8 Fitness Trends to Keep Your Eye On
Fitness is changing. New technology and the rising prevalence of the work-from-home environment have caused changes to the fitness industry. These changes include wearable fitness devices, virtual fitness technology, and a diverse new group of fitness classes.
At the core of all new fitness and exercise innovations is a drive to make fitness more accessible to anyone, anywhere. New technologies allow you to take your workout goals with you, via wearable devices and mobile apps. Virtual fitness classes allow you to hike or bike around the world without leaving your bedroom. And personalized exercise plans mean you can set and reach your fitness benchmarks.
Check out some of the top trends defining the modern fitness scene below to identify new ways to achieve a convenient workout.
1. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is currently one of the most popular trends in the modern fitness world. HIIT combines short, intense workout periods with periods of less intensive training, giving the body time to recover until your next brief, high-intensity activity begins.
HIIT owes much of its popularity to its benefits and required time commitment. In only a few minutes, individuals can achieve a full workout through successive periods of high and low-intensity workouts. Whether you’re a full-time athlete or an employee making the most of your lunch break, high-intensity interval training can help you lose weight, tone muscle, and improve metabolism in minutes.
2. Wearable Technology
Wearable fitness technologies allow you to own every stage of your fitness. With the right piece of wearable technology, you can identify new workout methods, track your workouts, share workout figures with friends, and use past workout times to inform future fitness.
The best wearable fitness technology doesn’t get in the way as it helps you track your workouts. These options include Garmin and Fitbit devices, which can track individual workout times. Higher-grade devices can even track specific workout routes through satellite technology that tracks your precise physical location and overall workout times.
Other wearable technology options, including smartwatches made by manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, are more general-purpose wearables that offer fitness features. These devices offer basic workout tools and can also connect with smartphones to deliver email, text-message, and phone-call notifications.
3. Outdoor Group Classes
Outdoor group fitness classes are also growing in popularity. One U.S.-based fitness provider, ClassPass, cited a 400% increase in outdoor fitness classes facilitated by their studios in 2020.
Social distancing restrictions and state regulations forced many fitness classes outdoors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One survey found that 49.7% of men and 51.5% of women will achieve their fitness goals in 2021 through outdoor classes. By contrast, only 15.18% of surveyed gym membership holders will trust gyms as their primary fitness options.
Outdoor fitness classes offer a wide range of opportunities to get outside and achieve a comfortable workout. In addition to Zumba classes and other sponsored events, popular outdoor class options include cardio bootcamps, intermittent weightlifting, core strengthening, and even dancing sessions.
4. Mind-Body Connection
The mind-body connection is the belief that your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes can ultimately affect your physical biology. This means that your mind may affect the health of your body. The same concept works in reverse: The state of your physical body can have serious consequences — positive or negative — on your overall mental state.
The connection between mind and body is becoming more important today, especially in the world of fitness. Since the state of the mind affects the state of the body, more modern fitness programs are incorporating robust classes that focus on mental health, clarity, and exercise.
In addition, some fitness regimens are also launching classes to help participants improve the connection between body and mind. Some classes are even led by instructors who are teaching mindfulness — clarity of the mind that results when you are fully in tune with the present moment, and how your body and mind are responding.
5. Smart Supplements to Fitness
Even the most dedicated athletes trust supplements to further enhance fitness results. From collagen powders to post-workout vitamins, supplements provide a variety of important benefits to the body before, during, and after a fitness practice.
When choosing between supplements, prioritize natural ingredients. If you’re looking for vitamins, seek out B12 shots and troches that can improve performance without filling the body with unnecessary byproducts. Glutathione supplements are another amazing way to complement your workouts. Glutathione has powerful antioxidants that can limit free-radical damage caused by stress, injury, or infection.
If your fitness routine includes weight loss exercises, weight loss supplements provide benefits beyond what your workout can offer. They support healthy weight and serotonin levels, keeping hormones balanced while appropriately controlling your appetite.
No matter the potential benefits of any supplement, you should speak with a qualified health provider before taking any substance. Healthcare professionals will help you understand how any supplement may affect not only your workout, but your overall health and wellness.
Once you’re cleared to use a substance by your primary care provider or other licensed medical representatives, it’s safe to put powerful supplements to work.
6. Virtual Fitness
Virtual fitness options have arguably never been more available than they are today. Combining your workout with virtual reality technology, virtual fitness programs allow you to join a class, interact with an instructor, or even complete an international workout from your own home.
Whether you’re walking, running, or biking, virtual fitness programs can transform your basement jog into a trip through Greece. They can upgrade your lunchtime bike ride into a trip through the Swiss Alps. While measuring your vitals, distance traveled, speed, and other important figures, virtual fitness programs make the workout fun and the results meaningful.
One of the most popular virtual fitness providers, Peloton is an exercise company famous for its high-intensity workouts. They offer you the opportunity to benefit from high-grade virtual fitness technology, whether you’re using their bike, treadmill, or video streaming fitness program subscription. Users can bike and run in various popular outdoor locations, through virtual technology screens that match their pace in famous locations.
7. Inclusive Fitness
The marriage of inclusivity and fitness has resulted in inclusive fitness, a new branch of fitness that offers something for individuals of all different sizes and skin tones. Inclusive fitness seeks to showcase fitness as a celebration of diverse peoples, offering a fitness outlet for participants of any size, shape, or background.
Inclusive fitness programs also benefit individuals with difficulty participating in traditional fitness programs. For example, classes like water aerobics, geared toward seniors, offer aging individuals the chance to exercise and experience the social benefits of fitness.
Other fitness programs are designed specifically for individuals with disabilities. These classes offer opportunities for individuals and groups to walk, run, and play sports in safe settings. No matter their disability, participants can experience the benefits of fitness in a non-judgmental, inclusive fitness environment.
8. Gym Hygiene and Etiquette
The COVID-19 pandemic changed fitness etiquette in several major ways. As gyms became more mindful of sanitation and fitness classes were changed to accommodate social distancing protocols, fitness settings had to adapt.
Even when gyms reopened after the pandemic began to subside, strict hygiene protocols remained in place. These procedures included sanitization of gym equipment after every use, and general disinfection of all gym spaces at the beginning and end of every day. Many gyms continue to practice these habits today, as upgrades over traditional gym cleanliness standards.