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Experts exercise ability to predict future of fitness

The way we exercise is always evolving. Once popular in the 1980's, jazzercise, left, has given way to modern spin classes, right  

February 7, 2000
Web posted at: 4:19 p.m. EST (2119 GMT)

(CNN) -- Aerobics classes and weight machines are mainstays of many people's fitness routines. But experts say in the future, workouts are likely to become more personalized -- and less tied to the gym.

As the U.S. population ages, exercise programs will be customized and geared more toward older adults, experts say. And there will be more places to exercise, with small workout centers springing up in airports grocery stores and even laundromats.

Joe Weider, who introduced the barbell in 1940, has seen the evolution of fitness firsthand. Today, Weider's multi-million dollar empire includes the publication company behind Shape, Men's Fitness, Natural Health and other magazines. Weider predicts that gyms of the future will offer users a wide variety of choices, with plenty of expert help on hand.

"The gyms of today and the future will be like an Olympic village -- they will have weights with a lot of personal trainers, coaches and all forms of equipment. They will have track. They will have swimming," he says.

Weider introduced the barbell in 1940 and went on to build a multi-million dollar business based on fitness  

Leigh Crews of the American Council on Exercise also predicts a rise in personal training and thinks that adventure workouts will pull many fitness buffs away from class-like routines.

"Programs such as martial arts-based fitness programs -- we will see a flattening out of those rather than a continual rise," says Crews.

Home gyms might even become a standard feature of new houses, say experts.

At the same time, aspects of the home office are migrating to gyms. Some new aerobics exercise machines include a computer hooked to the Internet so people can take care of their business while they are taking care of their health.

As our lives continue to fill with modern conveniences it will be even more critical to follow an exercise routine.

"We were made to exercise," says Bob Greene, an exercise physiologist. "We feel better."

Just ask Joe Weider.

"Life is movement -- and without movement there is no life."

CNN Health Correspondent Holly Firfer contributed to this report.

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American Council on Exercise
Fitness Online: Weider Publications
Georgia State University: The Exercise and Physical Fitness Page
National Institute on Aging Page on Exercise
National Institutes of Health: Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Exercise
National Institutes of Health:Exercise and Your Heart

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