Recently the American Council on Exercise, (ACE), released its report on fitness trends to watch for in 2012. Among the noteworthy points that the group uncovered were the following:
- Behavior modification: ACE researchers found that while great strides have been made in health education, the average consumer still believes the best way to lose weight is by following a restrictive or fad diet, rather than incorporating a fitness regimen into their lifestyle.
- Influence of technology: The 2011 ACE trend report revealed that technology is beginning to play a significant role in complementing in-person fitness services by providing additional motivational support. Researchers speculate that in 2012, social media and mobile-based applications will continue to aid and revolutionize the fitness industry.
- Popular Workouts: Among the top fitness classes/workouts, Zumba and boot camp-style training ranked supreme.
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So what exactly do these trends mean and how can they impact the average person's life in 2012? According to Fitness & Wellness expert Shirley Archer, the trend report can be used as a guideline for others on how to improve their fitness and lead a healthier lifestyle. "You need to think about all lifestyle factors that can improve your health and well-being and use the expertise of fitness instructors, personal trainers, nutritionists and/or wellness coaches depending on the advice and support you need (individually,)" she explains.
As far as just using diet to improve upon our health, Archer says this isn't enough. "Changing our behaviors to increase physical activity, eat healthier foods and manage stress effectively is a process that takes time but can be transformative for life quality. A tried and true approach that is grounded in evidence-based research will yield much more lasting results than following any fad diet."
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It's important to note the ACE report considered obesity awareness and "whole life-training" among the top trends/concerns of consumers for the coming year. The researchers found the public's awareness (of maintaining a healthy weight and well-being) encouraging but it's apparent from the study in its entirety that we still have a long way to go, particularly if we are going to survive the holiday season!
"Sometimes these increased social demands can elevate stress and cause us to lose our perspective. Keeping a routine exercise program, even a reduced schedule, is important to help manage this stress and keep perspective. Being consistently active and knowing how to choose healthier lighter food options also helps prevent or limit any holiday weight gain," advises Archer.
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