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Associated Press, Published January 12 2009

Fitness trends in 2009

- From Ingrid Von Burg, “Yoga for Families” and “Yoga for Grandparents” DVD, and Dr. Pamela Peeke, senior medical correspondent for the Discovery Health National Body Challenge:

Hard economic times means more people will work out in their homes.

Von Burg, who teaches at two yoga studios in New York City, says students are already forgoing her classes for DVDs; not only is it more economical – but a group of people can do it together as opposed to each paying for classes at a studio, she says.

Many yoga instructors are offering short instructional videos on their Web sites that students can download for free, she says.

Peeke predicts more people will set up a home gym rather than purchasing a membership to a health club.

- From the American Council of Exercise Top Fitness Trends for 2009 and Joe Ketterling, fitness director at Snap Fitness in Fargo:

This military-style workout doesn’t seem to be going away. This is the third time boot camp has been on the ACE’s Top Fitness Trends List, according to chief science officer Cedric Bryant.

Boot camps offer a “change of pace from the traditional workout experience,” says Bryant. He says the workouts, which incorporate moves such as lunges, push-ups and squats, also challenge people in a way that’s empowering.

But results also have a lot to do with it. Boot camps are time-efficient and effective, he says.

Ketterling says the high-impact workout is relatively low-cost compared to others.

“I would say the No. 1 thing is motivation and the environment of being around other people having a common goal,” he says.

-From David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health and editorial director of Women’s Health magazines.

Zinczenko predicts president-elect Barack Obama will bring basketball back to the forefront after several dark years.

“You have a group of high-profile basketball players in the White House, and you’re going to see Obama and his team playing ball the way you saw Bush clearing brush and Clinton jogging the streets,” he says.

Basketball will be seen as an upscale, sophisticated sport played by accomplished people, as it was in the early ’90s, he says. Back then, there were high-profile stars such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and people such as Clarence Thomas and Al Gore played the sport.

THE TREND: Ballroom dancing

From Jeanette Jenkins, “Jeanette Jenkins Hollywood Trainer – Sexy Arms, Abs & Legs” DVD; and Victor Gelking, owner of Victor’s Dance Studio in Fargo:

Thanks to “Dancing with the Stars,” there’s more interest in ballroom dancing, says Jenkins. In the past, people were more apt to find hip-hop and Brazilian dance in their fitness centers.

“The show made it very cool to ballroom dance,” she says. “You’re going to start seeing ballroom dancing where you’ve never seen it before.”

Gelking says an upcoming dance session is nearing a record number of participants.

“It’s a form of physical and mental therapy,” Gelking says.

THE TREND: Fun and games

From Carole Carson, author of “From Fat to Fit,” and Jon Kadrmas, manager of Gamestop on 45th Street in Fargo:

“Exergaming,” such as the Wii and Dance Dance Revolution, will bring fun and appealing exercise activities into the home, Carson says.

There will also be a return to the popular exercises of childhood, such as trampolining and Hula-Hooping, she says.

“We’re making it fun again,” says Carson. “You can have a lot of fun getting fit.”

Kadrmas says many of his customers buy the Wii specifically to work out. He says the game system’s Wii Fit series sells fast.

“Whenever that comes in, literally, within minutes, they’re gone,” he says.

THE TREND: Short workouts

From David Kirsch, “Anytime, Anywhere Workout” on WeightWatchers.com; Tracey Staehle, “Fit By Tracey – Walking Strong”; and Debbi Lopez, program director of Courts Plus Fitness Center:

People will be doing shorter workouts, Kirsch says. He has 10-minute circuit workouts; people can do three in the course of the day with no machines.

“The idea is to get away from the traditional 45-minute to an hour workout, three sets of this, three sets of that,” says Kirsch.

Staehle says more health clubs are offering 30-minute versions of group fitness classes, such as Pilates, step, and body pump. Her “step lite” class is a nonstop 30 minutes.

Courts Plus offers a variety of times for exercise devotees, so people can get in when they need to, Lopez says.

“Our lives are getting busier and busier so people can sneak in shorter, more intense workouts, so they’re burning more calories in a shorter amount of time,” she says.

THE TREND: Personalized DVD or Web workouts

From Michele Olson, professor of exercise science, University of Alabama Montgomery, “10 Minute Solution: Kettlebell Ultimate Fat Burner” DVD:

Olson says some people may find ways to create their own exercise DVDs by mixing and matching clips from multiple sources, such as YouTube videos, fitness DVDs and downloadable workouts that are on trainer and magazine Web sites. For example, people can create their own video workout on www.fitnessmagazine.com.

“There’s more access to personalize the exercise video clips into an amalgamation of something that really meets your needs,” she says.

THE TREND: Suspension training

From Jeff Halevy, personal trainer and fitness coach:

Halevy predicts suspension training will continue to catch on. While many pro sports teams and fighters use suspension trainers, such as the TRX, regular people are working out with them, he says.

A suspension trainer is essentially a pair of straps with handles that you attach to any overhead point, such as a beam, tree limb or door. Part of your body is off the ground on every exercise. For example, you can do push-ups or squats holding the handles or put your feet in the handles and do crunches.

“It’s part of this whole functional training movement,” says Halevy. “Why athletes like it so much is because it replicates real life activities.”

THE TREND: Small dance studios

From Tamilee Webb, known for “Buns & Abs of Steel”:

Webb predicts group fitness classes will move out of mega health clubs and back into smaller studios, as in the ’80s, when aerobic dance took off.

“In the olden days, it was an exercise group studio; you’d run in, know most of the women, and run out,” says Webb, who teaches at a big health club. “In a big club environment, it is a different energy and vibration.”

She says many of her students ignore the club’s other amenities and would prefer something smaller, simpler and cheaper.

So while most of the smaller studios are for yoga and Pilates, she sees more classes in aerobic dance, toning and even circuit training being offered in similar places.

Forum reporter Lee Morris contributed to this report