Wearables have come out on top in the rankings of health and fitness trends in 2023. This is according to the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal’s annual survey of more than 4,500 health and fitness professionals.
Wearables are here to stay
This is the 17th consecutive year that the survey has been published. And it is not the first time devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches have done so well. In fact, since 2016 when they were introduced in the survey, they consistently ranked first,. The exceptions were 2018 and 2021. In those two years they were ranked third and second, respectively.
As somewhat obsessed about these types of devices, these results do not surprise us. In our view we are still at the beginning. With additional sensors to be added in the years to come, along with longer battery life and other improvements – wearables are here to stay. Pretty soon we expect them to become a must have product rather than something that is a “nice to have”.
Strength training gains in popularity
Home exercise gyms were ranked in the second spot for 2022, but have dropped way down the list to position number thirteen in 2023. This is largely due to the COVID pandemic. There was obviously a temporary increase in the use of home strength equipment since the start of the pandemic. That was all that was available during the closure of gyms and other fitness facilities.
But gyms have re-opened and more and more of us are renewing our memberships. Plus the level of tech in the facilities is on the up. For example, clubs are increasingly installing Apple Watch-compatible equipment from Matrix, Technogym, Cybex, and others. Other facilities, such as Myzone, are using wearables to foster community and competition. Clubs can definitely capitalise on the growing use of wearables by allowing visitors to connect their devices with gym equipment.
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So despite the fall in home exercise gyms, strength training remains popular. Engaging in such activity with free weights takes over the second spot in the rankings. In third is body weight training. These two are definitely trends to look out for in 2023.
Interestingly, the survey says that women are participating more in weightlifting at fitness facilities. They are embracing weights as a powerful tool for both mental and physical transformation.
Fitness programs for older adults
Also ranked high up the rankings are fitness programs for older adults. By 2030, one in every six people on the planet will be 60 or older, and the number of people aged 80 or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050. Gyms and fitness centres can capitalise on this growing market by providing age-appropriate activities such as aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility, balance, and relaxation.
Aside from the above, the survey identified several other trends to look out for in 2023. Here’s the full list.
- Strength training with free weights
- Body weight training
- Fitness programs for older adults
- Functional fitness training
- Outdoor activities
- Exercise for weight loss
- Employing certified fitness professionals
- Personal training
- Core training
- Circuit training
- Home exercise gyms
- Group exercise training
- Exercise is medicine
- Lifestyle medicine
- Licensure for fitness professionals
- Health/well-being coaching
- Mobile exercise apps
Check out the survey results in full on this link.
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