Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Survey: Top 10 Fitness Programs and Equipment

IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals worldwide with more than 20,000 members in over 80 countries, reveals the exercise programs and fitness equipment that are expected to show the most growth potential over the next year. While some old favorites remain strong in the top 10 lists for both categories, new and highly innovative programs and equipment also are gaining traction.

These findings are part of IDEA's 11th annual IDEA Fitness Program & Equipment Survey, which collected data from IDEA business and program directors representing small and large health clubs, specialty studios, personal training facilities, colleges, corporate and hospital fitness centers as well as parks and recreation programs. "It's always enlightening to see which programs and types of equipment are identified by the fitness community as having the most growth potential," says Kathie Davis, co-founder and executive director of IDEA Health & Fitness Association. "IDEA's latest survey results predicts strong growth for up-and-comers such as kids' fitness, senior classes, Gyrotonic® exercise along with a rise in the use of Pilates, Gyrotonic and balance equipment."

According to IDEA's 2006 Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey, the following programs were named as having the most growth potential over the next year:
1. Personal training and Pilates or yoga
2. Kids' fitness (classes or after-school camps)
3. Adult one-on-one personal training
4. Pilates and traditional strength training fusion
5. Gyrotonic or Gyrokinesis exercise
6. Pilates
7. Seniors' classes
8. Strength training (group, choreographed to music)
9. Indoor cycling-based classes
10. Yoga and traditional strength training fusion

In particular, fitness programs for participants under the age of 18 years old are expected to flourish. Whether they are scheduled classes or after-school camps, 65 percent of those surveyed said they were confident this category would experience an upswing in activity. "With childhood obesity at alarming levels, IDEA members have shown they are committed to battling this nationwide epidemic," Davis says. "The key to achieving its potential lies in making exercise fun, which is why we have seen such an increase in the number of urban-street and hip-hop classes over the past three years."

Fitness equipment also remains a key element in many exercise programs. According to the latest IDEA survey, while equipment for long-time favorite Pilates was named as a growth area by two-thirds of the respondents so was gear for the emerging Gyrotonic routines.

The 10 types of equipment expected to show the largest increase in usage over the next year include:
1. Pilates equipment
2. Gyrotonic equipment
3. Balance equipment (BOSU® Balance Trainers, disks, wobbly and balance boards)
4. Elliptical trainers
5. Foam rollers and small balls
6. Indoor cycles for classes
7. Interactive computer training games
8. Stability balls
9. Yoga mats and equipment
10. Computer-based workout tracking

Gyrotonic equipment promises the biggest leap in popularity, as only two percent of IDEA members surveyed said they currently use this kind of gear. In contrast, the predicted sharp rise in the usage of Pilates equipment comes while 37 percent of IDEA members surveyed already offer programs. According to Davis, much of the growth in many areas of equipment usage is due to professional trainers gaining knowledge of and confidence in the results they are achieving with their clients. "More trainers are seeing the advantages of what various pieces of equipment can do," she adds. "This familiarity helps them hone in on clients' particular fitness objectives and offer customized fitness regimes that keep their clients motivated to exercise."


Anonymous tlanger said...

Yes, it would seem balance boards are a no-brainer, but not all boards are created equally. The key is to know why you are using a specific type of board...

Todd Langer

4:46 PM  

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