Report forecasts global fitness trends for 2010

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Experienced and trained fitness professionals are still in high demand around the world and the trend is likely to continue, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which released projected fitness trends based on a global survey in the November/December issue of its bi-monthly journal.

Topping the list of the top 20 predicted trends in the worldwide fitness market is the increasing importance of qualified fitness professionals. This is attributed to more industry regulation and the proliferation of new and specialized certifications and training programs, according to the survey.

Strength training is also likely to become more popular and was cited as the second most important trend. Once reserved for male bodybuilders, strength training is now being practised by average exercisers and women because of its link to stronger bones, improved muscle tone and anti-aging benefits, according to the report.

Other top fitness trends predicted for 2010 include:

- Children and obesity: As obesity rates rise around the world, there is a greater focus on programs tailored to overweight and obese children.

- Personal training: Education, training and proper credentialing for health and fitness professionals who act as personal trainers are increasingly important. Personal trainers are now considered key staff in many health and fitness facilities.

- Core training: Unlike strength training, core training emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen, which are essential for spinal health.

- Special fitness programs for seniors: As baby boomers retire and age, health and fitness professionals are tailoring fitness programs for older adults.

- Functional fitness: Strength training is now commonly used to improve daily living, particularly for older adults.

- Sport-specific training: High school athletes are adding training into their off-seasons to stay in shape. They might join a health and fitness club to improve strength and endurance.

- Pilates: A mainstay of many health and fitness clubs, Pilates improves flexibility and posture and provides core training for the entire body.

- Group personal training: Small groups are favored over one-on-one instruction, likely because of the current economic climate.

The full list (Top 20 trends) is available at: