The American College of Sports Medicine recently completed a worldwide survey of nearly 3,000 fitness professionals to determine the top fitness trends for 2016. Below, you will find a list of the top 10 fitness trends, along with some suggested products that may help you make the most of these trends as you focus on your own health and wellness through the coming year.
2016 Fitness Trends
1. Wearable Technology
We love our gadgets and smartphones. It’s great if these items help you to think about your fitness, and provide enthusiasm for getting fit, but be careful that playing with fitness tech doesn’t get in the way of actually getting fit! Being trendy doesn’t necessarily put you at the front of these fitness trends!
In my own unscientific survey among clients and internet research, the top 3 fitness wearables (not including smart watches) for you in the coming year include:
FitBit Charge – Energize your day with Charge—an advanced activity wristband that tracks your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Stay connected throughout the day with real-time fitness stats and Caller ID on the OLED display. And when the day is done, automatically monitor your sleep and set a silent, vibrating alarm. Whether you’re at the office or on the go, Charge wirelessly syncs your stats to your smartphone and computer to help you find the motivation you need to achieve your goals.
- Accurately track all-day stats like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, and active minutes
- See daily stats, time of day, and exercise mode with a bright OLED display
- Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
- Get call notifications right on your wrist
- Access real-time run stats like time, distance, and pace to stay on track
- Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
- Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.
Garmin Vivosmart – Monitor calls, texts, meetings, emails and other notifications with vibration alerts so you don’t miss a beat. Double tap to reveal the hidden OLED touchscreen and swipe to navigate pages. Lets you know when you have calls, texts, emails, meetings, or if you just need to walk, with a vibration alert. Get more out of Vivosmart – pair it with a heart rate monitor, bike speed sensor or VIRB Elite action camera. Automatically syncs with mobile devices at strategic times throughout the day, such as when a goal is met or when several steps have been taken since the last sync.
- Displays steps, calories, distance and time of day
- Vibration alerts for calls, texts and emails from your smartphone
- Easy operation using touch and swipe
- Inactivity alert reminds you to move
- Auto goal keeps you challenged
Jawbone UP3 – A revolutionary, integrated system that incorporates advanced hardware, sophisticated algorithms and data science to better understand your behaviors and habits. Through an in-depth analysis of your eating, activity and sleep patterns, UP is able to intelligently help you make better choices and achieve your goals smarter and faster.
- Advanced Activity – Get the full picture of your active life. Track steps, distance and calories burned. UP learns how you move, capturing all your activities like running, soccer and swimming.
- Advanced Sleep – Automatically capture hours slept, quality of the sleep, REM and deep sleep.
- Food Tracking – Get as detailed as you want – track food, drink, calories, nutrients and more. Or, use Food Score to know if you’re eating right – all at a glance.
- Smart Coach – Only UP delivers personalized insights based on your activity. From there, UP guides you to make healthier choices every day.
2. Bodyweight Training
Bodyweight training nearly always in the top fitness trends of the year, and is awesome because you don’t need any equipment. You can generally do bodyweight training anywhere, and there are no excuses for not getting in some kind of exercise. Heck, even walking could be considered bodyweight training.
One of the biggest issues that my clients sometimes have with bodyweight training is wrist strain from various plank exercises. Perfect Pushup stands are a great tool for dealing with wrist discomfort in plank.
Perfect Pushup Elite – Keep a neutral alignment of your wrists for greater comfort during plank. Easily turn your forearms to support an anatomically neutral alignment of your shoulders.
- Engages more muscles
- Built to last construction
- Smooth rotation – steel ball bearing system
- Weight Vest ready, 400-Pound weight capacity
- Formally called the Perfect V2 Pushup
Exercise Mat – A good exercise mat is usually too thick for yoga, but excellent at providing some cushion between your body and the floor during other bodyweight exercises.
3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
For years, high intensity interval training has been a fantastic way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, and has been included in the top fitness trends. There are a lot of smartphone apps that help you keep track of intervals, but I’ve always been a fan of the Gymboss. It’s what I use with my clients to keep track of sets, active phases, and resting phases.
Gymboss miniMAX – The Gymboss miniMAX Interval Timer and Stopwatch is a small, advanced interval timer with an easy to use scrolling menu. With this innovative timer you can time up to 25 different and complex intervals of your choice. You also can save up to 20 programs for future use. In addition, there is a stopwatch and clock feature built-in. Features on this new miniMAX model include a removable belt-clip, slimmer design than the original MAX, and an enhanced setup procedure for easier operation. Maximize your training to increase: Anaerobic endurance, Muscle strength/size, Cardio endurance, Increased VO2max, and Fat loss. Gymboss – Train Hard, Train Smart.
- Compact, advanced interval timer tracks up to 25 different intervals between two seconds and 99 minutes.
Save up to 20 programs.
- Built-in Stopwatch and Clock features. Secure and Removable Belt-clip included.
- Chime and vibration interval notification; alarm duration can be set for one, two, five, or nine seconds.
