2014 Trends

Sports and Fitness Trends in 2014

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It’s that time again — time to make predictions. Here, based on what’s been big and what’s been growing, are some predictions for sports and fitness trends in 2014:

  1. HIIT Workouts. Everyone from the American College of Sports Medicine, to trainer Jillian Michaels, to USA Today, the Huffington Post, and a host of other domestic and international publications is citing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as the top fitness trend in 2013, and they say it’s here to stay. As Michaels puts it: “Based on current research that suggests high-intensity interval training is the best way to achieve training improvements and body change results, metabolic training will continue to top the list of trends for 2014.”
  2. Right up there with HIIT workouts will be body-weight training. A “back-to-the-basics” approach that uses little equipment but requires a good deal of know-how, body-weight training became more popular than ever in 2013. It will continue as a trend in the coming year, especially used in combination with intervals and circuits.
  3. Sports tourism will continue to soar. In 2013, destination sports complexes, sports-related tours and camps, and adventure travel packages boomed; even as other tourist activities floundered, these flourished. In 2014, their popularity will only grow; in particular, complexes with established tourism programs will benefit.
  4. Express classes and workouts also will prevail, as people continue to look for more efficient ways to squeeze effective workouts into their busy schedules. Fueled by HIIT-style programs that take as little as thirty, twenty, ten, or even just seven minutes, the desire for quick, super-intense workouts grew in 2013 and will continue to shape consumers’ choices in 2014.
  5. Programs for older adults. As the population ages and the number of older gym-goers increases, classes designed for older adults will multiply. Says Colin Milner, CEO of Canada’s International Council on Active Aging, “By 2017, 50 percent of people who walk into a health club will be over the age of 50…. Over the age of 80, 46 percent of people cannot lift 10 pounds. There is a necessity to help people be stronger longer as people need to be driven by quality of life and not just longevity.”

There will, of course, be additional trends — such as more sports and fitness opportunities for kids, the proliferation of wearable fitness technology, a focus on staying fit as means toward health (more than as a method of weight loss), and more boutique fitness centers — but the ones detailed here are the ones you’re likely to hear most about. It’ll be fun to check in again a year from now and see how accurate this list is (and what looks hot for 2015). Happy New Year!

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