Treadmill or Trend-mill? 2019’s Fitness Forecast

Just when you’ve finally mastered the Burpee, there’s something new on the workout horizon—the latest best way to get buff and strong. The fitness industry is excellent at cranking out endless reps of new trends, but if history is any indication, many will fade into bygone fads before you know it. So much for “Dance, Dance Revolution.”

Before you go plunk down mega bucks on, say, a Pelaton, or whatever is being heavily advertised on ESPN, here’s a rundown on what fitness professionals predict will be the hottest trends of 2019, according to a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The good news is, all of these so-called trends have staying power—none are too crazy or really all that trendy, and each can help you stay active and move more.

According to the industry pros, the top five predicted fitness trends for 2019 are:

  1. Wearable Technology
    Fitness trackers like smart watches, Fitbits and heart-rate monitors have been strong trends the last three years, and are poised again this year to be popular and useful tools for logging steps, miles, calories and other ways to track your fitness. Knowledge is power, right?
  2. Group Training
    According to ACSM, group training is any workout with more than five participants—virtual or in person. It’s great for motivation, accountability and it can be less expensive than a personal trainer.
  3. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
    High-intensity interval training, which involves short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest, was the top trend last year (as it was also in 2014). Experts predict a continued interest this year largely because, at typically 30 minutes or less, the workouts are quick, efficient and you can do them anywhere.
  4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
    With the opening of our second Senior Center this year, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is definitely seeing the truth in this trend. Our population is aging, and people are understanding that exercising is important for maintaining bone density, balance and muscle mass as they age, plus the social benefits of being active.
  5. Bodyweight Training
    This no-equipment workout uses your own bodyweight for strength training and resistance exercise (push-ups, planks, side planks, etc). Work with what you’ve got, right!

The other top trends in their list were some perennial favorites, including yoga (in all of its trendy variations, from Hot Yoga to Power Yoga to Restorative), hiring personal trainers (including being able to work with a personal trainer online now) and “functional fitness training” that uses exercise to help improve coordination, strength and the activities of daily living.

And one last trend on the ACSM list is one that Roper St. Francis Healthcare has advocated for years. “Exercise is Medicine” is when healthcare providers talk to patients about their exercise habits and fitness, and when appropriate “prescribe” an exercise regimen and assess physical activity as part of regular check-ups.

Whatever exercise form you embrace, aim to be more active in 2019, because exercise IS medicine, and good medicine at that. Move more and be healthier—that’s a trend that never goes out of style.