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2012 Fitness Predictions

What you'll be seeing and hearing when it comes to health and fitness in the New Year.

Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys thousands of fitness professionals to release its “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends” for the upcoming year.

The ACSM is one of the most respected fitness organizations and considered the “gold standard” of personal training certifications. Their opinions and research is highly regarded by those in the industry which is why if you want a preview of what’s to come for 2012, the ACSM list is a good place to start.

One of its big decrees: Zumba is in, pilates is out! The Zumba workout keeps climbing the list. Relatively new, this Latin-inspired dance workout first made the (top 20) list in 2010. But, this year, Zumba soared to the top ten and is sitting at a respectable ninth place.  Meanwhile, pilates dropped out of top 20 in 2011 and did not make reappearance in 2012.

Many of the 2012 top ten trends focus on increasing education by fitness professionals, which translates into better personal trainers for the general public. More students are majoring in kinesiology in addition to getting a personal training certification from an accredited agency. That education provides a solid background in the physiology and biomechanics of exercise which goes a long way in injury prevention and more effective workouts. While there are great trainers out there that hold other degrees, an allied health education gives you a scientific perspective on training clients.

In addition to more education, the ACSM predicts personal trainers will offer a lot more opportunities for group training; and believe that in order for fitness professional to succeed in this economic market, they must know how to train two to three people at a time. For the consumer, he or she can grab one or two of their closest friends, pull their money together and get a professional level workout for a third of the cost. Plus, some people enjoy the socialization and accountability that small group personal training provides.

Number five on the list is children and obesity. As this issue continues make political and health headlines, it is sure to make a big impact in 2012. Fitness professionals are going to need to adapt their training to kids and create programs that teach children exercise can be fun: making it a lifelong commitment and not a passing fad. Coming up with solutions for childhood obesity will be tackled many times in 2012 and probably years after.

The ACSM list usually just tackles fitness predictions, but when it comes to diet there is one trend that is all the buzz. It’s called intermittent fasting. It’s not really new, but it’s new to the mainstream. 

This is due in part to a recent Times article and the Internet postings of Dr. John Beradi (of Precision Nutrition), widely known in the industry for his research and opinions on nutrition. However the real credit for this up-and-coming diet should go to Martin Berkhan, who experimented with intermittent fasting himself before coming up with his own method called Leangains. There are many ways to go about intermittent fasting, from Berkhan’s daily fasting to Brad Pilon’s plan which prohibits eating for a full 24 hours. 

When you come across this term in the mainstream media (i.e. fitness magazines, Hollywood starlets, and late night infomercials), take a step back and do your own research and find a plan you can get behind and an expert in this field to consult. Just as eating six mini meals a day/going low carb/eating paleo/adopting a vegetarian lifestyle/<insert diet trend here>, is not for everyone, neither is this plan. But, it can offer you a great dietary lifestyle alternative if you approach it in the right way.

No matter what gains popularity in 2012, the important thing is to recommit to you health and fitness goals. It doesn’t matter if you want to lower your blood pressure, or drop those last 10 pounds. The New Year is always a great time to identify the changes you want to make and then seek out ways to make it happen.

Levi Wallach December 30, 2011 at 03:25 PM
It's funny that intermittent fasting is going mainstream. I did a variety of this for several years and really enjoyed it, but it is hard to get past the first week or three (as with a lot of different eating plans). And like many there are plusses and minuses, but it works well for some people, and there are some potential health bonuses (other than that of just losing weight), although some potential health risks as well, including raised BP.
walter January 01, 2012 at 07:46 PM
You may also be interested in the FREE E-Book on Fitness To Help You Keep that New Year's Resolution: http://allnewyou.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/fitness-resolution-fortress.pdf

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