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January 1, 2020 | 3 minute read

2020: Wearable Trackers, Group Exercise and More Fitness Trends You Will See This Year

A new survey predicts that fitness trackers, high-intensity interval training and group activity sessions will be the top fitness trends in the new year – all of which can play a part in lowering the risk of cancer and overall good health.

Now in its fourteenth year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey was published in the current issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

Also making the top ten rankings is having your health care provider include a physical activity assessment during your visit. This ACSM initiative, called Exercise is Medicine, nudged up to number six this year from number ten in 2019.

AICR research shows that being active lowers the risk for endometrial, breast and colorectal cancers. Physical activity may also help with weight management, an important part of reducing the risk of many common cancers.

For lower cancer risk, AICR recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, physical activity a week. For more protection, aim for 45 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day.

Are you active enough? Take our quiz to find out. 

2kg weights and scale

This year’s ACSM survey provided 38 potential trends to choose from, including possible new trends like lifestyle medicine. Respondents included approximately 3,000 health and fitness professionals who completed an online survey.

The 2020 top 10 fitness trends are:

  1. Wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, smart watches and heart rate monitors.
  2. High-intensity interval training, which involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery.
  3. Group training, in which exercise instructors teach in-person classes of more than five participants.
  4. Training with free weights, such as barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and/or medicine balls.
  5. Personal training, which involves a certified trainer creating a personalized exercise plan for an individual.
  6. Exercise is Medicine(r), an ACSM global health initiative that encourages health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated referrals to certified fitness professionals in the community as part of every patient visit.
  7. Body weight training, which uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable.
  8. Fitness programs for older adults
  9. Health/wellness coaching, which is a growing trend that integrates behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs.
  10. Employing certified fitness professionals

This year, ACSM also published a worldwide survey comparing the top fitness trends in North America, China, Europe and South America.

Personal training, training with free weights, exercise for weight loss, and children and exercise were among the top 20 projected trends for all four regions. The top trend for both South America and China was exercise for weight loss – number 6 for Europe and number 11 for North America. (As the paper cautions, trends identified in one region may not be representative of others.)

Of course, you don’t have to follow the latest trends to get your daily dose of activity. After all, walking is consistently cited as the most frequent activity among US adults.

Whether it’s trying out a new sport or sticking with your routine, fitness experts recommend finding activities that you enjoy. If you’re looking to get more active, here are a few suggestions.

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