The American Council on Exercise makes its predictions for 2007


Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 11:14 p.m.

Just when you were getting to know the treadmill, along come predictions for the top 10 fitness trends for 2007. Fitness never stands still.

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According to the American Council on Exercise, mind-body activities, such as yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, will continue to be popular.

Scripps Howard News Service

Making these predictions is the American Council on Exercise, which calls itself the largest nonprofit fitness certification and education provider in the world. ACE tapped its "worldwide network of certified fitness professionals" to determine the top 10 fitness trends.

1 Save money; train in small groups. Look for five or fewer people training together under one certified personal trainer. Probably more fun than working out alone, too.

2 Affordable and alternative fitness options. People are seeking "variety in their workout regimens," according to ACE. Walking, home gyms and personal trainers are among the recommended choices, although the latter two aren't as affordable as walking.

3 Time-efficient workouts. Got a busy schedule? Group fitness classes and training sessions will be 45 minutes or less. We're all familiar with fast food; now get acquainted with fast fitness.

4 Specialized fitness programs for older folks. Walking just doesn't cut it anymore. The new workout regimen should be well balanced and also address strength and flexibility to combat osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. A more limber body lowers the risk of "everyday injury" and improves "overall quality of life."

5 Fitness programs that target children. Obese kids need physical activity to shed pounds, and it's gotten to the point where parents can no longer ignore the problem.

6 Personal trainers will take a team approach. Trainers will join with doctors and nutritionists to help us "prevent or reverse" illnesses. The general thinking is that a coordinated team effort is far superior to the individual parts.

7 More functional-fitness and balance-training activities. Foam rollers, wobble boards and BOSU balance balls will continue to be popular. ACE defines functional strength training (and/or core strengthening activities) as those that "enhance balance, coordination, strength and endurance in everyday activities."

8 Mind-body activities, such as yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, will continue to be popular. Proper posture, breathing and body awareness are key elements of these activities. Meditation and relaxation are perks, too.

9 Personal-trainer certification will become more important. Considering ACE's reason to exist, this one isn't surprising. However, all of us expect competent, qualified trainers to help prevent injuries and ensure all that work is actually being done right. ACE predicts that demand will increase for personal trainers with an accredited certification by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

10 More precise measurements and data to help improve weight management and performance, such as metabolic testing devices. Consumers also will download fitness programs to iPods and PDAs (personal digital assistants). Some of these programs will come with illustrations, others with streaming video.

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