2009 Health And Fitness
importance of experienced and educated fitness professionals remains
the top predicted fitness trend for a second straight year, according
to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The survey results are
published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health &
now in its third year, was distributed to ACSM certified health and
fitness professionals worldwide and was designed to reveal trends in
various fitness environments. More than 1,500 completed surveys were
received from respondents in six continents. Thirty-five potential
trends were given as choices, with the top 20 ranked and published by
with 2008 results, experienced and educated fitness professionals was
identified as the top trend to watch in 2009, likely due to increased
industry regulations and an influx of specialty certifications and
educational programs available for these professionals. This trend has
moved up the list since the survey’s inception in 2007, when it
their spots on the list were trends related to children and obesity and
personal training, which again ranked second and third, respectively.
Lead author of the survey, Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, says this
is indicative of true industry trends, not fads, taking hold.
predictions become consistent, we view it as an opportunity for
education and action," Thompson said. "These developing themes will
help health and fitness professionals give the best possible service to
the public, and also help the public understand the quality of service
they should be receiving as clients."
for 2009 not only suggests active people will have good and safe
options when choosing a trainer to complement their fitness routines,
but there’s also an enhanced appreciation for the education and
training of these professionals, which we see expanding each year,"
said Thompson. "Reading through the survey results, the innovation in
training, public health issues and wellness is evident for the year
ahead in health and fitness."
The top 10 fitness trends predicted for 2009 are:
1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals.
Because of an increase in the number of organizations offering fitness
certifications, it’s important that consumers choose
professionals certified by programs that are accredited by the National
Commission for Certifying Agencies, such as those offered by ACSM.
2. Children and obesity.
This trend – and designing exercise programs to reverse it
– is high in the minds of fitness professionals not only because
of the number of children who are currently overweight and obese, but
because these children are more likely to become obese adults.
3. Personal training.
Education, training and proper credentialing for health and fitness
professionals who act as personal trainers has become increasingly
important, and is an integralpart of staffing for health and fitness
4. Strength training.
Strength training is an essential part of ACSM’s Physical
Activity and Public Health Guidelines. Lifting weights isn’t just
for bodybuilders; it’s crucial to maintaining bone mass density
with aging and is used in a variety of rehabilitation settings.
5. Core training.
Different from strength training, this type of training emphasizes
conditioning the back and abdomen muscles and improves spine stability.
6. Special fitness programs for older adults.
With more and more of the baby boomer population reaching retirement
age, health and fitness professionals are designing age-appropriate
fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and happy well into their
Pilates incorporates a great deal of core training, while still
strengthening and toning the entire body. Part of its appeal is that
many exercises can be done with a simple mat – no extra,
expensive equipment required.
8. Stability ball.
Because the size of stability balls varies so greatly, many different
exercises can be performed with them. It can teach balance and strength
in addition to stability.
9. Sport-specific training.
This trend distinctly relates to young athletes. High school athletes
are incorporating training into their off-seasons in order to stay in
top shape for their sports.
10. Balance training.
Numerous activities feature balance training, including yoga, foam
rollers, BOSU balls, and more. This trend has risen to the top 10 after
not making the trends list in 2007 and being listed at no. 14 in 2008,
possibly because of the increased emphasis on its importance for older
For more on the American College of Sports Medicine, visit www.acsm.org.