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Spin the Globe

Here's a peek into what's popular in other areas of the fitness world.

In 2005, I took time away from Puerto Rico’s Golden Door Spa (during a busy hurricane season!) to check out the state of fitness in a few different countries. In addition to varied tastes in programming, one common theme I noticed was the concept of large “expo” events for both fitness professionals and consumers. Instructors attend sessions with their regular class participants!

Puerto Rico

In January, the first fitness expo of its kind was held in San Juan, introducing consumers and instructors to Gliding Sliding Disc Exercise System, fusion classes and the BOSU® Balance Trainer.

Hot trends:

  • cardio dance and strip dance
  • stability balls in a variety of formats, including cardiovascular
  • mind-body fusion classes

Greece

IDEA member Dimitris Kandris says that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games brought in a lot of tourism in 2005. Many sports enthusiasts requested premium gym services. As a result, many Greek clubs updated class schedules, equipment and standards. Fitness continues to evolve among the Greek islands. On Mykonos, the island’s only gym—Body Work—offers self-defense classes to women, yoga, Gliding and Pilates-yoga fusion.

Hot trends:

  • “Ethnic Cardio Dance” (a low-impact workout that fuses nonstop Asian and Indian belly dancing for Baby Boomers)
  • kids’ yoga classes
  • Pilates
  • mind-body fusion
  • teen fitness classes with names like “RnB” and “Reggaetown”

Taiwan

Cillia Chiang, secretary general of the Aerobic Fitness & Health Association of Taiwan, says that fitness organizations now have approximately 2,000 professional members. A new organization, the Taipei Fitness Industry Association, was formed in 2005 and helps standardize safety. It also organizes events for fitness enthusiasts and professionals.

Hot trends:

  • yoga (three studios, each with more than 36,000 square feet, opened in January)
  • indoor cycling for weight loss

Russia

IDEA ambassador Slava Chichvarin, international relations manager of World Class Clubs, says that there are currently more than 50,000 members. To date, there are 18 World Class fitness clubs in Russia, and this number is growing.

Hot trends:

  • Gyrotonic® exercise
  • Les Mills International Body Training Systems prechoreographed classes
  • yoga
  • dance-based cardiovascular classes (especially jazz, belly and modern)

Philippines

Shirley Quejada, president of the Association of Fitness Professionals of the Philippines, says that the country has started a 10-year action plan to promote exercise and wellness. The goal is to increase awareness about the benefits of exercise.

Hot trends:

  • Pilates
  • yoga
  • indoor cycling (growing as more clubs are better able to afford bikes)
  • cardio kickboxing (popular among the younger crowd.)

sharing the buzz

Have you heard of a creative new class? Drop us a line and share the buzz. Send an e-mail, a letter or a fax detailing the class. We’ll be publishing your ideas in upcoming issues.

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Lawrence Biscontini, MA

Lawrence Biscontini, MA, has made fitness history as a mindful movement specialist, winning awards that include the Inner IDEA Visionary Award. He is a philanthropist, presenter, keynoter, and course development specialist for various companies, including ACE, AFAA, FIT and NASM. He also serves on the advisory boards for the International Council on Active Aging and Power Music®, and is an International Spa Association reporter-in-the-field for its #ISPAInterviews series. Lawrence teaches with yoga RYT 500 and decades-long certification experience. His company, Fitness Group 2000 offers scholarships to professional conferences and competitions on several continents. Lawrence runs fit camps in Puerto Rico in the winter months and has authored more than a dozen books.

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