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Regional fitness trends in the US

Kathy A. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in central Florida. Her work has appeared online and in print publications ranging from Mothers & More Forum to Horse Journal.

Fitness trends for your locale

Tired of your fitness routine and looking for something different? American Council on Exercise (ACE) spokespeople report the following regional trends throughout the country. Maybe one of them is right for you.

Woman running in Pacific Northwest

NORTHWEST Fitness trends

Outdoor programming and adventures are popular in the Northwest, according to Sherri McMillan of Northwest Personal Training and Northwest Women's Fitness Club. The fitness professional says, "People in the Northwest like to get outdoors as often as possible and take advantage of all the beautiful trails, rivers, [the] ocean and mountains."

Outdoor boot camps, training clinics, half marathon and marathon training programs are all popular. In addition, dance (Zumba and Nia) continues to be hot because "people love to workout when it doesn't feel like they're working out!" CrossFit Studios are also surfacing across the Northwest, according to McMillan. (CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program used by many police academies, military special operations units and elite and championship athletes.)

SOUTHWEST fitness trends

Los Angeles-based, ACE-certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer Ken Alan of the Cal State Fullerton Department of Kinesiology reports that following the LA Marathon, a highly popular run/walk event, more people are running and walking. He adds, "Personal trainers report some of their clients now wish to train to enter and complete a marathon."

Other Southwest fitness trends include Nordic walking (using a long walking pole in each hand), dance, and for advanced exercisers, kettlebell workouts and TRX Suspension Training. Also popular is "beaming," a workout performed on a five-foot long, two-inch beam that lies on the ground. Alan explains, "As you step on, off, and around the soft-cushioned beam, core muscles are engaged in order to stay balanced."

NORTHEAST fitness trends

Liz Neporent, a New York-based, ACE-certified personal trainer, reports she's noticed a "green" trend. "People are starting to care about what their gym's carbon footprint is [and] what the facility is using in terms of…cleaning materials," she explains. She also notes that facilities are creating programs where families can exercise together, or are offering a program/class for kids so Mom can get in a workout.

Other fitness trends in the Northeast include a resurgence of spinning's popularity; apartment buildings that add state-of-the art fitness facilities (especially in high-end rentals) in order to attract renters; and using technology and Twitter to connect with fitness experts, download workouts or get discounts or free fitness information.

SOUTH fitness trends

The two most noticeable trends in the South, according to ACE-certified trainer Leigh Crews, are Zumba and specialty boot camps (for seniors, brides, and other specific groups). Crews noted that while Zumba is not new to the area like specialty boot camps are, the Latin dance workout is just now seeing wide popularity. She believes these trends are becoming popular because people are looking for motivating ways to stay in shape. "They will work harder and keep coming back if they are having fun," Crews adds.

MIDWEST fitness trends

According to Debi Pillarella, MS, ACE advanced health and fitness specialist, Midwesterners are currently interested in a wide variety of workouts, as most recently reported by ACE.

Midwest fitness trends include cost-efficient workouts; time-efficient, multi-dimensional workouts; "exergame" workouts; "Boomer-cise" (exercise for the aging Baby Boomer population) with classes such as restorative yoga, balance training and aquatic exercise; dance-based classes, like Zumba, hooping or belly dancing; fusion classes that blend more than one exercise style into one class, such as a class that provides cardio and core-specific exercise; youth programming, due to the attention given to childhood obesity; and technology tools for fitness (iPhone applications as well as tracking gadgets like GoWear fit and Fitbit).

From boot camps to high-tech tools, there's a fitness trend for everyone. Check your local rec center, gym or even the phone book to find options to spice up your fitness life.

More on fitness trends and popular workouts

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