An annual survey of fitness and health professionals was conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and its findings illuminate the top trends in fitness and health. The survey includes answers from more than 2,000 pros from all over the world who represent all commercial, corporate, community and clinical sectors of the industry. Special note : the survey is designed to confirm trends with a positive, long-lasting impact on the health and fitness industry, as opposed to temporary fads.
1. Wearable Technology
The number one fitness trend is wearable tech. Fitness trackers, smart watches, mobile apps and the like hit the top spot for 2019. According to previous surveys by ACSM, wearable technology was also the top trend in 2016 and 2017, but dipped to the number three spot in 2018. Its rise to regain the number one position is largely attributed to manufacturers correcting and fine-tuning some of the issues that end users may have encountered using the (at the time) developing gear.
2. Group Training
For the second year running, group training (which is technically defined as sessions with five or more participants) was ranked in the survey’s number two spot. For the record, sessions that hold 2 to 4 participants are considered to be small groups, which ranked #19 in the survey.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training
Otherwise known as HIIT, high-intensity interval training refers to short, intense bouts of exercise followed by short rest periods.
4. Fitness Programs
The survey revealed that the #4 spot belonged to customized fitness programs, especially popular among older adults.
5. Body Weight Training
Rounding out the top five spot in the survey is body weight training, which is exercise where one uses one’s own body weight as resistance.
Other notable findings include a growing interest in using certified fitness professionals. This trend hit #6 in the 2019 survey.
Special mention goes to health and fitness promotion in the workplace. Since 2007, when ACSM first published its survey, health promotion in the workplace has never made the grade. In 2019, it makes its first appearance, ranking in at the survey’s #15 spot.
The trends that dropped out of the top 20 since last year’s survey include core training, circuit weight training and sport-specific training.