Top Ten Health Trends of 2012

Top Ten Health Trends of 2012

By: CONNIE K. HO

One of the most popular–if not the most popular New Year resolution–is getting in shape. To meet this resolution head-on, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) conducted a survey with over 2,600 fitness professionals to find out the fitness trends for 2012.

The fitness professions who took the survey included fitness instructors, personal trainers, among others. 37 trends were rated by survey participants, including established and emerging fitness trends. The top eight trends focused on educated fitness professionals, such as personal training or group personal training, as well as exercise in relation to diet. The next top trend was Zumba, a Latin-infused style of dancing that combines sexy dance moves with low-impact cardio.

Orly Star Setareh, who has been a Zumba dance instructor for the past two years, first became introduced to Zumba from a friend who thought that Zumba fit her positive energy and passion for dance. She acknowledges the popularity of Zumba as the largest fitness program in the world combining aerobic with Latin dance styles such as salsa, merengue and reggaeton.

“I think Zumba has become a huge trend because it’s about spreading the importance of fitness in a party-rock way. You don’t need any prior dance experience to participate and it’s a great way to lose weight and get in shape without realizing you’re doing the work,” says Setareh. “You immediately get lost in the music and activity.”

Rounding out the top ten fitness trends in the ACSM survey is yoga. Even though there has been some recent controversy regarding the impact of yoga on the body, yoga instructor Ayn Devera believes that people should not be misled by the idea that yoga is something hip and easy to do.

“Yoga is not easy, but it’s not necessarily hard either. It’s challenging and profoundly rewarding,” says Devera. “We live in a day and age where there is so much outward projection and stimulation, that yoga is a much-needed serene, beautiful practice to incorporate into one’s daily life to re-energize and re-center oneself, to tone down the need for instant gratification and hone self-awareness.”

Devera emphasized the need for students to practice yoga at their own pace to avoid injury. Yoga is meant to be a time of self reflection and growth, not competition.

“I always tell my students there’s no yoga category in the Olympics, so not to push themselves beyond their limits, but instead allow their bodies and minds to become ‘open’ to the gains they seek which are indeed gradual,” says Devera. “Yoga is a combination of breath and movement, stability, balance, and endurance and believe it or not, a large portion of the population today must re-learn how to do these things.”

If any of these fitness trends sound of interest to you, give them a try. An exercise style that seems completely foreign to you may soon become your favorite. Either way, it’ll be a fulfilling way to get your new year going in a healthy direction.

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