December 10th, 2008 15:34 EST
Seven New Fitness Trends in 2009
On any given day last year,
- nearly one out of two American women and one out of four American men were on a diet
- over $50 billion was spent on dieting and diet-related products
- four out of five 10-year-olds worried about getting fat
- 33 percent of children and 66 percent of adults were overweight
Despite the attention and expense associated with the problem, we got fatter. Why? According to Dr. Henry Lodge, co-author of two bestsellers, Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year for Women, Americans mistakenly focused on dieting rather than focusing on fitness and exercise "with weight loss as a natural by-product. ?
How will our efforts be different in 2009? Outdated ideas will begin to be replaced with approaches that work. Here are some predictions from Carole Carson "dubbed An Apostle for Fitness ? by the Wall Street Journal and the author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction:
Old Idea: Successful fitness and weight loss programs were based on deprivation and hence required heroic amounts of willpower, typically beyond the reach of ordinary individuals.
New Approach: Strategies for making healthier choices involving diet, physical conditioning and improved self-care can be taught and old ways of thinking can be changed, according to Dr. Martin Binks, director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center and coauthor of The Duke Diet. Qualified health professionals are becoming increasingly available, and their support can be found in nontraditional ways, such as through one-on-one telephone coaching or online sessions.
Old Idea: One size fits all.
New Approach: Special programs will address the needs of identified groups. For example, fitness gyms will introduce more programs targeted at children. Programs targeted at boomers who are entering their senior years "such as Silver Sneakers, which emphasizes stability (balance), strength training, functional training and increased energy "will continue to expand.
Old Idea: Losing weight was considered a personal problem to be solved through individual responsibility.
New Approach: Communities will take a collective approach to promoting healthy lifestyles, especially weight loss. Personal trainers, formerly associated with the rich and famous, will be used by increasing numbers of individuals with more modest means.
Old Idea: Weight loss involved reducing the amount of food consumed; hence, dieting involved restrictions and deprivation. The types of food eaten were more important than their caloric content.
New Approach: Eating for health and vitality will be the goal; weight loss will be the by-product. The quantity of food may even increase during a weight loss program if fruits and vegetables replace fried foods and sugary drinks. Because calories do count, information on the caloric content of fast foods and food products will become increasingly available.
Old Idea: Medical intervention, in the form of drugs or surgery, provided the solution to health problems associated with lifestyle choices. Physicians were responsible for maintaining the health of their patients.
New Approach: We`ll acknowledge that exercise is medicine, replacing drugs and surgery as the first line of defense against lifestyle-induced health problems. The wellness industry, which grew from $100 million a decade ago to $2 billion in 2008, will continue to grow exponentially as individuals take greater personal responsibility for their health and fitness.
Old Idea: Employers did not involve themselves in employees` lifestyle choices.
New Approach: Medical insurance costs have doubled since 2002 and reached $12,106 for a family of four in 2008. To bring these costs down, employers will offer employees incentives to make positive changes (such as quitting smoking or losing weight) or charge penalties for those who refuse to change habits that elevate healthcare costs. Employer-subsidized online lifestyle coaching for employees will become more common.
Old Idea: Exercise was best undertaken in a gym and involved a repetitive and disciplined routine.
New Approach: Exergaming (consider Wii and Dance Dance Revolution) will bring fun and appealing exercise activities back into more homes. Green Gyms, an exercise program involving constructive outdoor ecology projects, will expand throughout the United States because it meets both social and fitness goals. A return to the popular exercises of childhood (using a Hula-Hoop, jumping on a trampoline, dancing and playing outdoor games) will occur.
Will we continue to get fatter until, as currently projected, 75 percent of us are overweight in 2015?
Information on how to improve our health and fitness (even reduce our physiological age, according to Dr. Lodge) bombarded us in 2008. Our decisions in 2009 about what and how much to eat along with how much to exercise will determine the next trends.
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From Fat to Fit:
Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction
By Carole Carson