The Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019

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Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) releases its Top 10 Fitness Trends. With wearables, group training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) topping the list, it is sure to have an effect on campus recreation. Let’s take a look at the top 10 trends for 2019 and how they integrate with our campuses:

1. Wearable Technology

What is it?

Wearable technology first appeared on the Top 10 list in 2016 and hit the No.1 spot. After remaining No. 1 in 2017, it dropped to No. 3 in 2018; now it’s back in No. 1. Wearable technology includes any fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors and/or GPS tracking devices.

What does it mean for campus recreation?

Our students, faculty/staff, and members are going to be more self-aware of their exercise behaviors and habits. They will also be more likely to be interested in programs that help them reach their desired goals. Use this as an opportunity to create incentive and activity programs that increase the engagement of your campus, including those members who may not even step foot into your facilities.

2. Group Training

What is it?

The term group training can be quite confusing. In 2019, ACSM did not separate large group training and small group training on the worldwide trends survey; therefore, in this case, group training is intentionally designed movement classes led by an instructor for groups of six or more participants. You could say group exercise and small group training programs together are the No. 2 trend in 2019.

What does it mean for campus recreation?

Group exercise programs are not going away. The structural makeup of how we train our instructors and the type of schedules we offer should change to meet the industry recommendations, but we should still offer these programs. Campus Rec departments should be also striving to design and offer small group training programs. The most important note for us to consider is how we differentiate between group exercise and small group training programs so we do not create confusion for our members.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

What is it?

HIIT training is exercise programs that consist of short bursts of high-intensity efforts followed by short periods of rest. Although sustained efforts of more than 90 percent maximum effort can cause potential injuries or other hazardous effects, HIIT isn’t going anywhere. HIIT hit the trends report for the first time ever in 2014 at the No. 1 spot and hasn’t left the top five since.

What does it mean for campus recreation?

HIIT is commercialized and utilized as a marketing tactic. For those of you who have a degree in exercise science, who would’ve thought EPOC would ever become a “buzzword” used for marketing boutique studios and utilized by members. The people we serve may have an idea what HIIT is and will expect us to offer it. Keep in mind, in addition to offering HIIT programs, we need to offer education around the topic, too.

4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults

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