For the sixth year in a row, educated and certified fitness professionals topped the list of the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) fitness trends.
A survey by ACSM on the top trends for 2013 received more than 3,300 responses from fitness professionals around the world. Trends that dropped out of the top 20 this year were indoor cycling, sport-specific training and physician referrals. Pilates, balance training and the use of the stability ball also were not in the top 20.
The following is a list of the top 20 trends for 2013, with a truncated analysis of the top 10 trends provided by ACSM's Walt Thompson:
1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals. This trend drives the need for education and certification programs that are fully accredited by national third-party accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals.
2. Strength training. Strength training remains popular in commercial, community, clinical and corporate health fitness facilities for many kinds of clients.
3. Body weight training. Appearing for the first time in the survey, body weight training may be a trend to watch as more people get "back to the basics."
4. Children and obesity. The health and fitness industry should recognize this chronic health issue and start new programs targeted specifically at these children.
5. Exercise and weight loss. The combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight-loss maintenance and can improve compliance to caloric restriction diets and, in particular, weight-loss programs.
6. Fitness programs for older adults. People who are retired not only typically have greater sums of discretionary money, but they also have a tendency to spend it more wisely and may have more time to engage in an exercise program.
7. Personal training. As more professional personal trainers are educated and become certified, they become more accessible to more people in all sectors of the health and fitness industry.
8. Functional fitness. Some of the survey respondents said that there is a relationship between functional fitness and fitness programs for older adults.
9. Core training. Some respondents said that core training may be losing some of its popularity as new forms of exercise are developed.
10. Group personal training. Training two or three people at the same time in a small group seems to make good economic sense for both the trainer and the client.
The rest of the top 20: 11. Worksite health promotion; 12. Zumba and other dance workouts; 13. Outdoor activities; 14. Yoga; 15. Worker incentive programs; 16. Boot camp; 17. Outcome measurements; 18. Circuit training; 19. Reaching new markets; 20. Wellness coaching.