And the #1 Fitness Trend for 2020 is…

January 7th, 2020

According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2020, the #1 fitness trend again this year will be Wearable Technology.

“Wearable Technology took over the #1 spot in 2019 after dropping to #3 in 2018, which may be the result of manufacturers correcting some monitoring inaccuracies of the past,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, president of ACSM and the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. 

The top spot was held in 2018 by High-Intensity Interval Training (HITT) and in 2017 by Wearable Technology.  It was previously held by Body Weight Training and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) came in at #1 in 2014.  Prior to that, the top spot was held since 2008 by “Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals.” 

According to ACSM, the top 10 fitness trends predicted for this year are:

  1. Wearable Technology.  There’s a variety of wearable technology options for every fitness level nowadays – whether you want to monitor your heart rate, track your number of steps or record your running times.  Long gone are the days of guessing your workout results. 
  1. High-Intensity Interval Training.  The #1 fitness trend of 2014 and 2018, HIIT, is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short, intense exercise with less-intense recovery periods. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved metabolism, and improved fat burning.
  1. Group Training.  These programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals.
  1. Training with Free Weights.  Previous surveys included a category described as “strength training.” Determined to be too broad a category, strength training was dropped in favor of the more specific free weight training. “Free weights, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine ball classes do not just incorporate barbells into another functional class or activity. Instructors start by teaching proper form for each exercise and then progressively increase the resistance once the correct form is accomplished.”
  1. Personal Training.  According to the ACSM, health and fitness facilities are placing increasing importance on hiring staff members with the education, training and credentials to serve as personal trainers. The trend is mirrored by the growing number of students who are majoring in kinesiology, the scientific study of body movement and its impact on health, society and quality of life.
  1. Exercise is Medicine.  Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative that is focused 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.  In addition, EIM recognizes fitness professionals as part of the health care team in their local communities.

Many of you who regularly read my blog know that I strongly believe that exercise is medicine – especially for people with special needs.  As many of you know, I have ADD and created Fitness for Health because I wanted to help children faced with the same challenges and assist them in achieving their maximum potential via physical fitness.  One treatment that doesn’t require a prescription or a visit to a physician’s office is exercise.  Research is finding that participating in a regular fitness routine can improve cognitive ability. To read more about my thoughts concerning exercise as medicine, read my weekly blog.

  1. Body Weight Training.  No gym equipment?  No problem. This includes push-ups, pull-ups, squats and other forms of resistance training.
  1. Fitness Programs for Older Adults.  Beginning or maintaining a fitness for seniors program can be a challenge. Seniors may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if they’ve never exercised before, they may not know where to begin. While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they’re actually even better reasons to get moving. Exercise can release endorphins that make you feel happier, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. In fact, exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic and healthy as you get older.  

Fitness for Health is proud to provide a revolutionary, 12-week Bone and Joint Health Program for adults and seniors that capitalizes on weight-bearing, fitness activities.  This groundbreaking program helps to improve posture and increase bone density, strength and balance while counteracting the effects of osteoporosis, osteopenia and aging. Attend our free, Open House on Sunday, February 2, at 5pm to learn more. 

  1. Health and Wellness Coaching.  This is a growing trend to integrate behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs by providing ongoing support, goal setting, guidance, and encouragement. 
  1. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals.  The #1 trend for 2008 – 2013 involves working with experts who have been certified through programs such as those accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

I am saddened that “Children and Exercise for the Treatment/Prevention of Childhood Obesity” did not make the Top 10 list again this year.  In my opinion, we need to focus on helping children adhere to healthy, active lifestyles and maintaining weight management. Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are more at risk for health problems later in life such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis. The problem also is that these “adult” diseases are not only medically seen in people over the age of 18 anymore.  Alarmingly, these adult medical problems are being seen in children as young as preteens and are drastically affecting kids’ health.

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you accomplish your 2020 fitness goals using ACSM’s fitness trends, visit  Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Do you or your child want to lose weight in 2020?  Interested in personal training?  No problem! Whether you are a young child or a senior citizen, Fitness for Health can help you and your loved ones reach your full potential – and your New Year’s resolutions – this year.

Tags: , , , , , , ,