Yes, winter has truly come. The sun comes up later, getting up is more of a struggle and wrapping ourselves in warm winter woollies is a must! In previous articles, we have covered the basics of winter wellness and how to take care of ourselves in colder months. We discussed different ways in which to motivate ourselves to stay fit and keep our exercise routines. In today’s article, we will be examining the fitness trends making waves in the fitness world and just maybe, you could be inspired to try something new in these colder months.

First, we need to distinguish between a fitness trend and a fitness fad. A fitness trend is either a new type of workout, a revolutionary new piece of equipment or a fitness style or apparel. Whilst a fitness fad is the proverbial – flash in the pan, that fades as quickly as it started (remember the shake fit/weight machine that shook the weight right off you).

What should we know about fitness trends?

Trends are trends because they are backed by science and a substantiated methodology. Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. Know your products’ advantages and disadvantages before you jump on the bandwagon.

Trends have a following – not cult-like, but almost something like that. The people practising the new workout technique or using the new equipment swear by it – and they usually have results to back it up. Trying something new never hurt, but again, find out more about it before you just take that step.

There is no “one size fits all” approach. No trend is perfect for anyone or applies to everyone. Think of a new eating plan – for some people it might work, for others, not at all. 

The new trend usually comes at a price. Simple economic supply-and-demand principles apply here too. Once it’s a trend, it will cost more. When it becomes ‘mainstream’ prices might drop. 

Educate, educate and then educate yourself even more. Like any new thing out there, find out as much as possible before you jump into it. 

Now let’s have a look at the trends out there and what they entail.

Hybrid fitness

Fitness industry surveys posit that online fitness is here to stay. The pandemic forced us to think of alternative ways to stay fit and this one is sticking. Many fitness professionals are embracing digital workouts which have become even more personal and agile as trainers are adapting to available equipment, client needs and client-specific schedules. 

Fitness wearables

Tracking your fitness by wearing the latest (and greatest) digital wearable is not only popular with fitness enthusiasts but professional athletes as well. Daily step challenges, heart rate monitoring, tracking your sleep even linking your fitness wearables app with an eating plan app have proved to do the trick. Receiving notifications of racing heartbeats (or stress level increases), and movement notifications (Time to move!) are just fabulous and remind us of the important things in life. It is expected that the annual growth of 30% will continue to 2023. 

Personal trainer

According to Wix.com, the personal training industry grew by 2.2% in 2021 and further growth is expected in 2022. This trend links with the hybrid training trend right – people want personal attention, a personal cheerleader – someone who takes your fitness as seriously as you do.

Anti-anxiety workouts and active recovery sessions

People use their fitness routines as more than just keeping the body in shape. Workouts are also being seen as the place where we can work out daily stressors and allow for endorphin kicks to motivate us for the rest of the day. Because of this, two further trends took shape – resting after workouts and ‘casual’ walking/running/hiking. Recovery days or rest periods after a hard workout by doing anti-anxiety workouts (like active stretching or yoga) are practised by many. Active recovery days also include casual (easy) hikes with the whole family (dogs included) and just having fun outside – especially in the beautiful African winter sun.

Barre exercises

Barre exercises are inspired by the rigorous routines of ballerinas – made easy for us mere mortals of course. It includes ballet-inspired workouts that focus on balance, coordination, and leg or core strength using ballet movements for inspiration (face it ladies, who did not think of themselves as a twirling ballerina at some time in their lives? The grace…). These exercises are focused on a full range of motion and strengthen muscle groups through holding challenging positions (there’s a reason why ballerinas can be thrown around by their partners with such ease. Strength people, strength). 

Workout snacks

Now don’t get all excited – it’s not about eating a bar of chocolate and nougat whilst holding that ballet position (if only). No, workout snacks refer to small bursts of workouts scattered throughout the day for shorter periods. This trend is mostly for hybrid workers who can stay in their gym clothes the whole day (bliss…). Or for the office worker, would mean short walks around the building or up and down the stairs throughout the day for cardio work.

Hygiene and gyms

Opening gyms after the pandemic required gyms to follow very strict COVID-19 regulations. Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness. Whipping equipment, always using a gym towel and keeping sanitiser with you at all times made for habits which are now normal within the gym environment.

Community is everything

Working out with fitness communities – either in person or virtually – has become something to stay. People, who usually stuck to themselves in the gym, started enjoying the company of others whilst exercising. Who wants to be alone anymore? Really now? We are and will forever be social beings – it does not mean you have to be lifelong friends with your fitness community and share all your secrets and passions with them. Just enjoying the experience with others (and often – complaining about an extended position together) makes for a shared human practice.

Many articles in this series have highlighted the joy of wellness and sticking to being the best possible person you can be. Keep moving forward – stick to your plan and remember: Summer is coming (only 212 months to go).

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