Fitness Trends for 2018

The fitness world is always changing and evolving, with established programs continuing to exist alongside a wide range of new ideas. If this year was anything to go by, 2018 looks to be an exciting year for the fitness industry - with new opportunities for professionals and more choices available to consumers than ever before. The 12th annual survey by The American College of Sports Medicine is a great forecast of what to expect in 2018, from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and wearable technology through to personal and group training programs.

The 'Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018' was compiled after questioning more than 4,000 fitness professionals across the world. Whether you're interested in fully featured commercial programs or ideas you can implement at home for free, this survey acts as a wide-angle lens into the fitness industry. After topping the list in 2014, HIIT is once again back in the top position after falling to third place in 2017. HIIT is a great way to burn fat, improve stamina, and tone up muscle over the entire body, with this popular cardiovascular exercise involving short periods of intense anaerobic exercise mixed with regular rest periods.

According to Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, president of ACSM and lead author of the survey, "High intensity interval training has been a consistently high-ranking trend on the forecast in recent years, appearing in the top three since 2014. Even though survey respondents warned of a relatively higher risk of injury associated with HIIT, it continues to be very popular in gyms across the world. HIIT offers participants a good workout that can be done without a lot of time or equipment,” said Thompson, adding “Research shows that with proper precautions, like working with a certified personal trainer, HIIT can be a safe, effective and fun way to exercise.”

Group training came in at second on the list for fitness trends in 2018 - as more people gravitate towards group work in local fitness centres and public areas. While group training is not for everyone, exercising with professionals alongside other people can be a great way to stay motivated and interact with people in your local community. Wearable technology fell from top spot on the list in 2017 to third place in 2018, with fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices still popular despite losing some ground due to their novel status.

Body weight training was fourth in the survey, with this fitness trend perhaps the most affordable due to the minimal equipment involved. While body weight routines such as push-ups and pull-ups can easily be performed at home, many of the other emerging trends depend on access to fitness professionals. Strength training came in at fifth position, followed by educated and experienced fitness professionals, yoga, personal training, fitness programs for older adults, and functional fitness. Many of these trends have been around for a while now, with fitness professionals and strength training both making their first appearance in the top 10 in 2007. Other trends continue to emerge, however, including licenses for fitness professionals in 16th spot, core training in 19th spot, and sport-specific training in 20th spot. 


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