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:
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!