Lists of top fitness trends for the next year are popping up now. While these lists rarely have big surprises, I am always curious to see the annual predictions – even after working in the fitness industry for 27 years. Perhaps these compilations may motivate you to get moving or try something different. In confirming existing trends and recognizing new ones, they also help guide programming decisions at health clubs and fitness studios.
Here we report the 2019 top fitness trends from the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual survey. In its 13th year, the annual survey, this year of 2,000 fitness professionals around the world, includes many of the ongoing trends from past years, but also adds some new ones.
2019 Fitness Trends
- Wearable technology – We LOVE data, especially when it’s all about us. That means, more of us are relying on (addicted to?) our fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.
- Group training – Sweating together is popular every year, particularly as the industry continues creating new formats and classes for virtually every exerciser. And many of us love not having to figure out what our workout should be – we just show up and are told what to do!
- High-intensity interval training – If you don’t know about HIIT by now, where have you been? Part of the top 5 fitness trends since 2014, HIIT is performing quick, challenging intervals, following by short periods of rest. It’s efficient and effective – and skyrocketing worldwide.
- Fitness programs for older adults – As Baby Boomers age into retirement, there are a lot of people getting older and living longer. With health and fitness a priority, and additional discretionary income, fitness programs for the active aging are in demand.
- Bodyweight training – A simple, effective, affordable and always available workout, including squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, burpees, mountain climbers and more. This requires no equipment and can be performed virtually anywhere, anytime.
- Certified fitness professionals – As a certified fitness professional myself, I see the industry continue to improve as far as education, certifications that are accredited by the NCCA and demanding competency.
- Yoga – As we continually challenge our bodies with the intense demands of HIIT, it’s no surprise that yoga also is thriving, offering lower-impact experiences and time to stretch, strengthen and focus.
- Personal training – With more health clubs, corporate fitness centers and online workouts, the demand for personal trainers remains strong, as people rely on these professionals to expertly guide their fitness routines. Personal training has been in the top 10 fitness trends since this survey began in 2006.
- Functional fitness training – Here to stay, functional fitness training technically is using strength exercises and other movements to improve balance, strength, coordination and endurance – all to enhance performance of activities of daily living. The emphasis is on coordinated movements versus isolated muscle work.
- Exercise is medicine – Exercise is medicine is a global health initiative by ACSM that encourages health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated referrals to certified fitness professionals. With an eye on shifting more toward preventative medicine, it is an effort to more fully integrate the medical field with the fitness industry.
- Health/wellness coaching – This is one-on-one coaching includes goal-setting, guidance and support, along with behavior change intervention strategies, to stimulate life change.
- Exercise for weight loss – Seems like kind of a no-brainer, given that many people exercise primarily for this reason. It encompasses a broader approach to diet programs by integrating exercise.
ACSM’s list actually includes 20 fitness trends; to read them all, access the article HERE.