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Times of the Islands Magazine

Group Classes, Interval Training Top Worldwide Fitness Trends List in 2018, Sanibel Dance Pilates & Yoga Owner Gives Advice

Feb 01, 2018 01:17PM ● By Kevin
For the 12th year, the Worldwide Survey of Fitness conducted a study to determine the top fitness trends. The 2018 edition concluded that group classes and interval training were the most popular forms of fitness activities.

Throughout the survey's history, the editors of the American College of Sports Medince’s Health & Fitness Journal ® (FIT) have circulated this electronic survey to thousands of professionals around the world to determine health and fitness trends. "The first survey, conducted in 2006 (for predictions in 2007), introduced a systematic way to predict health and fitness trends, and surveys have been conducted annually since that time using the same methodology," said the official website of the survey.

There were 40 possible trends in the 2018 survey. The top 25 trends from previous years were included in the survey, the synopsis states, as were some potentially emerging trends identified by the editors of FIT.

"To try and establish equity, the editors represent all four sectors of the health fitness industry (corporate, clinical, community, commercial), as well as from academia. In the survey, potential trends were identified followed by a short explanation to offer the respondent a few details without inconveniencing them with too much reading, analysis, or interpretation."

After 6 weeks, 4,133 responses were received, which the synopsis surmises represents a "good" return rate of 4 percent, but still a little less than previous surveys. Responses were received from just about every continent.

Many of the responses, the synopsis reviews, are consistent with findings from previous years. Additional notable trends for 2018 on the Top 20 list include: wearable technology (3); educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals (5); and outdoor activities (14). Group training climbed its way up from No. 6 in 2017 to No. 2 this year. None of the respondents could explain why group training has become popular, the study says.

"My advice to someone looking for group classes: find a studio that has highly educated instructors who have chosen this line of work as a lifestyle and teach full time," said Debbie Sheme, owner of Sanibel Dance Pilates and Yoga. "Our instructors don’t just teach two hours a week! We teach many hours per day everyday and are always staying up to date on education, achieving more certifications and taking masterclasses."

Sheme added that those interested in group training should find instructors who want to help others feel better and truly care about their students. "I always recommend if you don’t know what class to first try look for words like gentle or beginner or contact the studio and ask to speak to the owner or head teacher for advise and tips."

Sanibel Dance Pilates & Yoga is a registered certified school with Yoga Alliance. They also offer educational workshops in health and wellness, private instruction and teacher trainings to certify others who want to become Yoga, Pilates or Aerial Yoga instructors.

Sanibel Dance opened in 2013 and as the years progressed, Sheme added the Pilates and yoga studios and then the yoga studio.

"When I first moved onto Sanibel I realized that there was activities lacking for children," she said. "As a mom raising my family here I wanted to give back to my new community and the children on island!"

Sheme started her dancing career at 3 years old. She said she couldn't imagine where she'd be in life without dance. This career was a natural progression for her.

"I had a strong calling to expand beyond just educating children but educating youth through adults," she said. "Yes, I’m the owner of the studios but you will always see me as a teacher and a performer too. I love being an artist!"

With more people then ever are being educated on the importance of movement and exercise, Sheme supports the belief that group training is a growing interest to the public.

"'Empowering Your Health and Wellness' is more than just a saying to us," she said. "We are committed to helping every one of our students to achieve that goal. And we have found no better way of doing that than by providing world-class instruction and training in the time-honored disciplines of Dance, Pilates and Yoga. Our teachers are knowledgeable and approachable, ensuring you an emotionally and physically rewarding experience. Each system of movement offers an admirable array of health benefits!"

Stay up to date with Sanibel Dance Pilates & Yoga's class schedule, monthly special events and teacher trainings at