fitness was on a roll. With a strong economy, companies were competing to hire and keep
employees. Corporate fitness programs were considered
a valuable perk to
retain these employees.> Fastforward to 2004. Has the once sunny forecast for corporate fitness held steady? Or have economic storms brought it crashing down? Is it currently a viable career option for fitness professionals? Here’s a look at the status of this niche, including top trends in group fitness, personal training and wellness programs.
If you train clients with hypertension, you’ll want to check out the new position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) on “Exercise and Hypertension.” (It replaces ACSM’s 1993 position stand “Physical Activity, Physical Fitness, and Hypertension.”) ACSM’s latest stand views exercise as a cornerstone therapy for the primary prevention, treatment and control of the disease.
Does your city get a thumbs-up for being well suited for fitness and walking? The American Podiatric Medical Association, in conjunction with Prevention magazine, named 12 top walking cities in the United States:
Four-year data trends revealed in the 2003 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey show that stability ball-based training is on the upswing. Have you incorporated this type of work for your clients?MORE WHAT’S NEW, P.11 IDEA PERSONAL Trainer APRIL | 2004 IDEA PERSONAL Trainer APRIL | 20044 what’s newbusiness
Here’s yet another reason to encourage children to play sports: A new survey found that the odds of being physically active during free time are significantly higher for adults who participated in organized sports as a child.
You’ve seen firsthand how exercise helps clients lose weight, lower blood pressure and achieve other health benefits. Insurance companies are responding to results like these by becoming increasingly willing to provide cash incentives for people who work out.
Sales Soar for Weight
U.S. retail sales of weight loss products increased by almost 90 percent and posted a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent from 1999 to 2003, according to “The U.S. Market for Weight Loss Eating and Product Trends” report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. This performance reflects strong gains in frozen dinners and entreés, food bars, meal replacement liquids and powders, and diet candy.
24 Hour Fitness, an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, wants to help Olympic hopefuls and give its members the chance to work out with high-level athletes. The company is making jobs available to over 200 athletes in training. Eligible Olympic hopefuls from all sports can apply for a variety of positions at any of the chain’s more than 300 clubs across the country.
If you suspect a client has an eating disorder, it’s important to refer him or her for help. Why? Your client may also have a drug or alcohol problem. Up to 50 percent of individuals with eating disorders also abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, compared to 9 percent of the general population. (Source: “Food for Thought: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders,” a report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)
Now you can give your clients another reason to exercise. A new study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that cardiorespiratory fitness in early adulthood significantly decreases the chance of developing high blood pressure and diabetes—both major risk factors for heart disease and stroke—in middle age. Fitness also reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, a constellation of factors that includes excess abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure and triglycerides, and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (the “good” cholesterol).