10 of the Top Fitness Trends of 2012

Submitted by Casey Johnson, Group Fitness Manager, O2 Fitness Fuquay

Once the holidays are over its time for us all to get back into the swing of things and pick back up with our routine (and with our workouts)!  Want to know what’s hot in the fitness world for 2012?  Check out what the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has to say are the top up and coming fitness trends.  Will you be “fitness forward” this year?

1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Given the large number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through accredited  programs.

2. Strength training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program for all physical activity levels, genders and ages.  Bodypump is an excellent way to meet your strength training recommendation (and it also offers cardio benefits as well).

3. Fitness programs for older adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, fitness professionals aim to keep older adults healthy and active.

4. Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

5. Children and obesity. With childhood obesity growing at an alarming rate, health and fitness professionals see the epidemic as an opportunity to create programs tailored to overweight and obese children. Solving the problem of childhood obesity will have an impact on the health care industry today and for years to come.

6. Personal training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that students are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.

7. Core training. Distinct from strength training, core training specifically emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen – all of which provide needed support for the spine.  Several O2 Fitness locations carry classes specifically designed for core work, such as CXWorx and Inner Strength, to specifically target the core in a way you never thought possible!

8. Group personal training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering group training options. Training two or three people at once makes economic sense for both the trainer and the clients.

9. Dance Workouts. Whether it’s Zumba or Sh’Bam, dance workouts are all the rage when it comes to group fitness.  Both programs promote all the benefits of a “regular” exercise class, but with twice the fun and a party atmosphere, you’ll hardly notice how hard you’re working.

10. Functional fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.

References: American College of Sports Medicine.  (2011, October 17).  Survey Predicts Top 20 Fitness Trends for 
    2012.  Retrieved November 14, 2011.  www.acsm.org

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