Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2007

With waistlines getting bigger and the lack of exercise reaching new heights, fighting childhood obesity ranks as the top health and fitness trend for 2007, according to a new survey. The Top 10 predictions for 2007 health and fitness trends, according to American College of Sports Medicine are:

Children and Obesity.
Program development to reduce obesity among children was the number-one trend identified in the survey. Health and fitness professionals predict schools are unlikely to increase time devoted to physical education or nutrition education, and providing physical activity for kids may fall in the hands of the health/fitness industry along with fitness professionals.

Special Fitness Programs for Older Adults.
Fitness clubs and retirement communities stand to benefit from health and fitness programs that cater to the older adult. The number-two prediction notes the baby boom generation is growing older and living longer, and their physicians are recommending they remain active.

Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals.
Fully accredited education and certification programs for health/fitness professionals are on the rise. The importance of obtaining certification through academic accreditation is highly recognized by the fitness industry.

Functional Fitness.
Functional fitness training, using strength training to improve performance for activities of daily living, will become more prominent in 2007. Exercises that mimic actual job tasks or other activities will help improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance.

Core Training.
A greater emphasis on and understanding of core training will occur, focused on forming the foundation for training the upper and lower extremities, including sport skill development. Core exercises, which strengthen, condition, and stabilize the abdominal and back muscles, often use props such as stability balls, BOSU balance balls, wobble boards, and foam rollers to provide support for the spine.

Strength Training.
The health benefits of incorporating strength training into a fitness regimen will receive continued emphasis. Women and older adults are credited with keeping this long-lasting trend popular.

Personal Training.
Personal trainers will continue to gain recognition and credibility among other health care professionals for higher professional standards and accreditation. Also, now more than ever, the personal trainer is more accessible to potential clients.

Mind/Body Exercise.
Variations of yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and other mind/body exercises will be introduced and remain popular next year. Research supports that the mind benefits from these programs as much as the physical improvements in muscular strength, aerobic capacity, flexibility and balance.

Exercise and Weight Loss.
Weight-loss programs will include an exercise component. Most diet programs already incorporate some exercise/physical activity recommendations, but professionals expect more visibility to be placed on energy balance in the weight-loss equation.

Outcome Measurements.
Defining and tracking outcomes of a fitness program will have a higher profile in the future. Professionals expect advances in technology to help determine success in disease management or changes in negative lifestyle behaviors.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine Reference: ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal. 10(6):8-14, November/December 2006. Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR.


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