens again. Gyms and fitness studios should see an increase in membership, and individuals will start signing up for personal training sessions and specialized classes.
- Added-value wellness services: Gyms and clubs will begin to hire other health care professionals like dietitians and sports therapists to meet the growing needs of its members. One-stop health shopping!
- Stress reduction through fitness: With more people realizing the detriment stress can play, gyms and clubs will start offering wellness programs to help its members manage stress in their lives.
- Technology becomes a support resource: More people are using the Internet, and a study shows that weight loss is easier for people who use online tools. Next year, social networks like Facebook and Twitter will become more popular in motivating people to reach their fitness goals.
See what other trends will be hot next year when you
- Buddy system: Many of us have a fitness buddy that pushes us to run faster, longer, and more often. Picking up on the benefits of a support system, gyms will start offering peer groups and increase its number of class offerings.
- Most popular workouts: What people loved in 2010 will carry over into next year: boot camp-style workouts, Zumba, and TRX Suspension training will continue to be sought out, and interval training will get a big push in 2011.
- Small-group workouts: Expect smaller classes next year, and this is a good thing. Your instructor will be able to give you more attention, and you'll be able to form a tighter bond with your fellow classmates.
- Youth-based fitness: Child obesity is rising at an alarming rate, and schools and fitness centers are responding big time. Expect to see more youth-focused classes popping up in gyms and schools thanks to the national attention and focus on childhood obesity.
- Corporate wellness: Healthier employers mean better business: less stress, more energy, and less sick days. Employers are going to step it up next year by offering wellness programs at work and/or offering gym discounts to its employees.
- Elevated professionalism: Now that consumers are more fitness-savvy, fitness professionals must have the proper education and high-quality certifications. Gyms and fitness centers will be hiring the best of the best.