ACE, the American Council on Exercise, has come out with their annual list of the fitness trends expected to be big in 2016. Although aimed at fitness professionals, these trends will be of interest to anyone interested in health and fitness – and may be something to look for at your rec center or fitness facility.
Increasing public-private partnerships to promote physical activity, in wake of the obesity epidemic. Fitness organizations, health clubs, and equipment manufacturers will work more directly with the public, particularly through schools. An example is the Drew Brees Touchdowns for TRX, which donated TRX Suspension Trainers to a local school for every touchdown Drew Brees threw in November.
Faith-based fitness programs will increase. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other faith-based communities – where people come together based on shared values and beliefs – have already started offering fitness classes, health coaching, and nutritional advice to improve the spiritual and physical well-being of their members. These communities already provide an environment for spiritual and emotional support, so it’s not a stretch to also provide for physical growth.
Streaming fitness and workout videos will offer more on-demand options. Busy lives and demanding work schedules increase the desire for individuals to do instructor-led workouts at their own time, and on the device of their choosing. All that is needed is an internet connection, and you’ll be able to do a workout from your computer, TV, tablet, phone, and more. The Daily Burn had tremendous success with on-demand training in 2015, and plans to increase its offerings in 2016.
More and more technology to take physiological measurements your body. Not just the Fitbits and Garmin Vivosmarts worn by exercisers, but devices to help fitness professionals determine physiological values without invasive techniques, like body fat measurements with a tape measurement. For example, PostureCo offers a product called PostureScreen Mobile which provides posture analysis, body composition analysis (i.e., body fat percentage), and movement screening simply by taking a photograph with an iPad.
A move back to low intensity steady-state cardo training from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT – quick, 100% effort exercise followed by short recovery periods – works, but it can cause overtraining and overuse injuries. These negative effects can cause people to drop out of the exercise program.
Group classes that combine formats, such as treadmill running and weight training, or indoor cycling and boxing. Fitness instructors will be adding these to keep workouts fun, and fresh (thereby keeping customers). Fitness companies will offer equipment that allows different formats to be easily combined.
Personal trainers will add health coaching to their offerings. This will allow trainers to help clients integrate exercise and healthy choices into their lifestyle, instead of just focusing on what happens in the gym.
Experiences will take precedence over workouts. Boutique studios that offer catered fitness experiences will continue to flourish over health clubs that offer the standard classes and workouts. Obstacle course races like the Tough Mudder series combine fitness with a unique experience that can’t be easily replicated in a club. Organizations and entrepreneurs who offer these one-of-a-kind physical challenges will be increasingly successful.
Recovery will finally get its due. Recovery is as important as training – it’s after the workout that the body adapts and gets better. Improving performance requires an adequate recovery, and recovery strategies will become more widespread. These may include methods like ice soaks, recovery compression clothing, and adequate sleep.
Educational workshops will be offered to the average fitness consumer. More and more fitness education programs will be designed for, and marked to, the fitness consumer. These might be in-person seminars, Webinars, or on-demand podcasts, so continuing fitness education will no long be just for fitness professionals.