Confused about fitness regimens? Poll tracks trends

Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:01am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) Pilates or yoga? Kettlebells or free weights? Running or spinning?

If you are dizzy from trying to choose among all the fitness regimens out there a new survey of fitness and health experts, who were asked to identity the top trends, may help.

Experienced fitness professionals topped the list while strength training, core work, special fitness programs for older adults, pilates and balance training also made the top ten.

"We give the fitness professional some idea of what they're going to see," said Dr. Walter Thompson, of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) which conducted the poll.

The ACSM, a nonprofit sports medicine and exercise science organization, tracks trends for the fitness industry and gives the public a heads-up about what they are likely to face at the gym, the doctor's office and the workplace.

Thompson said 1,540 ACSM-certified fitness professionals from Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North America and South America took part in the online survey.

"We really wanted to look at trends," Thompson, a professor of Exercise Science at Georgia State University, explained. "We instructed the respondents to ignore fads, like the devices you see on late-night TV infomercials."

So you won't discover anything about those contraptions that promise miracle abs for 30 minutes' work a week.   Continued...

<p>A client pedals an exercise bike at the Bally Total Fitness facility in Arvada, Colorado June 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>