As a new year begins and with it comes a plethora of self-improving resolutions, one of the most important goals for 2015 should be the maintenance of a safe and healthy lifestyle.

For years research studies have proven that a balanced lifestyle and regular exercise are key to maintaining back health, particularly as we begin to deteriorate with age.

Where physical deterioration has long since been an inevitable sign of ageing, recent research on senior, elite athletes suggests that use of comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines help to minimise bone and joint health decline and maintain overall physical health.

“An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system,” said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G. Vopat, MD. “A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.”

The New Year also brings with it the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual fitness trend forecast, based on survey responses from thousands of fitness experts. Completed by over 3,400 professionals worldwide, the survey identifies the leading trends in health and fitness for the coming year. Thirty-nine potential trends are outlined, and the top twenty are then ranked and published by ACSM.

Ranking in the top ten fitness trends for 2015 are:

  1. Body Weight Training
  2. High Intensity Interval Trainging
  3. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
  4. Strength Trainging
  5. Personal Training
  6. Exercise and Weight Loss
  7. Yoga
  8. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
  9. Functional Fitness
  10. Group Personal Training

As the ‘baby boomer’ generation begins to enter retirement, more and more age appropriate fitness programs are being created for older adults, to ensure they maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Where fitness programs for older adults ranked at number 8 in the ACSM survey, it shows that the benefits of regular physical activity and proper nutrition are paramount in the maintenance of bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function and cartilage volume.

Although the development of a regular exercise schedule is important, Dr Vopat also warns that regimens must be individualised for older adults according to their baseline level of conditioning. This will ensure that the exercise undertaken does not cause further injury or deterioration.