December 12th, 2018



TORONTO, ON – December 12, 2018 – Canadians crave practical workouts, according to an annual survey of fitness professionals, conducted by Canada’s fitness education leader, canfitpro. Functional Fitness reigns as the #1 Fitness Trend for the second year in a row recognizing that people not only want to look better but need to be able to perform their everyday tasks with ease. Being stronger in movements that are relevant to our everyday lives, such as carrying groceries, taking the stairs, or shoveling snow, allows us to fully enjoy all aspects of our lives.

Active Recovery made its debut on the chart in 2018 at the fourth position, but this year, it climbs to the #2 spot. With high intensity workouts (HIIT), express options increasing, alongside overall everyday stress and overall wellness being more at the forefront of media, Active Recovery is one of the ways we take care of ourselves and our health. Active Recovery has been part of canfitpro programming since day one as it is essential to overall health.

HIIT drops to the #3 spot, the lowest position since the survey’s inception with the 2015 fitness trends. Although still wildly popular, as the format is an effective way to move and sweat in a shorter time, HIIT continues to see growth in gym chains, studios and boutiques; however, this style may need a refresh in order to continue its dominant reign.

Other survey results reveal:

* Recognizing the huge impact that what we eat has an impact on our overall health, nutrition and healthy eating programs climbs from #8 last year to #4.
* Older Adult Training drops from #3 to #5, however being able to stay independent and lead a healthy life may also be reflected in the gains of Functional Fitness & Active Recovery.
* Body Weight Training is gaining in popularity because of television and social media and the accessibility/increasing advancement in gymnastic movements, calisthenics, parkour, outdoor gyms etc.

New in this year’s survey, fitness professionals were asked, outside of physical activity, what are the health and wellness recommendations you make in 2019?
Mindfulness debuts as the top trend in that category, along with Diets, Meal Planning / Meal Prep, Self-Love & Meditation round up the top five. This is consistent with Fitness Trends: the more you work out, the more recovery you need physically and mentally.

Canada’s authority in fitness education for 25 years, canfitpro reached its nearly 24,000 members, including fitness professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors), health club operators and industry suppliers from across Canada to gather the annual survey results.

Media Notes: National and local experts for available for interviews by request.

The top 10 Canadian fitness trends for 2019 are:

1) Functional Fitness (#1 in 2018, #2 in 2017; #1 in 2016)
Functional fitness stays put in the top spot. Using multiple muscle groups to strengthen in a holistic way (versus one specific muscle group at a time), functional fitness programs include practical, balance-challenging movements that simulate activities like shoveling snow, carrying groceries, or unloading the car. This focus helps prepare for the physical activities of daily life and counters the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

2) Active Recovery (#4 in 2018)

Recognizing that the ability to work out is limited by the ability to move, active recovery exercises focus on movement and self-care with foam rollers, balls and low-intensity workouts to name a few. If we can take care of ourselves and move as freely as possible, our everyday lives are better, and training is enhanced.

3) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) (#2 in 2018, #1 in 2017)

HIIT is a training methodology involving intense periods of exercise followed by durations of rest. This high-intensity approach is increasingly popular because it provides a good workout in a shorter time than steady-state cardio and because it works for all fitness levels. As Canadians work longer hours and try to maintain balance amidst a busy schedule, HIIT addresses that time crunch, burning fat and improving cardiovascular benefits quickly and effectively.

4) Nutrition and Healthy Eating Programs (#8 in 2018, #5 in 2017)

Combining exercise with healthy eating is the best approach to see the results of your efforts sooner — whether it’s weight loss or advancing your overall fitness level. More Canadian fitness professionals are taking additional training to improve their nutrition expertise, including canfitpro’s Healthy Eating & Weight Loss Coach certification.

5) Older Adult Training (#3, in 2018, #6 in 2017)

This signals the growing demand from Baby Boomers looking to adopt healthier habits to maintain their health and quality of life into their 60s and beyond. Fitness professionals are taking specialized courses and certifications to learn how to train older adults safely and effectively. canfitpro’s Active Aging Certificate is an example of the type of education required to serve this market, while organizations like the International Council on Active Aging are working to build awareness and skills to support active older adults.

6) Express Workouts (#5 in 2018, #4 in 2017)

Express workouts encourage participants to perform multiple exercises at a fast pace to generate maximum results. This is an effective approach for people on a tight schedule – perfect for lunch time or after work. Providing the ultimate convenience, an express workout typically lasts 20 minutes or less.

7) Body Weight Training (#9 in 2018, #9 in 2017)

Using your own body weight to create resistance is a growing workout trend among Canadian fitness professionals and consumers. This form of exercise builds strength and muscle and burns fat without the need for equipment, making it easy to get started and less intimidating for beginners. Enabling people to use their own body weight while doing movements like lunges, push-ups and pull-ups makes training anywhere possible.

8) Circuit Training and Boot Camps (#7 in 2018, #6 in 2017)

Circuit training involves a series of exercises performed in rotation with minimal rest. The goal is to build strength while burning maximum calories. A fitness boot camp mixes traditional callisthenic and body weight exercises with interval training and strength training. Both types of workouts are designed to push participants harder than they would normally push themselves. Both are low-cost, efficient and challenging, combining strength and aerobic conditioning to generate positive results.

9) Branded Fitness Experiences (#6 in 2018)

Branded Fitness Programs are pre-choreographed programs offered by a company. Examples include Les Mills International programs offered within GoodLife, Orangetheory classes, and a variety of others including the latest technology workouts with Peloton or Echelon for example. When attending these programs people know what to expect and can choose a workout that they enjoy no matter where they are located. The brand awareness, efficacy, and convenience of these workouts are very attractive features to their devoted fans.

10) Fusion-style Group Fitness (#10 in 2018, #7 in 2016)

New types of group fitness classes and workouts that combine disciplines — like yoga and cycling or Pilates and boxing — are springing up across Canada. Mixing totally different types of exercise to create a new workout provides variety and something new. Changing up what we do helps develop more strength, agility, balance and coordination than a single exercise discipline.

Top 10 Health & Wellness Trends for 2019

1) Mindfulness
2) Diets (ie Clean Eating, Keto, Intermittent Fasting, Paleo)
3) Meal Planning / Meal Prep
4) Self-Love
5) Meditation
6) Increase Social Time (spending time with family, friends, pets)
7) Life & Wellness Coach
8) Education through documentaries, apps, etc.
9) Holistic Nutrition / Holistic Medicine
10) Using apps to track nutrition


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