Health clubs, fitness centers and gyms are focusing on several key initiatives in 2011 and each can have significant implications for you. There are a number of issues you need to consider before you sign up for that Personal Training program or boot camp at your local gym.
Fitness Trends in 2011
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a fitness trade organization, recently surveyed its members and identified the following key fitness trends they intend on promoting in 2011:
- Age Appropriate Workouts. Health clubs have realized that baby-boomers are the fastest growing segment of the market and that the programs that they offer GenXers (people born in the 1960s and 1970s) have to be different than the ones they offer older adults.
- Specialized Intense Workouts. Clubs are specializing in workouts that are more challenging than usual (for example, boot camps) and niche activities (such as boxing, rock climbing, martial arts, Zumba, etc).
- Group Classes. Group classes are making a come back after declining in the 1990s. For many people they are a more economical way to achieve their fitness goals.
- Personal Training. Personal training is more widely available. In fact over 90% of the health clubs interviewed offered some form of personal training.
What These Fitness Trends Mean for You
While health clubs push these initiatives in 2011, there are a number of factors that you the consumer of these services need to consider:
- Is group exercise training right for you? Many of my clients are busy professionals and they find the fixed group exercise class times too restrictive. They value the one-on-one attention that you get outside a gym.
- Are many of the moves in the group classes safe for you? The class instructor is often too busy, not attending to individual needs and may introduce some moves that are not appropriate for everyone in the class potentially leading to injury.
- Have you selected the right Personal Trainer? Health clubs are aggressively promoting Personal Training as a service. Make sure that the Personal Trainer you get is qualified and able to deal with your unique situation. I wrote an article on How to Choose a Personal Trainer or Exercise Therapist.
- Who is providing the age appropriate exercise programs or classes? As you age your body changes and old injuries and conditions need attention from a qualified trainer or therapist. Make sure that the program you are joining considers things like your bone health.
It is encouraging to see health and fitness grow and become more important for all of us. Exercise is a lifetime pursuit so we just need to make sure we are achieving our fitness goals safely.