Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2018

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveyed more than 4,000 fitness professionals, and the results are in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is forecast as next year’s most popular trend in fitness. HIIT training is made up of bursts of all-out exercise followed by short periods of rest for recovery.

The top 10 fitness trends for 2018 are:

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Once again, HIIT tops the list of fitness trends. HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, these exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

  2. Group Training: Group exercise instructors teach, lead and motivate individuals through intentionally designed group exercise classes. Group programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals. Consider boot camps or similar fitness classes, spin classes, boxing or kickboxing, plyometric or MMA.

  3. Wearable Technology: includes fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices. They can help you identify, track and reach your measurable goals while providing feedback and motivation. Most have the capability to track your steps, distance, and calories burned and advanced models monitor your heart rate, recovery and even the effectiveness and quality of your sleep.

  4. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness. Strength, balance and flexibility can be improved at home, in the gym or the local park with the right combination of exercises. Include these top five bodyweight movements: push-ups, bodyweight squats, lunges, planks and pull-ups.

  5. Strength Training: Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.)

  6. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals: Given a 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.

  7. Yoga: Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practised for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.

  8. Personal Training: More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they 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.

  9. 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. Muscles that are not used will grow weak and waste away, as will bone strength and density. As the population ages, it’s important to provide age-appropriate fitness programs to maintain strength and flexibility for those over 50 and beyond. These programs also improve balance and prevent falls and injury.

  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. 

    These programs train your muscles to work together to perform daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports and improving strength, balance and endurance.