Monday, February 2, 2009

Ins, Outs: The Future Of Fitness

“Looking into my crystal ball, Mr. Health and Fitness will try to predict the future and discern new fitness trends. Some of these trends are just now being practiced locally, while others have yet to be realized. Here's what I foresee: Weight lifting: Resistance training of all types will continue to become more popular with all age groups. We now know that children ages 7 and older can safely be introduced to weight lifting with proper supervision, so we're bound to see more emphasis on helping kids build lean muscle mass. Also, since we know that seniors can safely lift weights to address bone density loss, we'll see more emphasis on helping older people with osteoporosis. Boot camp fitness: Although very fashionable in many parts of the country now, I see the boot camp style of group fitness training becoming less popular in the near future. Other, less intimidating approaches, will replace the in-your-face style of motivation. People will figure out that exercise doesn't have to be unpleasant to be effective and will naturally gravitate toward options that are more palatable. Home fitness design: Residential homes will be built with rooms exclusively designed for fitness training. Unlike the days when a garage or basement would double as the family gym, these new spaces will be airy and more integrated into the main flow of the home, making them more accessible and inviting to use regularly. Private fitness studios: Private neighborhood residences equipped with fitness studios will become more prevalent. In these private settings, trainers will work with individuals one-on-one, without distraction. Condition-specific programs: There will be more exercise programs catering to people with specific conditions. For example, we already have programs designed for people with cancer. We're sure to begin seeing exercise programs for people with other conditions, like diabetes, osteoporosis or metabolic syndrome. Programs specifically designed for overweight children are sure to be offered, as well. Condition-specific certifications: Personal fitness trainers will also be more likely to become certified to work with these unique populations. The American College of Sports Medicine recently introduced a new certification for trainers working with cancer patients. Other advanced certifications are sure to be made available in the future as specific needs are discerned. Advanced training for trainers: In addition to the niche certifications, personal fitness trainers also are likely to obtain advanced academic degrees so they can offer adjunct services that are symbiotic with fitness training, like massage therapy, behavioral counseling, physical therapy or nutritional education. There's one final image in my crystal ball, though it's pretty hazy. Since good nutrition and fitness training go hand in hand, imagine if your health club, gym, or even private fitness studio additionally offered locally grown, organic produce in their buildings. This concept provides a one-stop shopping experience for your food and fitness needs.”

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