Fitness Trends for 2019

Trends concept

Some trends from 2018 like group fitness are sticking around, while others like recovery and sleep fitness are emerging and developing on the fitness scene in 2019.

Here are the top 10 trends to watch for, learn about, and share with your community.

Trends concept

1. Sleep Fitness. Sleep and its relationship to health and fitness is gaining more and more attention as new discoveries about its power are made. Research supports the notion that quality (not just quantity) of sleep plays a significant role in getting and staying fit.

“Sleep is the foundation needed to support exercise and healthy eating habits. When people don’t get enough sleep, it can become more challenging to control behavior and inhibitions” (Hosford, 2018). As a result of continued research efforts and discoveries, we are likely going to see fitpros place a greater emphasis on their clients’ sleep habits and patterns.

2. New Motivations to Exercise. Recent research notes people want to exercise to feel better – not just look better. Simply stated, exercise is good for mental health (Kravitz, 2018). Don’t be surprised if you see new clients change their motivations to exercise.

3. Group Fitness. Group fitness offers amazing social support and, as a result, has always been a popular method to get and stay fit. Expect this to continue.

4. Virtual Health Coaching. The virtual personal training and health coaching experience have been a growing trend. Mostly, because of its advantages – including cost, marketability, convenience, and overall reach (ACE, 2014). As technology improves and new coaching platforms are unveiled, more people are drawn to joining the virtual world in order to get and stay fit.

5. Wearable Tech. No surprise here. Wearable tech only continues to advance its offerings from resting heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking to blood sugar evaluation capabilities. This trend is on a swift upward climb and doesn’t appear to have any reason to stagnate.

6. Food Journaling. This isn’t a new tool for trainers, but the approach to reviewing and troubleshooting food journals is shifting. We no longer encourage clients to focus on “calories in versus calories out.” Such thinking is outdated and based on inaccurate science.

Most individuals will overestimate caloric expenditure and underestimate caloric intake rendering “calorie counting” ineffective for long-term weight loss or weight maintenance. Learn more about caloric mindfulness this year and help your clients make lasting changes.

7. Higher Intensity HIIT Workouts. Life keeps getting busier and client schedules get tighter. Many do not have time to spend on 90-minute workouts, so the challenge to the industry is to respond with creative ways to maximize caloric burn in shorter amounts of time. Expect to see a greater demand for workouts in the 30-minutes or less category.

Here are some HIIT Training variations to implement in the new year.

8. Recovery. Daily and routine physical activity is beneficial for physical and mental health, but there’s a cost when it becomes too much for clients to stay motivated. If recovery and rest days are not included in a workout plan, the sustainability of that plan decreases.

We understand that active rest days are just as important high-intensity workout days. Be sure to educate clients on the value of taking a break. Both active and passive recovery are important to factor into fitness programming.

9. Workplace Fitness. Workplace wellness is continuing to evolve and employees perform better when they are healthy and well-supported at work. Expect to see a growth in workplace fitness offerings in the next year or two.

10. Streaming Workouts. As with online personal training and health coaching, streaming workouts are a popular medium for a variety of clients. Looking to add an edge to your existing business? Streaming workout programs might be the key to expanding your reach and garnering some additional income.

Fitness is an industry that is always changing and growing and these trends are just a small sampling of what the industry has to offer in the coming months. Are you ready to ride the wave of change?


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Article References

ACE (2014). 5 Reasons to Grow Your Business with Online Training.

Hosford, B. (2018). Does Sleep Help You Lose Weight?

Kravitz, L. (2018). Exercise is Good for Mental Health. IDEA Fitness Journal, 16(1).


Dr. Erin Nitschke, NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1 is a health and human performance college professor, fitness blogger, mother, and passionate fitness professional. She has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry and college instruction. Erin believes in the power of a holistic approach to healthy living. She loves encouraging her clients and students to develop body harmony by teaching focused skill development and lifestyle balance. Erin is also the Director of Educational Partnerships & Programs for the NFPT. Erin is an editorial author for ACE, IDEA, The Sheridan Press, and the Casper Star Tribune. Visit her personal blog at
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