According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s Heath & Fitness Journal survey, these are the top ten “Fitness Trends for 2010”. A trend is defined as “a general development or change in a situation or the way people are behaving” and is not the same as a fad. Along with each trend, I will mention a few of the current “fads” that may go along with the general tendencies or trends.
1. For 2008 through to 2010, the first and foremost trend is that of educated and experienced fitness professionals. This means that there are certification and education programs that are fully “accredited” by third party organizations and these lead to recognized designations. In Canada, this might involve carrying a degree from a university in kinesiology or “exercise science”. The graduate can then apply to be registered with the provincial College of Kinesiologists. Each province has it’s own recognized programs, in BC fr example, fitness professionals can gain certification for teaching land-based or aquatic classes through BCRPA. Ask the trainers you are keen to work with what their certifications are. Do an internet search to find out if it is widely recognized. There is a very wide range of education and backgrounds and you should be informed.
2. Strength Training. While this was number 6 on the list of trends in 2007, it is now number 2, possibly as it is becoming common knowledge that increasing muscle mass helps with weight management and in rehabilitation to name but two benefits. This is where there is a broad range of WAYS to go about strength training, from weight-lifting at the gym (traditionally) to all the latest gadgets and classes that have been developed to alleviate boredom. The list for 2010 includes things like kettlebells and the TRX systems, which involves a system of webbing with handles attached firmly to a door or the ceiling using your own body weight as resistance!
3. A focus on childhood obesity. This issue has been making the news and is beginning to be seen as an issue in not only the US but in Canada as well. Obese kids today will be the obese adults of tomorrow so there is an increased focus on programs designed to prevent this. Check out the TV program X-Weighted Families on Slice Network to see what it takes to turn overweight families around- it’s a multifactorial approach.
4. Personal training now seems to be for everyone, not just the celebrities or the very well-off. Personal training requires a higher level of financial and personal commitment which, I suspect, helps foster accountability and results! The cost maybe higher but often the effectiveness of the workouts will also be much higher. Back to point number 2, find out what your potential trainers credentials are and ask them if they have experience working with clients like yourself (if you have any special requirements, ie. recently post-partum, recovering from cancer, have had surgery recently etc etc.)
5. Core training. This trend has been around a while now and describes the focus of exercise on strengthening of the back and abdominal muscles. The equipment could include BOSU balls, stability balls, foam rollers, wobble boards and the like. This is a form of strength training (as in #2) but it is thought that the focus on the abs and back muscles helps support the spine. From a physiotherapy perspective, this is not an absolute correlation, but that is an entirely different article and I won’t go into that here!
6. Special Fitness Programs for Older Adults– there’s no limit as to when you can benefit from exercise, so even at 70+, there are health benefits to exercise.
7. Functional Fitness. This refers to exercise programs that the reflect actual activities that someone might do during the day.
8. Sports-Specific Training. Twist Conditioning has built a reputation in this area by providing products and training systems to build speed and coordination to name but a few benefits for sports like soccer and hockey. They are located in North Vancouver and offer programs for kids and adults alike who wish to improve their sports performance.
9. Pilates. This form of exercise focuses on alignment, breathing, coordination and the entire body in progressively challenging positions and variations. Exercises can be done on a mat or with complex (and expensive) equipment. These exercises work well for clients recovering for various medical conditions but require highly trained teachers to get you to perform the exercises with the exactitude they require. Caution: It looks much easier than it is!
10. Group Personal Training. For the budget conscious, these sessions offer guidance in appropriate technique but with a social element. Groups can be small (as in 2-3 clients) making it more affordable but still giving many of the benefits of a trained instructor who can give personalized exercises for the most efficiency in training.
So if you’re feeling bored or stalled with your exercise routine, this is what’s trendy on 2010. If you’re not sure how to proceed, talk to your favorite health practitioner.
Sue Shalanski BScPT
Registered Physical Therapist and Owner of Reach Physio Solutions in Squamish, BC