1. 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.
2. Strength training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program for all physical activity levels and genders.
3. Fitness programs for older adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
4. Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.
5. Children and obesity. With childhood obesity growing at an alarming rate, health and fitness professionals see the epidemic as an opportunity to create programs tailored to overweight and obese children. Solving the problem of childhood obesity will have an impact on the health care industry today and for years to come.
6. Personal training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that students are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.
7. Core training. Distinct from strength training, core training specifically emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen – all of which provide needed support for the spine.
8. Group personal training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering group training options. Training two or three people at once makes economic sense for both the trainer and the clients.
9. Zumba and other dance workouts. A workout that requires energy and enthusiasm, Zumba combines Latin rhythms with interval-type exercise and resistance training.
10. Functional fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.
Although producing educated and experienced fitness pro's is the top fitness industry trend it's still very much buyer beware. Take a look at this video posted on the American Counsel on Exercise website..
The ACE article say's, "If a trainer demonstrates a technically challenging exercise that you don’t feel comfortable attempting your next exercise, run (not walk) away from that trainer in order to avoid an unnecessary (and completely preventable) injury,"
The article was also careful to point out that "this is not an indictment against Crossfit". I agree. In general the Crossfit program places special emphasis on good technique, but as I have seen over and over, it does't matter what kind of certification a trainer has, I've seen all levels of trainers make these critical errors.
The number one red flag that signals you should run, not walk, away from a trainer? No assessments or measurements. If a trainer doesn't do a valid fitness test or movement assessment (used to find common posture and biomechanical problems) it means they have no evidence from which to build a personal recommendation for you from. You are likely to receive a cookie cutter program from trainers that don't do assessments.
In my opinion the number one fitness/ healthy living trend that needs to occur is changing how we think and feel about healthy choices. Why? How many times have you or someone you know looked forward to their "cheat day" more than they look forward to making healthy choices?
Thats the self sabotage we inflict on ourselves and is the number one reason for failure to lose weight and get fit. We simply don't value the healthy choices as much as we do the unhealthy choices.
If you're in love with unhealthy choices you'll always feel drawn to those choices and the healthy choices will forever be relegated to being perceived as restrictions that prevent access to the supposedly more rewarding unhealthy choices.
In general I don't like most group exercise classes, the bigger they are the worse they are because individual attention becomes non-existent. Also group fitness classes place pressure on everyone to perform whether your tired or not. Group classes can work, but look for smaller groups with no more than 6-10 people per instructor.
Here is my list of what you must do to get and stay healthy:
Overall it's the psychological work that precipitates everything else. Free your mind and the rest will follow. Get your head and your heart into loving healthy living instead of viewing it as restrictive.
The top four things that you have control over that make your body healthy are:
Exercise: Strength train 1 to 2X per week. Cardio 2 to 3X per week, some activity daily
Nutrition: Pass on processed foods, fill 1/2 plate with veggies, be mindful of what you eat.. "is eating this really going to help me; or hurt me?"
Quality sleep: Get to bed early and same time every night. Avoid late nights.
The first three also pull double duty and serve to aid stress management. In addition though cognitively processing why we get angry, why we fret and worry, as well as what makes up happy and content is very important. Most of us simply habitually react to situations instead of being mindful of our thoughts and emotions. Being mindful helps us realize we can choose not get so uptight about things, and be less judgemental of others and ourselves, helping us reduce our stress and even avoid stress altogether.
If you can get the right amount of these four you'll discover how liberating and rewarding it feels to be stronger with more energy, have fewer colds, have less body fat, and not feel like weight gain, being tired, and being stressed are a ball and chain.