The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently released its list of the Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2016. And while there were many familiar mentions on the list, the top spot was occupied by a newcomer who made quite a splash.
The ACSM’s annual survey of fitness and medical professionals revealed wearable technology as being the top trend for 2016. It surpassed body weight training and high-intensity interval training, which rounded out the top three. Adding to the new focus on technology was the introduction of smartphone exercise apps to the top 20, this trend showed up as No. 17.
So, what does the appearance of these two mean for fitness facilities?
- Exercisers are relying more on technology and improved digital experiences to stay motivated and entertained during workouts. Facilities need to offer equipment that interacts with digital tools like Fitbit, Apple Watch and apps like Lose It! and Runtastic.
- Facilities of all sizes need to consider developing their own apps. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds and doesn’t require a development team. There are plenty of app developers that allow you to customize their software platform to make it your own.
- Personal trainers will be increasingly able to integrate data to create a more robust, and lucrative, offering. Custom apps allow for the creation of personalized workouts for a wide range of exercisers. More touch points with exercisers create a stronger sense of community.
- When exercisers are more engaged, they tend to keep coming back. The rise of digital interaction should be good news for all facility owners and managers.
The fitness technology trend isn’t going anywhere. The Mobile Ecosystem Forum reported in April 2015 that the adoption of health and fitness apps grew by more than third over the previous year. And, Mindtree.com states that global wearable device sales are expected to reach more than $20 billion by 2018 with an annual growth rate of 36%. Put simply, that’s a really big deal for the fitness industry.
Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2016
- Wearable technology
- Body weight training
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Strength training
- Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals
- Personal training
- Functional fitness
- Fitness programs for older adults
- Exercise and weight loss
- Group personal training
- Worksite health promotion
- Wellness coaching
- Outdoor activities
- Sport-specific training
- Flexibility and mobility rollers
- Smartphone exercise apps
- Circuit training
- Core training
- Outcome measurements
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