For years the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal® has made yearly fitness predictions and their predictions for 2017 are here. While it looks like wearable technology tops the list for a second year in a row, we’d like to look at a few other predictions and why we hope they become trends.
Fitness Prediction #1: Older adult fitness
It should come as no surprise why we love this one! Since 1992, SilverSneakers® fitness has partnered with health plans to provide free gym benefits to Medicare-eligible seniors. As baby boomers enter retirement, they are more in shape than previous generations so we see this as a continuing trend for many years to come. If you haven’t taken advantage of SilverSneakers classes and this free fitness program for Medicare recipients, 2017 could be your year.
Fitness Prediction #2: Exercise as medicine
Fitness decreases the risk of many chronic conditions and physical challenges. We all know exercise is good for us, right? Then why don’t more of us take advantage of it? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) started Exercise is Medicine®, a global health initiative focused on encouraging health providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients. The initiative encourages physicians to develop a regular exercise program for patients, hoping the exercise professional will become a member of the continuum of care for patients. Let’s all hope this fitness prediction comes true and becomes the norm.
Fitness Prediction #3: Functional fitness
Do you think it’s exercise when you carry the groceries into the house from the car? Of course it is! Functional fitness uses strength training to prepare you for daily activities by improving your balance, coordination, force, power and endurance. Proper weight lifting has numerous benefits, most of which help you perform daily activities like bringing in the groceries or even getting up and down from a chair.
Fitness Prediction #4: High-intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates between all-out periods of exercise followed by less-intense periods or even periods of rest. It is usually done in shorter amounts of time – typically no longer than 30 minutes. For the busier individual, HIIT workouts are appealing, but the shorter amount of workout time is not the only benefit. In fact, high-intensity interval training has the ability to burn more calories in a shorter period of time, among other benefits.
Fitness Prediction #5: Outdoor fitness
Ever think about taking your exercise outside? Wanna be a part of one of the most exciting fitness predictions of the new year? Whether you find a walking group at a nearby SilverSneakers FLEX® location, or create your own workout, breathing in a little fresh air while you work those muscles is a great way to get your workout in. You can find new friends as you try to get a little vitamin D (don’t forget the sunscreen)! Or you can create a family event with the grandkids. Whatever you do, make it enjoyable!
With the new year upon us, make a resolution to make this year your best yet! Make our fitness predictions come true by making 2017 your year of fitness. Whether you embrace one of our fitness predictions or you start your own trend, just get out there and get active.