Fitness trends for 2017

Posted by Beth Hartman

Well it's here! 2017:
A new year symbolizes a fresh start—and the perfect chance to reboot your stale workouts maybe with one of 2017's top fitness trends.

In the upcoming year, wearable tech, body weight training, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will be the too go to exercise regimens, according to an annual report published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). They surveyed 1,801 fitness professionals, including personal trainers, wellness coaches, exercise physiologists, and college professors.

Fitness trackers and smartwatches have been hot holiday gifts for the last few years, and the ACSM says that trend won't be going anywhere in 2017—and in fact, it only got bigger. Recent updates from brands like Garmin, Apple, and Fitbit have sent the trend to number one for the holiday sales fitness picture for the year. Surprisingly, wearable tech products remained at the top of the list. In past years, there were questions about the accuracy of this technology. But the brands have upped their games and the especially accurate wearables have kept this trend around.

Today’s wearables track distance, and also provide heart rate readings, GPS route tracking, move reminders, and so much more. So even though newer smart phones have their own apps to monitor activity up to a point the smart wearables are not going anywhere anytime soon.  

Case in point the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch, with a Wrist Based HR, that tracks your Activity from is one to keep your eyes on. If you're serious about tracking yourself in 2017, this is the one monitor you want strapped to your wrist.

Body weight training
It's easy to see why no-equipment workouts are so popular: They're relatively easy to learn, they can be modified to suit any ability level, and they can be done just about anywhere. Plus, body weight exercises are an efficient way to get fit for free. Push-ups and pull-ups are classic bodyweight moves, but there are plenty more to choose from, like squats, lunges, and planks, just to name a few.

It's been around for a year or two and trainers know this is one exercise that keeps delivering the results your looking for.
HIIT's helps you torch calories fast by alternating quick bursts of high-intensity exercise with short rest periods. It can be found in all types of workouts, from Pilates to CrossFit and boot camp classes. High profile fitness companies are huge proponents of this form of exercise. 

To try a high-intensity interval training workout yourself, spend 20 to 30 minutes total combining repeated shorts bursts of work with short break periods, like 45 seconds of burpees with 15 seconds of rest followed by 45 seconds of squats, can burn around 190 calories per session and will keep your metabolism fired up long after you finish the routine.  And remember, a good Heart Rate Monitor is worth it to make sure your pushing yourself to your utmost and keeping track of your "Cool-Down" times. More importantly, one that also tracks your VO2 max estimate.  A good example of this is the Garmin Forerunner 735. Check it out by clicking on the name

Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals
The number of people who want to become personal trainers keeps growing, and they have more options than ever to earn accreditation. “Overall, people who work in the fitness industry are much more accountable and professional.

Not only is there continued growth in college and university programs, but there are more than 250 third-party certification organizations committed to teaching personal trainers best practices. As for the future of personal trainers and fitness professionals, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts these occupations to only increase in popularity, with employment of fitness professionals to rise 8% between 2014 and 2024.

Strength training
Gone are the days when the biggest fitness buffs out there stuck to cardio. Today, they know they can't miss strength training's science-backed benefits, such as boosting longevity, building muscle mass, and protecting against diabetes, back pain, and more. Plus, a growing number of women, in particular, have come to realize that lifting weights won't necessarily make them bulky, and in fact, will help them burn more fat and boost their metabolism.

Group training
SoulCycle, PureBarre, Orangetheory, CrossFit—they're all forms of group training, a huge fitness trend that will continue to thrive in 2017. The current group training movement kicked off in 2008 in conjunction with the beginning of the Great Recession, when the expense of personal training became a luxury many Americans could no longer afford. With many people using services like ClassPass to replace a gym membership entirely, we don't see the group training trend dying down anytime soon.

Exercise Is Medicine
Regular exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, and other chronic diseases, and serves as a powerful stress-reducer and mood-booster. That's why the ACSM and the American Medical Association co-launched Exercise Is Medicine, a global movement that encourages physicians to refer patients to fitness professionals in their communities, and likewise, encourages fitness professionals to make connections with physicians. With health-care costs on the rise, and with the future of the U.S. health insurance industry uncertain, using exercise as a preventive health tool is perhaps more important than ever.

