fitness tracker

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016

Are you tracking your running mileage, calories burned or average heart rate using a wearable device? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has announced its annual fitness trend forecast and for the first time, exercise pros say wearable technology will be the top trend in fitness next year. The results were released in the article published in the November/December 2015 issue 2ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

“Wearable technology has overtaken activities like body weight training and high-intensity interval training to claim the number one spot in this year’s survey,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “Consumer interest in fitness technology may signal that the low-cost, DIY exercise trend is waning.”

Now in its tenth year, the survey was completed by more than 2,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide, many certified by ACSM, and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments. Forty potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM, including a few new additions to last year’s list, one of which rose immediately to the number one spot.

“Tech devices are now central to our daily lives and have changed the way we plan and manage our workouts,” said Thompson. “Wearable devices also provide immediate feedback that can make the wearer more aware of their level of activity and can motivate the user to achieve their fitness goals.”

The top 10 fitness trends for 2016 are:

1. Wearable Technology: includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.

2. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

4. Strength Training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.)

5. 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 programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), such as those offered by ACSM. ACSM is one of the largest and most prestigious fitness-certification organizations in the world.


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