Health Trends to Watch Out for in 2012

It’s no secret the U.S. has an obesity problem, but 2012 may be the year Americans really become proactive to combat and reduce our growing waistlines, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Weight loss will be top a top priority for many in 2012 (as it is most years), but ACE expects that shedding extra pounds won’t just be about diet and exercise in the new year—it will include lifestyle coaching, more involved personal trainers and enhanced gym offerings.

According to ACE’s Top Fitness Trends for 2012 report, personal trainers will not only tell clients how much weight to lift and how often, but also be able to provide tips to improve their lifestyle outside of the gym. What’s more, fitness facilities will start to hire nutritionists, physical therapists and psychologists to offer wellness, nutrition and stress-management classes and advice to patrons in the new year.

People are also going to look for ways to lose weight beyond the gym walls, according to ACE, with more parks, schools and recreation centers offering physical activity programs.

Americans can also expect local leaders to continue to take a more active role to address the health issues in their communities by offering program in schools and targeting at risk families. Two such programs are Joining Forces, which provides fitness resources for families of military personnel and First Lady Michelle Obama’s  Lets Move! campaign, which is designed to get young people and their families exercising. Expect more of those types of programs in the new year.

Employers are going to increase their efforts of maintaining a healthy workforce to help reduce health insurance costs in 2012. ACE reports more employers will turn to local gyms and health clubs to run their wellness programs.  For employees, this could mean discounts and reduced membership fees at local fitness facilities.

Technology and social networks have penetrated pretty much every aspect of people’s lives so it’s not surprising its finding its way into the health and fitness world.  The new year will also usher in a slew of social media and mobile apps designed to create more interactive and online-based workout programs and classes. People will have full workouts at their fingertips on smartphone and tablet devises. Because of the influx of apps, personal trainers will have a new arsenal of tools at their disposal to provide one-on-one or group training anytime, anywhere, whether it’s in New York City or Istanbul.

Tried and tested workout programs will also maintain their popularity in 2012. According to ACE, Zumba, boot-camp style workouts, interval training and TRX Suspension Training, which uses ropes and webbing to let you work against gravity and your own weight, will continue to be popular. Balance and core training  designed to improve your balance, stability and torso will gain in popularity during the new year.