Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

January 2022


ACSM Lists Top Fitness Trends for 2022

We all know the value of getting plenty of exercise and quality sleep—many of us likely have made resolutions to help ensure we get there—and with more people turning to smartwatches and fitness trackers to monitor their exercise and sleep quality, it should come as no surprise that more than 4,500 health and fitness professionals surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) identified wearable tech as the new top trend in fitness for 2022. ACSM recently released the survey results in an article titled "Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2022."

"Tech advances have made it easy for users to collect important health metrics and work with fitness professionals and healthcare providers to develop healthy lifestyles and increase quality of life," said ACSM Past President Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM-CEP, lead author of the survey.

Now in its 16th year, ACSM's annual survey helps the global health and fitness industry make programming and business decisions that affect consumers. This year's survey assessed 43 potential trends. Notable trends include home exercise gyms debuting at No. 2 and outdoor exercise moving to No. 3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) dropped to No. 7 while online training, now online live and on-demand exercise classes, dropped to No. 9 (No. 1 in 2021).

The top 10 fitness trends for 2022 are:

  1. Wearable Technology: Devices like fitness trackers, smart watches and heart rate monitors that count steps and track heart rate, calories, sitting and sleep time, blood pressure and respiratory rate.
  2. Home Exercise Gyms: Uses minimal equipment or treadmills and bikes at home for solo or family events.
  3. Outdoor Activities: Include small group walks, group rides and organized hiking groups. Participants can meet in a park, hiking area or bike trail for short and daylong events.
  4. Strength Training with Free Weights: Instructors focus on teaching proper form for exercises using barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and medicine balls. Resistance progressively increases as correct form is accomplished.
  5. Exercise for Weight Loss: Using an exercise program in tandem with the daily routine of caloric restriction to lose weight.
  6. Personal Training: Fitness testing and goal-setting with a trainer working one-on-one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to individual needs.
  7. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery in a 30-minute (or less) session.
  8. Body Weight Training: Uses minimal equipment. Not limited to push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get "back to the basics" with fitness.
  9. Online Live and On-Demand Exercise Classes: Uses digital streaming technology to deliver group and individual exercise programs online. Available 24/7 and can be a live or prerecorded class.
  10. Health/Wellness Coaching: Integrates behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs. A one-on-one and small group approach provides support, goal setting and encouragement.

"The fitness world continues to feel the effects of the pandemic. The more widespread use of vaccinations and our need to get back to a normal lifestyle are definitely reflected in the 2022 trends," added Thompson.

ACSM published a separate article comparing the top 20 fitness trends in North America, Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Mexico and Spain. The article provides a more global understanding of the health and fitness trends in different regions around the world.

"With ongoing uncertainty from the pandemic, understanding global consumer behavior can help stakeholders create a multi-faceted strategy to drive business growth," said Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., ACSM-EP, lead author of the global comparison article and a clinical assistant professor in the school of public health at Indiana University.


Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

SFIA Report Reveals Impact of Pandemic on Organized Team Sports - January 2022

Schoolyard Playground Program Earns ASLA Olmsted Medal - December 2021

Report Shows Park & Rec Out-of-School Time Programming Is Vital - December 2021

Rails-to-Trails Grant Invest in Equitable Trail Access - December 2021

Aquatic Groups to Co-Locate Conferences to Expand Reach - November 2021

New SFIA Report Tracks Changes in Fitness Industry - November 2021

ACA, White House Recognize New Hampshire Program That Benefits Camps & Families - November 2021

New NRPA Guide Aims to Facilitate Conversations Around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - November 2021

Grants Available for Youth & Adult Swim Lesson Providers - October 2021

NAYS Partnership Will Provide Sporting Goods Where Needed - October 2021

RWJF Recognizes Community-Based Sports Organizations - October 2021

Soccer Mini Pitch Honoring Former MLS Player Ray Gaddis Unveiled in Indianapolis - October 2021

CDC Reports Major Increase in Obesity Over Past Decade - September 2021

Despite Pandemic, Sports & Fitness Participation Grew, Says SFIA - September 2021

Partnerships Between Parks & Schools Provide More Equitable Access - September 2021

$500,000 in Grants Awarded for Water-Inspired Play Spaces - September 2021

Leading Organizations Endorse Children's Bill of Rights in Sports - August 2021

Screentime Up, Mental & Physical Fitness Down, Says New Study - August 2021

The Great American Outdoors Act, One Year Later - August 2021

IHRSA Foundation Digs Into the New Fitness Consumer Mindset - August 2021

NRPA Announces Grant Funding to Support Equitable Access to Parks - August 2021

Arlington, Va., Named 'Fittest City' - July 2021

ACE Launches Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Course for Exercise Pros - July 2021

NRPA Survey Finds Strong Support for Park & Rec Infrastructure Investments - July 2021

2021 Report Shows Record Outdoor Participation - July 2021

YMCA Examines Generational, Racial Inequities in Water Safety Education - June 2021

Child Drownings Remain High - June 2021

CPSC Announces $2 Million in Grants Available to Help Prevent Drowning, Entrapment - June 2021

10th Annual ParkScore Index Names Washington, D.C., Best City Park System - June 2021

ACE, WIFA Launch Opportunity to Support Women in Fitness - June 2021

$150 Million in Grants Will Create Parks, Expand Recreation Opportunities - May 2021

CPSC Awards More Than $860,000 in Pool Safely Grants - May 2021

Leading Aquatic Organizations Champion Water Safety - May 2021

Keep America Beautiful Releases Study on Litter in America - May 2021

Outdoor Industry Association Paints Picture of the New Outdoor Participant - April 2021

NRPA Introduces New Resource Aimed at Eliminating Health Inequities - April 2021

ULI Report: Pandemic Led to Innovation in the Public Realm - April 2021

Nation's Pediatricians Provide New Guidance on Summer Camp Safety - April 2021

Grants Invest in Community Trail Projects - March 2021

Research Supports Safe Camp Operations During Pandemic - March 2021

USA Swimming Distributes Community Impact Grants - March 2021

Research Uncovers What Consumers Need to Return to Gyms - March 2021

Study Details Hard-Hitting Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Attractions Industry - March 2021

Outdoor Participation Up Significantly, Says Topline Data From Outdoor Foundation - February 2021

USA Swimming Awards Funds to Local Swimming Committees - February 2021

NGWSD Celebrates Girls & Women in Sports - February 2021

Organizations Lodge Opposition to Last-Minute LWCF Changes - February 2021

Parks & Rec Pros Serve Essential Mentorship Role - January 2021

USA Swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming Partner to Support Learn-to-Swim - January 2021

Online Training Tops 2021 Fitness Trends, Says ACSM - January 2021

New Appropriations Act Boosts City Park Funding - January 2021