In this series of articles we are going to take a look at the top ten fitness trends for 2023 as created for the annual ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) Health & Fitness Journal worldwide survey. 
The survey list actually covers 20 fitness trends as collated as part of the survey, but we’re just going to focus on the Top 10 and dive specifically into some background information about the trend, how it can benefit you as a fitness consumer, as a fitness professional and also add some general guidance and / or recommendations.
So here we go… Its Number 1 on the List: Wearable Technology
In the fast-paced world of fitness, staying ahead of the curve is essential, and there’s one trend that’s been leading the way since its inclusion in the Top Fitness trends Survey in 2016: wearable technology. Fitness enthusiasts have embraced these cutting-edge gadgets, which encompass fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.
What sets wearable technology apart is its multifunctional prowess. These devices do more than just count your steps and monitor your heart rate; they’re comprehensive health companions. You can keep tabs on calories burned, sedentary time, sleep patterns, and a myriad of other metrics, all right at your fingertips.
While the journey wasn’t without its bumps, concerns about accuracy have largely been put to rest. Wearable tech has evolved to offer even more precise measurements. Exciting innovations have brought us the ability to monitor blood pressure, oxygen saturation, body temperature, respiratory rate, and even electrocardiograms, empowering users with a holistic view of their health.
Wearable technology has come a long way since its inception in the fitness industry. Today, fitness participants around the world rely on these innovative devices to monitor and enhance their workout routines. However, the journey to this point has been marked by remarkable advancements and transformations.
The roots of wearable fitness technology can be traced back to the pedometer, a simple step-counting device that gained popularity in the 1960s. These rudimentary gadgets provided a basic way to track physical activity, but they were limited in their capabilities.
The real turning point came in the late 20th century with the introduction of heart rate monitors. The 1980s witnessed the emergence of chest strap heart rate monitors, which allowed users to measure their heart rate during exercise accurately. These devices revolutionised training by enabling individuals to tailor their workouts to their target heart rate zones.
The 21st century ushered in a new era of wearable fitness technology with the advent of fitness trackers and smartwatches. In 2013, Fitbit introduced its first fitness tracker, which not only counted steps but also monitored sleep and calories burned. This was a game-changer, providing users with a more comprehensive view of their daily activity.
As technology continued to advance, so did the capabilities of these wearable devices. GPS tracking was integrated, allowing users to map their routes and track distance more accurately. Additionally, these devices began to include features like sleep tracking, sedentary alerts, and even stress management tools.
Wearable technology wasn’t without its scepticism, especially regarding accuracy. As already mentioned, in the early days questions arose about the reliability of these devices, particularly when it came to heart rate monitoring. However, ongoing research and development efforts have significantly improved accuracy, addressing many of these concerns. 
Recent innovations have pushed the boundaries of wearable fitness tech even further. These advancements have transformed wearable technology from simple fitness trackers into advanced health and wellness tools.
Wearable Technology is a definite game-changer that has revolutionised the way fitness enthusiasts track and optimise their workouts. Wearable devices, ranging from fitness trackers to smartwatches, offer a plethora of benefits that cater to the needs of fitness consumers.
Let’s explore the top five advantages of using wearable technology to supercharge your fitness journey.
Wearable technology provides unparalleled accuracy in tracking your physical activity. Whether you’re counting steps, monitoring heart rate, or estimating calorie burn, these devices offer real-time insights into your daily movements. Gone are the days of guesswork; now you can precisely measure your progress and adjust your fitness routine accordingly. This precision empowers you to set achievable goals, track your milestones, and stay motivated.
One of the key benefits of using wearable technology is its ability to help you set and achieve fitness goals. Whether you’re aiming to run a marathon, shed a few pounds, or improve your cardiovascular health, wearables allow you to customise and track your objectives. The constant data feedback keeps you accountable and motivates you to stay on track. Many devices even offer rewards and badges for reaching milestones, turning your fitness journey into an exciting game.
Everybody is unique, and wearable technology acknowledges this by providing personalised insights into your health and fitness. Advanced wearables can analyse your sleep patterns, stress levels, and even your recovery after intense workouts. Armed with this data, you can tailor your fitness regimen to suit your body’s specific needs. Over time, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how your lifestyle choices impact your well-being, leading to smarter decisions and better results.
Fitness should never be a solitary pursuit, and wearables make it easier than ever to connect with others who share your goals. Many wearable platforms offer social features that allow you to compete with friends, join fitness challenges, or simply share your progress. This social engagement not only adds an element of fun to your fitness routine but also creates a supportive community that can keep you motivated and accountable. Whether you’re high-fiving a friend’s workout achievement or celebrating your own, these devices foster a sense of camaraderie that can be a powerful driving force.
One of the most significant advantages of wearable technology is its ability to provide continuous motivation. The real-time data feedback, goal tracking, and social interaction all combine to keep you inspired and committed to your fitness journey. The knowledge that your wearable device is monitoring your progress and providing insights acts as a constant reminder to make healthier choices. With a wearable by your side, you’ll find it easier to stay consistent and overcome any obstacles that come your way.
For fitness professionals, in particular, these innovative devices have become indispensable tools. 
Let’s explore the top 5 benefits to a Fitness Professional of using wearable technology in the fitness industry.
Wearable technology provides fitness professionals with unparalleled accuracy in data tracking. Whether it’s monitoring heart rate, tracking steps, or analysing sleep patterns, these devices offer precise measurements that were once only accessible through expensive and cumbersome equipment. This data can be invaluable for trainers and coaches, enabling them to tailor workouts and nutrition plans to their clients’ individual needs. By having a clear picture of a client’s progress, trainers can make real-time adjustments, leading to more effective and efficient training programs.
