There were a lot of stories coming down the wire today. Three of those stories that really caught my eye were all rather interrelated as we look forward towards the New Year. In the first, researchers at Northwestern University have found that one-third of U.S. teenagers and nearly 15 percent of younger adults show a poor level of cardiovascular fitness on an eight-minute treadmill test.
In the second article The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association announced its estimation that 10 million Americans will take steps to make regular physical activity a part of their lives by joining a health club in 2006. This is 10 million more than is currently enrolled. Although, to be honest while that figure may seem rather high it’s close to January and January is one of the highest months of enrollment for fitness centers because everyone likes to start the New Year out on the right foot.
The final bit of news comes in the form of Fitness Trend Predictions for 2006 from the American Council on Exercise. The A.C.E. is a non-profit fitness advocate that is dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. A.C.E. is uses research, studies and their professional network of personal trainers to keep a firm finger on the pulse of American fitness. Their predictions emphasize a growing trend in the fitness industry.
Among those they announced were:
· Teenagers and kids using personal trainers for sport specific training.
· Clubs and trainers offering more flexible workout schedules (including small group personal training.)
· In home personal training
· Specialized fitness increase for older adults
· Simple exercise habits such as a walk-a-day will remain popular.
· Balance training (Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates) will continue to be a strong trend.
· Employers will get on the fitness and weight loss bandwagon by offering incentives and onsite fitness experts.
· Restaurants will continue to offer healthier nutritional options.
· Mind and Body programs will be blended with more traditional workouts
· Core and functional fitness will continue to remain prime in personal training sessions and group fitness classes.
All of the above sounds like excellent trends for the 10 million getting ready to join fitness clubs and even more so for the one-third of teenagers that are out of shape. So as the holidays whiz by into January, keep these ideas in mind. There’s nothing like shaking up an exercise routine with something new and different for the adults and teenagers alike.