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Top Fitness Trends for 2017 and Easy Tips for Families

Annually since 2006,  the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released a list of the top fitness trends for the upcoming year (ACSM, 2016). These trends 

What are the top 10 trends in fitness for 2017?

Wearable technology- for instance, gadgets like Fitbit or Apple Watch

  1. Body weight training– exactly what it sounds like: using your body weight to perform strength-promoting exercises

  2. HIIT- or high intensity interval training, meaning short bursts of fast, energy blasting work (i.e., sprints, burpees) followed by a brief rest period

  3. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals- be sure to choose a coach or trainer with a certification, preferably from a renowned institution like the ACSM

Strength Training- adding strength training is essential to any physical wellness program

Group training- classes are taught by instructors who lead and motivate you throughout the workout

Exercise is medicine- a global health initiative focused on including physical fitness in treatment plans for medical illnesses

  1. Yoga- great for relaxation, Yoga will challenge your flexibility, strength, and mindfulness

  2. Personal Training- just like number 4, just be sure that your trainer is appropriately certified

Exercise and weight loss- regular exercise is a must for lasting weight loss and even weight maintenance

So, how can you and your family get involved in this year’s top trends?

Get Outside

Outdoor activities are some of the best ways to get the whole family involved in fitness… maybe without even realizing they’re exercising!  Go for a bike ride, visit a state park, set up an obstacle course in the backyard, sign up for a relaxed 5K, or even take your body weight or HIIT workout outside to switch things up.  As a bonus, studies show that being outdoors improves your mood and concentration, relieves stress, and can inspire you to exercise more (Wise, 2014).

Turn Up the Competition

Do you thrive on a little friendly competition?  Some of the top trends, such as,  worksite health promotion, smart phone apps or wearable technology, and outcome measurements can help you channel your competitive spirit in a healthy way.  Trying to lose weight?  Challenge your friends to a Diet Bet for accountability.  Wanting to increase your activity levels throughout the workday? Start a Fitbit Step Challenge at your workplace. Fitness apps and trackers like Fitbit, Strava, My Fitness Pal, and the Nike Run Club offer ready-to-use challenges for activities like walking, cycling, running, or nutrition.  The app Stridekick lets you compete with your friends regardless of the kinds of apps or trackers they use.

With kids? Challenge them to move more with a checklist of exercises to finish each day (similar to a chore chart).  Award them for meeting a goal at the end of the week, or make it a whole-family competition by giving a grand prize to the member with the most move-time or exercises accomplished!

Use What You Have

High intensity interval training, bodyweight exercises, circuit training, and core training don’t have to involve hours at the gym or fancy equipment.  Websites like Popsugar and Fitness Blender offer free videos online and can be completed at home in your living room.  Even YouTube is full of fun dance routines, Yoga, and exercise videos for kids– perfect for dreary days when everyone is home and indoors!

We’d love to hear from you:  Does your family get active in any of these trendy ways? Share it with us in the comments section, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!



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