The messages of concern regarding the epidemic of obesity and its related chronic illnesses and diseases continue to be unheard or just plain ignored, as waistlines continue to expand and the lack of sufficient physical activity also increases.
In a recent worldwide survey published in the ACSM'S (American College of Sports Medicine) Health & Fitness Journal over 4,000 health and fitness professionals reported their expectations and future solutions for 2007.
"These trends are expectations of the front-line fitness professionals, not the latest infomercial spokesperson," said Dr. Walter R. Thompson, the survey leader and author. "It's also a fascinating peek at what to hope for as we seek health and fitness solutions for our overweight and inactive citizens."
Top 10 Health & Fitness Trends or 2007
1.Child Obesity - The need to address the root of the obesity epidemic will continue to be the number one focus for the coming year. The spotlight will again fall on schools, parents, and health professionals to start producing results. Issues such as junk food television adverts and the marketing of high fat - high sugar foods will come under increasing pressure and restrictions.
2.Grey Growth - Specialized programs, and fitness clubs and initiatives will target the older adult, as the 'greying' communities continue to increase as we grow older and live longer.
3.Positive Power - Strength training for everyone will gain extra importance in 2007; the older adults and especially women will incorporate more strength training into their fitness programs.
4.Functional Fitness - Health & fitness programs will look to improve daily living activities. Exercises will seek to replicate actions you perform to help improve body wellness components such as balance, coordination, strength, and endurance.
5.Back to Back - The core components of the body, abdominals, lower back, and all muscles around the body's center will continue to attract the deserved high attention of people.
6.Well Being - People will look for health and fitness programs which offer greater balance between the mind and body. Popular activities such as yoga and Pilates which offer improved flexibility, balance, and strength will continue to grow; these will also springboard a new generation of programs based on variations of these popular activities.
7.Active Weight Loss - More and more weight loss programs which have been traditionally only nutrition based will offer exercise components to their participants.
8.Health Tech - Programs will, with the help of new technology, offer new ways to define health and fitness goals, as well and the means to track their progress. This new technology will also provide the health care industry a way to determine the success in disease management.
9.Professionals - The need for an international standard and fully accredited and certified health and fitness education programs and courses will gain momentum and increased importance as integration into the health care industry increases.
10.The Personal Touch - People will be offered more one-to-one contact, programs, and consultancy. Tailor-made for individuals, specific fitness programs will meet the medical history and physical needs of participants. Fitness professionals will enjoy greater recognition and credibility among other health care professionals, in hospitals and health centers.
Source: American College of Sports Medicine
Reference: ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal. 10(6):8-14, November/December 2006. Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR