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The Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2011

Not that you need to be thinking about this before your holiday party stretch, but the American College of Sports Medicine has released The Top 20 Fitness Trends of 2011. What's hot? Strength training and core training. Surprise. Six packs and a healthy back scored points. What's not? Stability balls, balance training, and Pilates.

“It appears from this survey that Pilates may not have been a trend at all but may be considered a fad in the health and fitness industry,” said Thompson. “Next year’s survey will either embrace Pilates as a trend or will answer this question.”

We're guessing fad. Sorry Daisy Fuentes.

The other trends aren't going to surprise or revolutionize the fitness world the way that say, super chunky knits or boxy handbags caused guffaws on the fall runways. In fact, some of the entries are a little boring—physician referrals, educated and experienced fitness professionals. Still, here are the Top 10 trends in case you want to start in on your New Year's Resolution a little early. Boot camp anyone?

10. Physician referrals. Physician referrals, a key component of the Exercise is Medicine initiative, partner medical professionals with heath and fitness professionals to seamlessly integrate exercise into their patients’ lives.

9. 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.

8. Boot camp. Boot camp is a high-intensity structured activity program modeled after military style training and led by an instructor. Boot camp incorporates cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility drills in both indoor and outdoor settings.

7. Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

6. Core training. Distinct from strength training, core training specifically emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen – all of which provide needed support for the spine.

5. Personal training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that students 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.

4. Children and obesity. With childhood obesity growing at an alarming rate, health and fitness professionals see the epidemic as an opportunity to create programs tailored to overweight and obese children. Solving the problem of childhood obesity will have an impact on the health care industry today and for years to come.

3. Strength training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program for all physical activity levels and genders.

2. 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.

1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Due to increases in the 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, such as those offered by ACSM.

--Joe Spring
@joespring



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