By Jane Perkins (Contributing Freelance Writer)
If you are a fitness buff who is super excited about what this year has in store, take note: the official Worldwide Survey Trends for 2020, published in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, has just been published and it promises an exciting year for all. Wearable tech, group training, and bodyweight training alike will be big this year, but so will outdoor activities and (as you might expect), yoga. Here are just some of the most catching trends for the year, which pro and amateur athletes alike will be embracing with zest.
This has been the top fitness trend since 2016 and given the nature of ubiquitous connectivity and the constant development of new wearable tech devices and features, it is no wonder that it continues to hold sway. Top devices are doing various things at once – including tracking sitting time, real-time EEG readings for neurofeedback, and app notifications. Improvements will be visible not only in terms of functionality but also in terms of aesthetics. That is, smart tech is taking the form of fashionable ‘smart jewelry’ that includes necklaces and bracelets that ‘hide’ their smart functions.
Recent research undertaken by the American Osteopathic Association has shown that group exercise participants have significant mental, physical, and emotional improvements, compared to those who exercise alone. Working out in a group lowers stress, for instance, by an incredible 26%. “The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” said researchers, and gyms will be taking note. The popularity of training methods such as CrossFit shows that the desire to form part of a community is more than surface-deep in modern millennials.
Strength training is recommended by doctors for people of all ages but this year, the survey says we will be seeing more training using the athlete’s own body weight in addition to weights. Bodyweight training requires minimal equipment, with typical items used comprising Olympic rings to help lift the body off the ground, in addition to benches, resistance bands, etc. The upside of wooden rings and bands is that they can be adapted to various exercises. These include stretches as well as resistance exercises aimed at specific muscle groups such as the triceps, shoulders, or quadriceps.
Free Weights Training
Free weights will be the main focus of new classes at the gym – not just part of a circuit-style workout. In addition to dumbbells, other sources of weight such as barbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls will take up a big chunk of strength-based classes. Trainers will place a big emphasis on technique, so athletes can obtain the most of their workouts without experiencing injury.
HIIT has been a big success in the scientific world, with many studies showing its efficiency and practicality. One study published in the Journal of Physiology found that HIIT is both time-efficient and safe and can be used as an alternative to traditional, longer-lasting workouts. Other studies have shown how HIIT can boost stroke survivors’ walking skills, improve memory in seniors, and rapidly improve diabetics’ glucose levels. Because HIIT can be practiced anywhere and requires a small commitment of time, it is increasingly being seen as the ideal activity for both stressed executive and reticent seniors.
Just a few of the top trends predicted in the Worldwide Survey Trends for 2020 have been mentioned. These include the continued advancement of wearable tech, the growing importance of bodyweight training, and HIIT. There are many more trends to watch out for, including personal training, exercise as medicine, and fitness programs for older adults. The exercise industry is alive and kicking, and with so many workouts to choose from, there hardly seems to be any reason to say no to a healthier, happier life.
Fitness Trends to Watch Out for in 2020