Fitness Programs Will Need To Become Time Efficient; Blend Mind/Body Into Sessions
need for a "faster-quicker" workout, infusing mind and body practices
into traditional activities and the importance of functional fitness,
are reflected in the fitness predictions for 2005 by the American
Council on Exercise (ACE).
Predictions by ACE include:
and exercise programs will respond to the critical need for
time-starved Americans to get an efficient workout in a very short
period of time. Trainers will provide simple programs using readily
available tools (chairs, steps and even walls) that overcome the common
barriers of time and access.
- Mind and
body programs blend with traditional workout sessions. Many clubs,
personal trainers and group fitness instructors will "infuse" elements
of Pilates and Yoga into workouts, programs and club offerings for a
holistic approach to wellness. These infusion classes and programs will
combine the traditional elements of a fitness program with the benefits
of proper posture and breathing and body awareness. By incorporating
elements of mental and spiritual fitness, individuals will take better
care of their entire being and psychological self, not just their
fitness becomes more and more important. Incorporating functional
strength training into any existing exercise program enhances
coordination, strength and endurance in everyday activities. Focusing
on exercising several muscles and joints together rather than working a
particular muscle or group of muscles in isolation. This "functional"
approach to strength training will result in individuals being able to
perform their daily activities and recreational pursuits with greater
ease and less discomfort.
and performance coaching. Phone and Internet now make this highly
effective service affordable, using heart rate monitors, and other
measurement tools, that allow downloadable, and real time feedback.
These coaches will address not only their clients’ fitness
concerns, but also stress reduction, time management, and other
important health and wellness areas like sleep and nutrition.
providers and companies will provide (and, at least, partially
subsidize) preventative lifestyle programs. Available research suggests
that such programs cost far less than treating lifestyle diseases.
Overweight and obese individuals (body mass index (BMI) of 25 and
above) are at increased risk for physical ailments such as type 2
diabetes, hypertension, stroke and coronary heart disease. The easiest
and most cost effective resource a company can provide are Web sites
employees can access for important wellness information that includes
risk factor assessment tools, fitness calculators, guidelines for
beginning a fitness program, how to contact certified fitness
professionals, etc. These programs will "follow" employees using the
Internet, instant messaging, etc., to promote adherence and long-term
equipment manufacturers will make equipment that is "smarter," more
efficient, and geared toward users’ varied lifestyles. Equipment
will now measure and provide feedback on everything from lactic acid
accumulation, to adjusting workouts for stress and preparing for an
athletic event. Equipment will finallyrespond to the need for short,
effective workouts while delivering information, coaching feedback and
event news, via the Internet. Basic, highly portable equipment will
help address the needs of those who need to exercise while their baby
sleeps, while they are in an airport or even in an empty conference
room at the office.
- More clubs
will offer pay-as-you-go pricing to their members in lieu of the usual
three-year contracts. More and more customers are demanding alternative
pricing systems that are more flexible and many clubs are responding.
Private studios and YMCAs are offering direct competition for larger
clubs and are listening to their customers’ needs.
- Back to
basics for weight loss and nutrition. The millions of Americans who
have followed various restrictive diets have not experienced long-term
or lasting success. Properly trained fitness professionals will be
perfectly positioned to provide these individuals with an option that
works — regular exercise and sensible eating.
will continue to become preventative care for a growing senior
population. Clubs and trainers focus on senior balance, stability and
strength training to discourage declines in health and fitness. These
programs condition muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to help fight
osteoporosis, keep seniors more limber and stabilize joints, lowering
the risk of everyday injury. Regular physical activity will help
emphasis on simple programs aimed at unseating the sedentary. Many
states and cities will have walking programs, and several communities
will be adding sidewalks, walking trails and parks to make it easier
for people to be physically active. If individuals start making small
changes in their activity habits, they can reap significant health
ACE is a
non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical
activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective
fitness products and instruction. The organization sponsors
university-based exercise science research and testing that targets
fitness products and trends.
Address: American Council on Exercise, 4851 Paramount Dr., San Diego, CA 92123; (800) 825-3636, www.acefitness.org.