ACSM Names “Wearable Tech” as the Top Fitness Trend for 2020
By Lisa Leath Turpin, Health & Wellness Coach
Here we are starting a new decade and making new resolutions to encourage ourselves to strive to be the best version of ourselves. Not sure about you guys, but I am ready more than ever to get my health and STRENGTH back! Just like many, I partook a little too much and missed a lot of workouts. But that’s okay…. now it’s time to RECHARGE and stop letting it drag on. Set short-term goals and make them specific. Write them out and put them in sight so you see them A LOT, like on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror or dash of your car. I have signed up for The Terrain Race at the end of February as a motivator. As you age, you might notice it can be more challenging to keep your strength up. That’s the natural progression of our bodies; the only way to combat the decline is to do some type of strength training. “Use it or lose it!” We have to use our muscles or they will get weak and I don’t like feeling weak. Join a fitness class, hire a qualified personal trainer, or grab a partner and hit the gym—anything to develop a consistent schedule. There will be days you don’t want to work out, but the less you give in, the more you mentally train yourself to overcome. When you do, you learn how good you feel after, both mentally (proud) and physically.
So what does 2020 look like for the fitness industry? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which sets the standards for the industry as a whole, conducts a study each year where they survey 3000 + health and fitness pros from every continent worldwide. Now in its 14th year, the “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends” has named wearable tech to be the number 1 trend for 2020. So, if you use your smartwatch or fitness tracker to track your exercise, heart rate, calorie consumption or sleep quality, you are already hitting the top fitness trend. The lead author of the survey, Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, states: “Tech advances have made it easier than ever for users to collect important health metrics and work with fitness professionals and health care providers to improve exercise efficiency, develop healthy lifestyles, manage chronic diseases and, ultimately, increase quality of life.”
This year’s survey provided 38 potential trends to choose from, including possible new trends like mind-body movement (e.g. Tai chi) & lifestyle medicine. Lifestyle medicine is the evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life. Examples of target patient behaviors include, but are not limited to, eliminating tobacco use, improving diet, increasing physical activity, and moderating alcohol consumption. More notable trends include the continued popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and group training (both in the top 3 for three years in a row). Group training refers to more than five people such as spin classes or group exercise classes at gyms. There’s increased interest in Exercise is Medicine and fitness programs for older adults; and a growing emphasis on health and wellness programs. Exercise is Medicine is a global health initiative that focuses on encouraging primary care physicians and other health-care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit, and referring their patients to exercise professionals recognizing exercise professionals as part of the health-care team. Rounding out at number 20 is children and exercise for the treatment/prevention of obesity—exercise programs specifically aimed at children and weight loss. Childhood and adolescent obesity continues to be a major health issue. Exercise is such a great way to spend time with your kids and will promote healthy habits for life!
To view the full list with the descriptions go to journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness.