What's Hot in Fitness for 2012

We all begin each new year full of enthusiasm and optimism. This is definitely the year that I get back in shape! Yes! I'm going to eat better, exercise more and get a physical. Probably in that order. Some of this enthusiasm struck the people at the American College of Sports Medicine, who predicted some hot topics in fitness for the coming year.

The results of this crystal ball exercise were published in the Health & Fitness Journal and summarized in a recent Huffington Post article. Some of the results are obvious, like having these fitness professionals rank "fitness professionals" as the number one hot trend for the year. Other predictions are more surprising, like sport-specific training making the list.

Now, taking a page from David Letterman, here is the Top 20:

20. Patient referrals. Using trainers to offload doctors and help patients deal with chronic issues.

19. Wellness coach. Helping people change their lifestyle to improve their long-term health.

18. Worker incentive programs. Employers paying (sometimes indirectly) for healthy habits.

17. Sport-specific training. Workouts tailored specifically for the demands of a particular sport.

16. Spinning. Riding a bike that never leaves the room. At least you never get a flat!

15. New markets for fitness. As health awareness grows, new segments of the population join the fitness movement.

14. Outdoor activities. Working out at the gym doesn't mean that you're actually inside the gym.

13. Boot camp. You can't miss the barrage of ads for military-inspired butt-kicking exercise programs.

12. Health promotion at the office. Exercise isn't limited to your off hours any more. Work out at work!

11. Yoga. This ancient exercise for mind and body is experiencing an explosion of popularity. Quietly.

10. Functional fitness. A new buzzword for taking everyday movements and turning them into exercises.

9. Zumba. This latin music dance/workout craze continues to gain fans.

8. Group personal training. Stretching the term "personal" to mean "me and some friends" for fitness.

7. Core training. This focus on the stomach, back and related areas can avoid injuries and really improve your look in a swim suit.

6. Personal training. Working out under the supervision of a professional can keep you safe and motivated.

5. Fighting youth obesity. Children and teens are increasing overweight. New programs fight the bulge.

4. Exercise with diet for weight loss. Surprise! Exercise while on a diet helps you lose faster. Who knew? Oh, yeah, everyone.

3. Fitness programs for older adults. Staying fit means staying sharp. Retirement communities now include fitness centers. Who you calling "grandpa"?

2. Strength training. Not just for Venice Beach any more. Strength training can jump-start your metabolism and pay health dividends for everybody.

1. Certified fitness professionals. In the eyes of certified fitness professionals, certified fitness professionals are the key ingredient to a healthy life. Go figure.

So, how many of these hot trends are you participating in? What are you waiting for? Get yourself a workout buddy and get healthy!

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