Fitness trendwatching: Walking as a form of commuting and exercise
WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2018 - 12:00am

Every new year, health and fitness climb up to the top of everyone’s priorities. The fitness landscape changes profoundly annually and now is the perfect time to look back at the biggest fitness trends of the year.

International fitness expert Pete McCall made his predictions for 2017, based on emerging fitness trends all over the world. McCall is the co-creator of the ACE Integrated Fitness Training Mode. He travels to the Philippines regularly to share his expertise on performance enhancement and corrective exercise. Many of these fitness trends are alive in the Philippines to permanently change our lives.

Whether you’re dead set on a fitness resolution or still trying to plan for the new year, Pete McCall gives the perfect advice. “This year, let’s try something different. Rather than talk about the ‘latest-and-greatest’ workout program or product fad, let’s have a discussion about what’s really important: finding an activity that is enjoyable and doing it on a regular basis.” Let’s take a look at the top 10 fitness trends of the year.

First, an ongoing trend is walking as a form of commuting and exercise. “Millennials are choosing to live and work in urban centers where they don’t have to rely on a car for transportation. As a result, we will see an increase of participation in alternative forms of transportation that rely on physical activity, specifically walking or cycling,” McCall explains.

Another trend is the integration of health clubs and professional sports leagues. “More health clubs and fitness equipment companies align their products and services with popular professional sports leagues. UFC Gyms, which allow members to exercise in an environment that replicates how MMA stars train for competition, are experiencing rapid growth, both in the United States and internationally,” McCall shares.

Another hot fitness trend is online workout videos. “The online workout video-on-demand category will expand as companies evolve from offering pre-recorded workouts to providing instructor-led workouts live-streamed from a popular studio in real time as they’re happening.”

One more craze taking the world by storm is studio-type exercise. There has been an “... explosive proliferation of boutique studios. As a result, health clubs will be evolving their business models to offer a ‘studio-within-a-club’ workout experience,” he explains.

We should also expect to see a boom in bodybuilding. “In late 2015, a new category of bodybuilding was launched in an effort to attract new competitors. The introduction of the classic physique category encourages competitors to replicate the well-defined, lean bodies from the early days of body-building competitions,” McCall says.
“This may encourage more individuals to train for competitions because they will not have to use ‘excessive supplementation’ to add the excessive amounts of muscle required to compete in standard open categories,” he adds.

Baby boomers have another fitness trend to look forward to. “In response to the rapidly aging population, health clubs and equipment companies will relaunch machine-based circuit-training workouts,” McCall observes. “Weight-training machines offer a safe way to help older club members experience the numerous benefits from strength training.”

However, not everything was on the rise for the year. “Over the past few years, a number of wearable devices designed to track physical activity and health status have been introduced to the market,” he says.

“Wearable trackers will probably be left in dresser drawers and the apps will be deleted from phones. That’s because people are getting tired of fumbling with interfaces or looking at screens and want a return to the basics: going out for a run or walk without having to worry about whether they’re in the right zone,” McCall explains.

With that being said, the industry is still rapidly growing overall. “Fitness is popular and business is booming for health clubs and boutique studios alike. Many health-club companies are rapidly expanding their international presence and opening locations in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and United Arab Emirates,” he observes.

Aside from gyms and training methods changing, “There will be a major change in fitness equipment. Manufacturers of recreational products, like playground equipment and swimming pool supplies, will be expanding their presence at fitness conferences,” he adds.

Finally, it comes as no surprise that social media is changing the face of fitness. “Social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, and Facebook Live, provide health and fitness professionals with the opportunity to promote their individual brands and connect with thousands of people around the world. Over the next year, we will see more trainers use social media platforms to extend their ability to get people moving,” McCall concludes.

* * *

Post me a note at or

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with