Just maybe your serene yogi friend is onto something: this ancient mind-body practice can be practiced on the go and can boost your mood, improve your life-senses, and strengthen your entire body. Yoga has been around for thousands of years and has been a modern fitness trend for at least a decade, so how does it continue to be so popular? ACSM notes that while traditional Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa classes are readily available, fitness pros are also constantly finding new ways to reinvent yoga—think aerial yoga, hot yoga, and rope wall yoga. Do yourself a serious favor and check out available yoga classes that may be in your area.  For an incentive to help you commit, why not get yourself your own yoga mat. You can select from a variety of colors and densities from a brand name like Aurorae

Exercise and weight loss
Achieving a healthy weight will never go out of style, and a healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to reach your weight loss goal. Most of the well-publicized diet plans integrate exercise in addition to the daily routine of providing prepared meals to their clients, as a rule.  We will provide some additional information later regarding the recommended diet or as we would rather say, "Life Wellness Meal Plans" as a topic for a future blog.

Fitness programs for older adults
Baby Boomers ushered in an unprecedented fitness revolution back in the '80s, and now, they're reaching retirement age and still enjoying the perks of physical activity, the survey suggests. More businesses are tailoring classes to better serve this aging population. Even the frail elderly can improve their balance and ability to perform activities of daily living when given appropriate functional fitness program activities.

Today's health trainers and doctors are happy to see this group targeted by the industry. Another group that needs to be targeted as well are the overweight and obese children and teens, that seem to become more sedentary as not only video games but everything social is keeping them glued to their electronic devices instead of getting out and being active. The industry seems to be giving up on this population because they aren’t profitable, but now schools and civic-minded groups are now focusing on them as well. Programs for overweight and obese youth ranked in the top 20 of last year's reports but was kicked off the list for 2017, despite the fact the youth obesity rate has yet to decrease in recent years. It is the hope that fitness professionals and businesses reconsider this important segment in future years, as they have with older adults.

Functional fitness
Functional training gives you the type of strength that really matters: the kind that lets you move furniture, lift a suitcase into an overhead bin, or carry your toddler. In other words, it improves your coordination, balance, force, power, and endurance and helps enhance your ability to perform normal daily activities. This trend has moved up and down on the survey ranking since 2007. In addition to being a big part of CrossFit programs, functional fitness is often used in clinical programs to help with rehabilitation and independent living for older adults.

Outdoor activities
Think a  trainer will only have you working out in a gym? Not so much—these days, they're recommending all kinds of outdoor activities to clients as a way to enhance their overall fitness. Serious trainers consider outdoor activities as anything from kayaking to pick-up basketball to high-adventure excursions like camping and rock climbing. Experts say you can burn upward of 530 calories an hour when hiking, and even more if the wind resistance is high. Outdoor excursions have mental benefits too: greenery elicits a mood-boosting response after just five minutes. Plus, doesn’t a breathtaking mountain view sound much more exhilarating than your gym’s television screen?  Sounds again like another great topic to get you outside and enjoying the (your) environment.

Group personal training
This trend mixes the effectiveness of a one-on-one personal trainer with the economic sensibilities of a group class. Between two and four people can elect to use a group personal trainer, who can focus on this small group while not charging the same high prices they would for a purely individual session. In these challenging economic times, personal trainers are being more creative in the way they package personal training sessions and how they market themselves to small groups. That explains why this trend has made the list since 2007 and remained through 2017.

Wellness coaching
As opposed to personal training, health and wellness coaching focuses on "the more" mental aspects of wellness, like goal-setting. These coaches provide support and encouragement for clients who want to meet certain goals in their health, like participating in rehabilitation or disease prevention. Recently, personal trainers have implemented the techniques of wellness coaches into their fitness practices, blending the two trends into one.

Worksite health promotion
Companies are beginning to realize that a healthy employee is a happy, more productive employee—and that creating programs and services that promote positive behaviors like working out, quitting smoking, and losing weight ultimately controls rising health care costs. If your company already offers things on-site yoga, gym reimbursement, or Weight Watchers, they now realize that they will see more of their employees at work in 2017.

If that is not enough of an incentive to get you working to motivate your employees to be healthy and fit. There are a lot of incentives out there. One that we like is the benefit of walking and if your company implements the 10,000 step programs that are available, you can get access to a lot of goal setting guidelines to help you start the program up at your company.  And what better way to start the program off then by providing an accurate pedometer to every employee that steps up (get it? Steps up) and takes the challenge. At we offer pedometers that can be imprinted with your company logo or slogan so that the program becomes one with you and your employees.  To see a variety of imprintable pedometers that you can select from, simply Click Here.

So go ahead and choose the physical activity that best fits you and your lifestyle and lets see just how you do by December 31st. 2017

Please remember, as always, check with your physician before undertaking any new fitness regimens, especially if you were NOT actively exercising your body!

Excerpts about this topic were taken from Fox News


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