What’s hot, what’s not in 2014

Michelle Graham

Michelle Graham

American College of Sports Medicine releases Top 10 list

It is always interesting to me to see where the world of fitness is trending. This is an ever-evolving continuum. It really is not unlike many things in life. It is always changing and always reinventing.

The American College of Sports Medicine has been watching and evaluating fitness trends for the past eight years. It compiles a list based on present information and insight from professionals all over the world. It is insightful to see where things are heading for the coming year.

As we examine trends in fitness, it may shed light on some types of exercise or fitness that you might want to incorporate into your own world of keeping fit and overall wellness. Below is the American College of Sports Medicine Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2014.

1. Topping the list of trends for 2014 is High Intensity Interval Training, also known as known as HIIT. This is different from past years as it did not even make the list for 2013. It is considered short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by a small rest period. This format is usually 30 minutes in duration. There is a risk of injuries and it might not be right for everyone.

2. Body weight training is next. With this format, little or no equipment is necessary, which makes it perfect to do in your home. It is also very inexpensive to do. This is no longer just push-ups or pull-ups, but body weight training and it can take your fitness routine to a whole new level.

3. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professional takes No. 3 on the trend list. Individuals seeking fitness advice have become savvy. They want to know that the people they are dealing with actually know the field of fitness and wellness and have the education and a certification to back it up. Credentials in the field have and will continue to be very important. Also, one cannot undermine or discount experience. This means a lot in fitness programming and overall knowledge. Sometimes it is what you don’t learn in a classroom or textbook that can separate you from the rest.

4. Strength training continues to play a vital role in fitness programming. This is down two spots from last year. Many fitness professionals continue to incorporate some facets of strength training into training programs. We can never underestimate the value of strong bones and muscles.

5. Exercise and weight loss will continue to be high on the trend list for years to come. As our overall health and wellness continues to be at risk, weight loss programs will continue to be highly sought after. Combining exercise and healthy eating will be in the forefront for all of 2014.

6. Personal training is still a high priority on the trend list. Individuals love the extra attention that they can get from a personal trainer. It can take an exercise routine from ordinary to extraordinary. Finding the right trainer can be a challenge. Make sure that when you are seeking one he or she it is the right person for you. Meet with them to see if you make a connection and then build your routine with your goals in mind.

7. Fitness programming for older adults has become increasingly important. Our seniors today are looking to stay fit and age gracefully. It’s no surprise that fitness for older adults makes the top 10 list. Across the country exercise programs for seniors are becoming more popular and in demand. Programs that focus on strength, endurance and activities of daily living seem to be the trend for 2014.

8. Functional fitness has dramatically gained in popularity. According to the ACSM, this can be defined as strength training where the focus is on coordination, balance, force, power and endurance to enhance daily living activities. These types of classes are popping up all over and continue to gain momentum worldwide.

9. Group personal training has been a great trend for years. Participants enjoy exercising in a group, which can be motivating, fun and social. It is also less expensive than one-on-one personal training, as the cost for participants is spread out to the group. Training in groups is not only great for the clients but the trainers seem to really enjoy this type of training, too.

10. The final trend is yoga. This has continued to have a great impact in our culture and cultures throughout the world. There are many types of yoga and it seems to evolve and adapt over time. Whether you are looking for mental clarity or physical freedom, you may discover that yoga might be just what the doctor ordered. It seems that yoga could be making a comeback this year.
Fitness trends are interesting to examine. But they are just trends. It’s important to look at information with an open mind and find the right fitness program for you. On your personal journey to get and stay fit, you will discover that any fitness model is not one size fits all. Try new things, challenge yourself and most important, have some fun along the way. Live your best life starting today.

Michelle L. Graham, MS, is wellness director for Watertown’s Downtown YMCA. Contact her at ymca_mgraham@yahoo.com. Her column appears in every issue.