- Compact size powered by one AAA battery (not included); measures 2.25 by 1.75 by 0.5 inches (55mm X 44mm X 14mm). Sweat and impact resistant. For use with: HIIT, Cross Fit, Cardio, Weightlifting, Strength Training, Kettlebells, Body for Life, Running, Learn-to-Run, MMA, Boxing, Martial Arts and more.
4. Strength Training
Everyone needs strength training in their life. Whether you want to improve posture, lose weight, prevent osteoporosis, or be strong to live an active lifestyle, there is a reason to work on your strength. My two personal favorite methods of strength training have always involved kettlebells and dumbbells.
Kettlebells – You will likely need several weights of kettlebell to accommodate the different exercises that you can do. If you’re still getting familiar with kettlebell training, then my Kettlebell Moves page has probably the best collection of kettlebell exercises in all of the internet, along with some guidelines to help you choose the appropriate weight for you.
Dumbbells – I’ve owned several sets of dumbbells in my life, but my favorite for home use has always been the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. These are perfect for conserving space in your home, while allowing you to have a complete set of dumbbells for any workout.
5. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
You want to ensure that the trainer you employ is properly certified, is on top of these fitness trends, and knows their stuff. Of course, there’s a lot more to being a good trainer besides a certification, like experience and personality. However, a good certification can inform you that the trainer is taking their career seriously.
The top 3 personal trainer certifications in the United States are:
ACE – American Council on Exercise. I’m partial to ACE because that’s who I’ve always been certified with. ACE serves as a leader in the health and fitness industry by creating and delivering quality certification programs and continuing education options, and by partnering with colleges and universities on curriculum programs aimed at educating future professionals.
NASM – National Association of Sports Medicine. Since 1987 NASM has been a global leader in providing evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations for fitness professionals. In addition to its NCCA-accredited Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam, NASM offers a progressive career track with access to Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and specializations.
ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. With more than 50,000 members and certified professionals worldwide, ACSM is dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.
6. Personal Training
If you’re not comfortable in group fitness classes, need extra modifications for most exercises, or just know that you need or prefer individualized private fitness coaching, then a personal trainer is the way to go.
As far as fitness trends go, you might balk at the price of hiring a good trainer, but you will save yourself a lot of trial and error by having a personal trainer show you the correct form for exercise. A personal trainer can provide a program for you that can help you to achieve the results that you’re after.
It’s better to get the guidance of a trained professional, than to risk injury or spending time doing things that aren’t going to deliver what you need.
7. Functional Fitness
Functional fitness exercises are designed to train and develop your muscles to make it easier and safer to perform everyday activities, such as carrying groceries or playing a game of basketball with your kids.
To train functional fitness, you can seek out the instruction of a qualified personal trainer, attend group fitness classes, or do a home workout program like JohnnyFit Online.
In JohnnyFit Online, I bring my expertise as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor to an online format that will allow you to workout anywhere you have internet connection. You can use a variety of equipment and workouts to ensure that you never get bored, and work every part of your body.
- Strength Training
- Cardiovascular Training
- Balance Training
- Coordination Training
- Flexibility Training
8. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
It’s imperative to maintain your fitness as you age to avoid preventable health conditions, and to live well for as long as you can. Many of my programs are easily modified for all fitness levels, including aging adults. Ensure that the trainer you hire has experience with older populations, or that the program is designed specifically for your needs. Feel free to follow up with me for my guidance or opinion on any program that you might be considering.
9. Exercise and Weight Loss
It’s weird that exercise and weight loss were actually listed as one of the top 10 fitness trends. Aren’t these kind of the whole point? How can they be a trend?
To maintain decent health and manageable weight, I recommend moderate to intense exercise at least 3 times per week. This recommendation is across the board for all fitness types. Consistency is the key to being successful in fitness and weight management. Remember, if you are consistent in being lazy, or eating poorly, then you can become really good at those things!
These days yoga is my personal favorite type of exercise. For as long as I’ve had a consistent practice, I’ve noticed improvement in both my body and my mind.
There are a lot of different styles of yoga, and it may take some exploration to find the style that you feel most drawn to. Be sure not to give up on yoga if your first couple experience aren’t quite a match for you.
Finding the right teacher is easier said than done. Since yoga studios make a lot of money by offering yoga teacher training, they have flooded the market with new and inexperienced teachers. A new teacher can be identified as someone who has been teaching less than 2 years, and only has a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification. Don’t be afraid to ask a teacher or studio for credentials.
If you’re new to yoga, you will be best served by seeking out a teacher who has been teaching for at least 3-5 years, or has gone on to further their education by attaining a 500 hour Yoga Alliance teaching certification.
Yoga Mat – A serious yoga student should have a decent yoga mat. If you’re tired of the mats that fall apart on you and shred to pieces after a couple of months, then consider getting a Manduka Pro Lite yoga mat. I’ve used my Manduka for over 6 years, and it’s still in great condition. Whenever anyone asks me about a new yoga mat, this is the one I always recommend!
I hope this post has provided you with some guidance and insight into the fitness trends you should be keeping up with for 2016. Feel free to follow up in the comments below if you have questions or anything to add from your own experience.