To keep you informed about the biggest trends you can expect this year, we gathered data from top fitness organizations American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Council of Exercise (ACE) and found out which fitness trends will rule the industry in 2017.
Wearable Technology1 of 14
Wearable technology was first introduced just a few years ago, but it's become so popular and widespread that it's hard to find a single person who doesn't own some type of fitness tracker.
According to the ACSM annual trends survey, wearable technology will continue to dominate the fitness market in 2017, making it the number one trend for the year. New categories include smart glasses—which are predicted to hit $1.5 billion in sales—and smart fabrics—which will hit $2.6 billion.
Emphasis on Walkability2 of 14
Millennials will be responsible for a new trend in 2017—getting your daily exercise in during your commute to and from work.
According to the ACE's 2017 trends report, "Millennials are choosing to live and work in urban centers where they don't have to rely on a car for transportation. As a result, we will see an increase of participation in alternative forms of transportation that rely on physical activity, specifically walking or cycling."
Online Workout Videos3 of 14
Online workout videos are convenient, easy to use and—most importantly—free, which is why they'll be one of the emerging trends of 2017. YouTube especially has a wide variety of workout videos to choose from, whether you're interested in yoga, bodyweight training, cardio or dance classes. Popular channels like BeFit and Fitness Blender get millions of views each month.
High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)4 of 14
High-intensity interval training—or HIIT workouts—has increased in popularity due to its ability to burn more calories in less time. Most HIIT workouts take 30 minutes or less and usually involve short bursts of exercise followed by short periods of recovery, making them an ideal option for the busy gym rat.
Social Media Fitness Stars5 of 14
It's hard to get on Instagram without coming across a "fitspo" person, or someone who has built their personal brand around fitness and nutrition.
According to the ACE, "Over the next year, we will see more trainers use social media platforms to extend their ability to get people moving. In addition, we will start seeing trainers and fitness models who have cultivated a strong social media presence (think tens of thousands of followers) leverage their extensive networks of followers to create revenue streams for themselves by promoting various fitness products."
Workplace Fitness Promotion6 of 14
With Americans sitting for several hours a day at work, companies are finding ways to create programs that promote the health and well-being of their employees.
Whether it's a lunchtime workout or a fundraising race, events that give employees a chance to interact with one another while exercising have yielded positive feedback and will only continue to become more popular in 2017.
Bodyweight Training7 of 14
Bodyweight training has been around for centuries, but it only became a defined trend in the last few years.
"New packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has made it popular in gyms and health clubs around the world," states the ACSM survey. "Typical bodyweight training programs use minimal equipment, which makes it a very inexpensive way to exercise effectively."
Studios Within Gyms8 of 14
Boutique studios dedicated to Pilates and yoga have become increasingly popular and mainstream gyms are taking notice as their memberships decline. In order to stay competitive, these gyms are starting to restructure their workout spaces, creating distinct areas that seem more like mini boutique studios inside the larger space.
Functional Fitness Programs9 of 14
In 2017, expect to see more fitness programs that are tailored specifically to the individual's needs—a nod to the term "functional" fitness. Whether it's a class to help seniors improve their quality of living or a camp to help athletes prepare for the next level, exercise is no longer a one-size-fits-all model and varies based on your daily needs and lifestyle.
Outdoor Activities10 of 14
Outdoor sports and activities have always been around, but the desire to participate may grow in 2017.
As technology continues to take over, some people are losing interest and rebelling against screens. High-adventure activities—like rock climbing and overnight camping trips—will see growth, in addition to the more traditional activities like hiking and outdoor games.
Group Personal Training11 of 14
People are often looking for ways to save money, and personal trainers are often looking for ways to improve business. In an effort to accomplish both, more personal trainers will likely seek opportunities to provide instruction to groups of two to four people.
Holistic Health Coaching12 of 14
Like most job fields, the fitness industry has become increasingly competitive—and it's not just trainers. There are also wellness coaches, nutritionists and other health professionals. As competition grows among health and fitness job applicants, professionals who broaden their skill set, and do more than just instruct on exercise, are likely to see the most success.
Smartphone Exercise Apps13 of 14
Most smartphones now come automatically equipped with some type of health-monitoring app that tracks your steps, encourages exercise and monitors your diet. And if you don't have one, there are literally thousands available for download.
"Although the accuracy of these apps has recently been questioned, they seem to have become increasingly popular with younger gym members and people who regularly exercise outdoors or wish to track their physical activity while doing activities of daily living," states the ACSM survey.