Engagement is a key factor in the success of any fitness program. Wearable technology encourages clients to stay engaged and motivated throughout their fitness journey. These devices provide instant feedback and goal-setting features, helping clients visualise their progress and set achievable milestones. Moreover, many wearables offer social integration, allowing clients to connect with their trainers and peers, fostering a sense of community and accountability. This increased engagement leads to higher adherence rates, ultimately improving the chances of clients reaching their fitness goals.
Fitness professionals often have hectic schedules, juggling multiple clients and classes throughout the day. Wearable technology can significantly improve time management by streamlining various tasks. For instance, trainers can use fitness trackers to efficiently track clients’ workouts, making it easier to record and analyse their performance. Additionally, smartwatches can help professionals manage their daily schedules and send reminders for appointments and classes. This enhanced organisation not only saves time but also ensures that trainers can provide better service to their clients.
One of the most significant benefits of wearable technology for fitness professionals is the ability to create highly personalised training programs. With access to a client’s real-time data, trainers can fine-tune workouts and nutrition plans based on individual goals and progress. For example, if a client’s heart rate consistently stays within a certain range during cardio sessions, the trainer can adjust the intensity accordingly. This level of customization ensures that clients receive the most effective and efficient training, leading to quicker and more sustainable results.
Effective communication is the cornerstone of a successful trainer-client relationship. Wearable technology facilitates seamless communication between fitness professionals and their clients. Many fitness apps and wearable devices allow clients to share their data directly with their trainers, enabling trainers to monitor progress remotely and provide timely feedback and guidance. This remote communication is especially valuable in today’s digital age, as it allows for continuous support, even when clients and trainers are not physically present.
Regardless of which type of wearable device you use, here are three key ways to ensure you’re getting the best use out of it:
One of the greatest benefits of wearable fitness devices is their ability to help you set specific fitness goals and track your progress. Start by defining your objectives, whether it’s losing weight, increasing daily steps, or improving your sleep quality. Once your goals are established, use your device to monitor your daily activities, workouts, and sleep patterns. Regularly reviewing your progress will help you stay motivated and make necessary adjustments to your fitness routine.
Wearable devices offer real-time data on heart rate, calories burned, and even GPS tracking for outdoor activities. Make the most of this information during your workouts. Adjust your intensity based on your heart rate, and aim to stay within your target zone for optimal results. Analysing post-workout data can also help you fine-tune your training regimen, ensuring you’re making consistent improvements.
Many wearables offer social features that allow you to connect with friends or join fitness communities. Use these features to stay accountable and motivated. Share your achievements, compete with friends, or simply find inspiration in the success stories of others. The sense of community can be a powerful motivator on your fitness journey.
Whether you’re a dedicated athlete, a casual fitness enthusiast, or someone looking to improve their overall health, there’s a wearable device that can help you achieve your goals.
Here, we present my top 5 wearable fitness devices (in no particular order) that are revolutionising the way we approach exercise and wellness.
Fitbit has long been a leader in the wearable fitness technology market, and the Fitbit Charge 5 continues to impress. This sleek device not only tracks your heart rate, sleep patterns, and steps but also offers stress management tools and a built-in GPS. With its vibrant AMOLED display and impressive battery life, it’s the perfect companion for fitness enthusiasts looking to optimise their workouts and overall health.
The Apple Watch has become a staple for many, thanks to its seamless integration with iOS devices and an ever-expanding array of health and fitness features. The Series 7 takes it a step further with a larger and more durable display, making it easier to follow workouts and track your progress. It also offers advanced fitness tracking, including ECG and blood oxygen measurements, making it a comprehensive health companion.
The Whoop Strap 4.0 is a favourite among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for its in-depth sleep tracking and recovery analytics. It provides data on heart rate variability, ambient temperature, and motion to gauge how well you recover from workouts and daily stressors. With personalised recommendations, it helps you optimise your training and improve your overall health.
For those who love outdoor activities, the Garmin Venu 2 is a top choice. It offers advanced GPS tracking, preloaded workouts, and animated on-screen workouts to keep you motivated. The device also tracks respiration, hydration, and stress levels, giving you a comprehensive view of your well-being. Plus, its vibrant AMOLED display makes it easy to view your stats even in bright sunlight.
Designed to measure your effort during workouts, the Myzone MZ-3 provides real-time feedback by displaying your heart rate, calories burned, and effort points on a simple-to-read screen. What sets the Myzone apart is its focus on gamification and social engagement. You can compete with friends, earn badges, and join challenges, turning your fitness journey into an exciting game. With Myzone, you’ll find yourself pushing harder and staying consistent in your workouts, all while connecting with a like-minded fitness community. It’s not just a wearable; it’s a support system that helps you reach new heights in your fitness journey.
Note: the author of this article has no affiliation with any of these brands but has had personal experience using the products they offer.
As the fitness industry continues to evolve, embracing wearable technology is not just a choice but a necessity for those looking to stay ahead and deliver the best possible results to their clients. So, whether you’re a fitness trainer or enthusiast, it’s time to strap on your wearable device and embark on a journey towards a healthier, more tech-savvy future.
Please Note: The information provided in this article are the opinions and professional experience of the author and not all activities are recommended for the beginner or participants with underlying health conditions. Before following any advice or starting any fitness, health and wellbeing journey please consult with an Allied Health Professional and / or General Practitioner.
Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.