American Council on Exercise (ACE) announced its research results for the top fitness trends for 2009 on Dec. 9. While many of them are variations on old ideas, some of them are a reflection of society’s need for variety in fitness.
I bring to you the top fitness trends and a little explanation of each. The overall theme for all of these activities seems to be getting the most out of your exercise time and/or getting the most out of your money.
• Boot Camp-Style Workouts
: This kind of workout remains popular because of its multi-functional design. You not only get cardiovascular benefits, but you get the added component of strength training all while having fun doing a variety of exercises. Your typical boot-camp class can burn up to 600 calories and sometimes more depending on the intensity level and design of the format. Additionally, this kind of workout can be modified for a variety of fitness levels, so it appeals to a wide audience.
• Budget-Friendly Workouts:
According to ACE-certified professionals surveyed, 48 percent said that gym memberships will decrease in 2009 and 52 percent said less people will hire personal trainers. What does this mean for gyms like ours? It means more people will look to the “included” benefits of gym membership, such as group exercise classes and circuit training equipment, so if you are looking into a gym, make sure you find a variety of strength training and cardio equipment that will allow for a diverse and multi-level workout.
• Specialty Classes:
Yoga and Pilates classes will always be popular, but lately the advent of classes that merge fitness with dance have tapped into a population that doesn’t want to look at fitness as work, but as something fun. These dance fusion classes are for everyone and are sneaky because you get the calorie burn without even knowing it!
• Getting Back to Basics:
Much of the ACE survey focused on the ability of trainers to return to the simple design of a training regimen that allows people to get the most out of their “hour” using tried and true methods for strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
• Kettle bells:
This nifty workout tool originally regained popularity with the release of the movie “300,” but since then people have continued to incorporate the kettle bell into “functional fitness” routines that allow a person to merge strength training with high intensity cardiovascular movements. Done safely, this kind of workout can produce muscle mass and improved overall fitness.
While these are just a few of the popular trends for 2009, I think they represent what is the overall theme, which is simply variety. In today’s fast-paced world it is necessary to find what kind of workout works best for you and then look for ways to add to or vary that workout routine to alleviate boredom. Mixing things up for any level exerciser is the key to staying on the road to success and finding permanent lifestyle change.
For more information on 2009 trends, visit www.acefitness.org or visit www.mackzfitness.org for additional fitness information.
Victoria MacKenzie, the group fitness coordinator for Ramona Fitness Center, has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for 10 years.