One-Third vs Ten Million

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.

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.