Exercise does a body good. So does sleep. Research shows both contribute to a healthy immune system, which is critical in the ongoing battle with COVID-19.

With more people turning to their smartwatch or fitness tracker to monitor exercise and sleep quality, it’s not surprising that 4,500 health and fitness pros surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) identified wearable tech as the new top trend in fitness for 2022. ACSM released the survey results recently in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

“Tech advances have made it easy for users to collect important health metrics and work with fitness professionals and health care providers to develop healthy lifestyles and increase quality of life.”

— ACSM Past President Walter R. Thompson, PhD, FACSM, ACSM-CEP, lead author of the survey

In its 16th year, ACSM’s annual survey helps the fitness industry make programming and business decisions that affect consumers. This year’s survey assessed 43 potential trends. Of note, home exercise gyms debuted at No. 2, and outdoor exercise moved to No. 3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) dropped to No. 7 and online training, now online live and on-demand exercise classes, dropped to No. 9 (No. 1 in 2021).

Top 10 fitness trends for 2022:

  1. Wearable Technology: Fitness trackers, smart watches and heart rate monitors that track exercise, heart rate, calories, sitting and sleep time, blood pressure and respiratory rate.
  2. Home Exercise Gyms: Minimal equipment or treadmills and bikes at home for solo or family events.
  3. Outdoor Activities: Includes small group walks, group rides and organized hiking groups. Participants can meet in a park, hiking area or bike trail for short or daylong events.
  4. Strength Training with Free Weights: Instructors focus on teaching proper form for exercises using barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and/or medicine balls. Resistance progressively increases as correct form is accomplished.
  5. Exercise for Weight Loss: Exercise program in tandem with the daily routine of caloric restriction to lose weight.
  6. Personal Training: Fitness testing and goal setting as a trainer works one-on-one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to individual needs.
  7. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery in a 30-minute (or less) session.
  8. Body Weight Training: Uses minimal equipment. Not limited to push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
  9. Online Live and On-demand Exercise Classes: Digital streaming technology to deliver group or individual exercise programs online.
  10. Health/Wellness Coaching: Integrates behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs. One-on-one coaching and small groups provide support and goal setting.

ACSM also published “2022 Fitness Trends from Around the Globe,” which compares the top fitness trends in North America, Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Mexico and Spain.

[Source(s): American College of Sports Medicine, Business Wire]