Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Fitness Trends for 2008

January 8, 2008

The American College of Sports Medicine published it's fitness trends report for 2008 in December of last year.

A pdf version of the article is here: http://www.informz.net/acsm/data/images/worldwidetrends.pdf

In surveying nearly 2,000 fitness professionals throughout the world and corroborating with internationally known fitness experts, a list of 20 fitness trends was identified. I'm giving you the top 10 and adding my comments to each.

Take a look and let me know what you think. Are your New Year's Resolutions aligned with any of these trends? Are you a member of a health club or fitness center that offers services like these? Do you have access to these services?

Number 1: Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
There is currently no regulation of Certifying agencies for fitness professionals. Anyone can offer a "Personal Trainer" cerfitication and not have standards to meet. However, more and more certifying organizations and schools are becoming accredited. This is great. Just as hiring a CPA gives confidence that certain levels of education have been obtained and demonstrated, so should it be with fitness professionals.

As a doctor, I continuously push for higher educational standards of personal trainers and you should too. After all, you literally put your life in their hands. And if a trainer you have chosen isn't educated and trained regarding contraindications, you are taking a big risk.

Number 2: Children and Obesity
This is an important one. Reports have been saying for a while that this may be the first generation that doesn't outlive their parents. And a big part of that is obesity and related lifestyle disorders. If we can keep physical education in the schools and take advantage of physically active based after school programs for our children, it will be a major step in the right direction.

Number 3: Personal Training
This will be a staple of the top 10 every year the survey is conducted. Learning to exercise properly, whether it be for health or sport, should be your number one priority. And a well-educated personal trainer is invaluable in that regard. Without proper instruction you are more likely to get injured and may never reach your goals.

Number 4: Strength Training
Personally, I'm glad this is in the top 10. The health benefits of strength training are simply too numerous and profound to ignore. You must incorporate strength training into your exercise routine.

Number 5: Core Training
At one time, people thought this was a fad. But it has certainly lasted long enough to be called a trend. Core training has been defined as training the muscles of the abdominals and lower back. Some include balance training too. Whatever the case, strength in the trunk of your body is needed for support. Strengthen your core and you'll feel better.

Number 6: Special Fitness Programs for Older Adults
As you age, health becomes more important (it really should be important from day 1). And programs tailored to older individuals are more popular. Programs like these focus on increasing strength, flexibility and performing activities of daily living. As a side benefit, all of these things significantly improve your health too.

Number 7: Pilates
A form of core training, Pilates has been a staple of the fitness scene for years.

Number 8: Functional Fitness
This is a form of exercise that improves your ability to perform activities of daily living. A well-balanced program will improve overall strength, flexibility, balance and heart fitness. As you progress, you will feel more confident when performing regular tasks as your risk of injury and adverse events decreases.

Number 9: Swiss Ball
Most people refer to them as stability balls. These are the large balls most fitness centers now have. They can be used to perform an almost limitless number of exercises, focusing on training the abdominals, improving balance and overall stabilization. Core training incorporates the use of stability balls.

Number 10: Yoga
A form of mind-body exercise that focuses on flexibility, posture and meditation.

Additional thoughts by me...
I like the list and am considering posting 11-20. However, I think teasing out the differences in some of these is difficult. For example, Core Training, Functional Fitness, Pilates, Swiss Ball and Yoga aren't all that different - at least not different enough to have their own categories.

There are a couple of things I would have liked to seen in the top 10:

  1. Greater focus on dealing with chronic diseases and conditions that physical activity positvely effects. For example, there is no mention of type II diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. This might fall under the auspices of education, which is #1. In my personal opinion, fitness professionals could do themselves (and their industry by default) a lot of good by educating themselves in these areas, creating services to help more people and having a positive impact in the lives of people.

  2. More focus on developing services to help businesses improve the health of their employees. All fitness centers and personal training studios have small businesses close to them. They should be developing programs to help these businesses reduce health-related costs. For example, we recently performed a healthy back seminar for two different companies with amazing results. Based on worker productivity, reduced sick time and improvement in back pain, the companies were able to realize savings of more than $40,000. That's a lot of money. Click here to read our press release.


We are firmly into the second week of the New Year. How are you doing on your resolutions? I hope you're doing well. If you need a boost we're here to help. Take a look at some of the more specific New Year's services we're offering to help you reach those goals.

  • BSFC Remote: The best way for you to get there from here! In BSFC Remote I personally develop your exercise routine based on your goals and current ability. Each workout includes a step-by-step guide on performing your workout along with illustrations and text descriptions of all activities. The illustrations show you correct body position for the beginning and ending position of each exercise and stretch. Finally, you'll get full email support throughout your time in BSFC Remote. If you ever have a question, all you will have to do is email me and I'll get back to you. Here is a sample of the photos and text descriptions for a single exercise. Remember, each exercise and stretch in your program will have this too.

  • Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the free webinar on living, looking and feeling younger. Remember, you'll get all the keys to achieve this. There are only a few slots available...click here to register and learn how to live, look and feel younger.

  • Don't forget. Next Monday (January 14, 2008) our 6-week Boot Camp begins. It's a program that will challenge your inner fitness soul, melt away the body fat, make you stronger, give you more energy and improve your health. As a bonus, all those that sign-up get a white Brian Sekula Fitness Center t-shirt and in the pool to win a gray version of the t-shirt. Like I said last week and again yesterday, if you live within 10 minutes of the SW Freeway and Beltway 8 (or if you drive through that intersection), you're making a mistake by not signing up. We still have slots available in both the AM and PM sessions but you better hurry. Sign-up today!


That's all for today. Make it a great day. I'll see you soon.

Until then, break a sweat today. It will do your body good.


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Links for you:
Live, Look and Feel Younger
6-week Boot Camp
BSFC Remote
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kwolph said...

Just wanted to let you know that I tried the link for the fitness trends report and it didn't work.

I represent New York Kids Club in Manhattan/Brooklyn (www.nykidsclub.com) and really take Number 2 to heart. NYKC goal is to promote a life long love of fitness in children by offering a variety of classes like wall climbing, kickboxing, and even dancing with our Broadway Kids class. I hope that as children get older they understand the full importance of being healthy and encouraging others around them to be happy and healthy as well. Even though the link didn't work, thank you giving many individuals the gist.

brian said...

Thanks for reading and thanks for the great work you do. As fewer and fewer kids get the opportunity to play outside, it's really important.

Regarding the link, I clicked it before posting my comments and it worked. Do you have acrobat reader on your computer?

Thanks again for reading!

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