Either way, you might be interested in the results of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2014. This annual survey, which was completed by more than 3,800 fitness professionals, predicts what types of exercises, fitness classes, and training programs will be popular in the year to come. It’s the crystal ball of working out, if you will.
Here’s a quick sampling of what the survey had to say about breaking a sweat in 2014.
• High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): According to the survey, the number one fitness trend for 2014 will be high-intensity interval training. HIIT involves alternating between quick bursts of intense activity and short periods of rest. For example, instead of jogging at a steady pace for 30 minutes, a HIIT workout would involve alternating sprinting with walking or slow jogging for those same 30 minutes.
• Body-Weight Training: Exercise equipment can be expensive, but body-weight training – the number two predicted trend for 2014 – is as cheap as it gets. As the name suggests, the term is used to refer to strength-training exercises that forgo the use of equipment in favor of the resistance provided by the weight of your own body. Push-ups and pull-ups are two common examples of body-weight-training exercises.
• Fitness programs for older adults: Coming in at No. 7, fitness programs geared toward those of retirement age are expected to grow in number in the coming year. As the baby boomers retire, they are looking to stay fit and active through exercise classes that are safe and age-appropriate, and health and fitness professionals are working to meet this need.
• Functional fitness: No. 8 on the list of 2014 fitness trends is all about using exercise to make the tasks of everyday life a little bit easier. This would include using strength training to improve your balance or coordination. Functional-fitness exercises sometimes imitate activities done around the home and are often incorporated into fitness programs for older adults, as described above.
• Group personal training: As exercisers still recover from the economic downturn, group personal training has been rising in popularity. Coming in at No. 9, it involves a certified fitness professional offering training to two to four clients simultaneously, instead of just one. Group personal training is a great way to get personalized attention at a more cost-efficient rate.
• Work site health promotion: According to the survey, 2014 will see a rise in employer-sponsored programs designed to make workers healthier and more active, as more and more research shows a connection between worker health and productivity. This could take the form of more companies offering fitness centers on-site, or more offices sponsoring friendly health and fitness competitions among employees.
• Outcomes measurements: No. 16 on the list is a trend that emphasizes exercise accountability. The survey predicts that in the coming year, more individuals – and health and fitness facilities – will emphasize collecting data to assess the effectiveness of any given workout regimen. This might mean recording body measurements before and after a fitness program. Or it could mean completing surveys to measure changes in lifestyle habits. Using such metrics helps you be sure your exercise efforts are making a positive difference in your health.
You can view the entire list of twenty fitness trends for 2014 through the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.
Will you be trying any of these fitness trends in the new year?