It seems that what is popular in the fitness world changes all the time. Every year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) do a survey to see what the top fitness trends are going to be in the year ahead. The survey for 20191 has just been released; and to save you reading through the whole thing, I’ll give you the highlights.


Wearable technology

This includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS trackers. Popularity of wearable technology has continued to grow year on year. Once again they have taken the #1 spot on the ACSM list.

Wearable technology like this can be extremely helpful in improving your health and fitness. They can range from very simple systems which track steps taken to much more complex devices which can analyse calories burned in a wide range of activities, sleep quality, and deliver personalised workouts to the user.


Group Training

Some of the biggest barriers people face when developing exercise habits are motivation and lack of enjoyment. Training in a group can help to overcome both of these by creating more of a community and social aspect in exercise sessions.

Group sessions can incorporate a wide range of equipment from exercise bikes and steppers to weightlifting racks and functional exercise equipment. This really depends on the goal of the session and what the session leader is focusing on.


High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT has been a top trend in the fitness world for several years. This type of exercise generally involves a short burst of high-intensity exercise followed by a brief rest period. HIIT training can technically be performed in any way, but is generally done on cardio equipment. Because of their versatility, performing intervals on a rowing machine or exercise bike can make it a lot easier to change between high and low intensities, monitor your times, and keep track of changes in your performance.


Functional Exercise Training

Functional training is based on improving the movements which you perform in your day-to-day life. Therefore, sessions will use a wide range of equipment to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance. This could include anything from battle ropes to bosu balls and wall balls to weight plates. This type of training will have a huge benefit for everyone. No matter whether you’re a competitive athlete or just someone looking to get a little bit healthier, functional training will help!


Exercise is Medicine (EIM)

Exercise is Medicine is a global healthcare initiative which hopes to encourage primary health care providers to place greater emphasis on assessment of physical activity and the use of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of various conditions and diseases.

It is widely understood throughout medical reserarch that exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. This is largely because it can help in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, various cancers, bone disorders, joint disorders, nervous system disorders – the list goes on and on!


Other trends which featured in the top 20 included: bodyweight training; yoga; health and wellness coaching; mobile exercise apps; outdoor activities; and post-rehabilitation classes. It will be great to see how people involved in fitness will respond to these trends and how they will develop throughout 2019. But the most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you’re interested in, what matters is that you do the exercise!

1. Thompson WR. Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019. ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal. 2018; 22: 10-17.

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