Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine predicts top trends in the wellness space, for the subsequent year, based on an endless list of trends and fluctuations from the previous year. 2023 was all about the return to in- person exercising. How did you do? Find out what this year's trends hold, and how to follow the 2024 fitness trends like a pro.
Do I even need to worry about fitness trends?
Honestly, no! However, what the ACSM publishes every year is followed by dozens (if not hundreds) of fitness professionals, institutions, and...you guessed it...influencers. The wellness forecast of 2024 will largely govern what becomes trending on social media, clever marketing tactics across your Facebook and Google feeds, and provides insight into what will be promoted as priority in the fitness scene.
It's informative, but doesn't need to be followed. However, there are a few items on this year's Top 20 that you could benefit from giving a more prominent spot in your weekly workout schedule.
Ready to dive in? Keep reading to learn about the trends that will matter, and how to follow the 2024 fitness trends like a pro.
Wearable Tech that gives you the metrics that matter.
Wearable tech has been a mainstay since 2016, and the trend isn't going anywhere. If anything, it's getting more attention because wearers and pros alike can benefit from assessing metrics to establish the trends and habits that are helping/ hindering progression.
Wrist watches, heart rate monitors, and other wearable devices that connect to your smartphone allow users to see stats around steps and minutes of movement, but a surprising one that matters? Resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate gives an indication of general cardiovascular health, but also the level of stress and anxiety that may be influencing your athletic performance and generalized recovery.
Exercising in an age- specific way.
Exercise is for all ages. I have seen this firsthand as a three-year veteran of teaching P.E. in a secondary school, dance teacher to aspiring dancers of all ages, and a personal trainer whose client base includes women over 60s.
As a population, our life expectancy is extending. Equally so, our younger cohorts are becoming exposed to the importance of exercise and healthy aging. Fitness, regardless of your age bracket, needs an element of enjoyment in it! Catering to enjoyment at every age is coming into major spotlight in 2024 as what is fun for teenagers is certainly not still fun over 60s.
Think of exercise evolving with your life stages. As a teenager, the body is still developing and needs to support that accordingly. As a mature adult, exercise is an avenue for stress relief and injury prevention. As an aging adult, your exercise benefits need to include injury prevention, healthy range of motion, and maintenance of skeletal tissue to support decreasing bone density.
Giving fitness the FUNctional approach.
In 2023, functional fitness training was seated at #5 on the wellness trends list. That has since fallen to #14 on the list for 2024; however, that doesn't negate the importance of fitness complimenting your existing day-to-day in an engaging way.
Functional fitness encompasses exercise modalities that support healthy range of motion, proprioception, and encourage continued independence as a functioning adult. Moreover, functional fitness can improve athletic performance through development of stability, stamina, and power.
Pro tip: implementing functional fitness is as simple as integrating a warm up and your cool down. Don't have a workout routine that does this? You won't want to miss out on Empowered Fitness.
Fitness that moves with you, workplace and beyond.
Mobile fitness apps, online personal training, and workplace wellness are all part of the top twenty on the ACSM list of trends for 2024. What do all of these have in common? Making fitness and wellness accessible- anywhere.
In particular, workplace wellness is coming into light because it supports your workplace productivity, employee retention and job satisfaction. If that's not already something on your radar, it certainly will be by Q3 of this year. Group and corporate wellness services will be highly sought after this year.
Aside from taking advantage of workplace wellness offerings, creating outlets for yourself to work out has been increasingly shown to improve mental wellbeing as much as it does your physical well-being. This year, it's all about utilizing mobile/ online fitness programming that allows you to feel good about sweat sessions both at home and on the road.
Good news...Empowered Fitness is a month-to-month online fitness service that gives you the sense of direction to feel better, move better, and have more confidence on the go.
What can you let go of in 2024?
Of course, with everything that is forecasted to be trending this year, there are still going to be the die-hard influencers touting the benefits of certain trends over others. Here's the list of things you can confidently ditch from your routine and social feeds:
Influencer toning workouts (no more pointless pulsing)
HIIT training only (you can combine it with other modalities of fitness)
Fasted cardio (it's actually not more beneficial, or less, than its fed counterpart)
Low weight, high volume training (please see pointless pulsing from above)