The COVID pandemic has shaped the fitness trends of 2022. Last year was a period that paced up the whole fitness industry’s shift towards virtual fitness. With social distancing becoming a necessity, people found new ways to connect digitally. Health and fitness professionals responded to a global shutdown by live-streaming their services or making use of outdoor spaces to keep the enthusiasm alive. As the curbs begin to ease out, the question that still remains is:
Are these adaptations merely a temporary solution or will they become a long run companion in the fitness landscape yet to come?
While we don’t know how things will turn out for sure, it’s always useful to predict trends that the fitness industry will go through in 2021. These latest fitness trends are useful for fitness professionals to stay on top of their game and be relevant to their clients.
As per a recent report on trends in fitness released by Class Pass, being confined to our homes provided many people with the flexibility to commit to a fitness routine. Almost 25% of professionals are exercising more than they used to at the start of the pandemic.
This is just one interesting fact among many others. Before we dive straight into this, let’s get some things clear first.
There’s quite some difference between a fad and a trend. A fad is a quick solution to something and offers only a temporary result. Fashion for instance is full of fads that are popular for a certain period until they become outdated.
Vibrating Belts for example became a fitness fad in the 1960s. And although they remained popular for almost a decade, they actually were of little to no use in losing weight. Compare this with the rise in wearable technology and smart watches that calculate how many miles you have walked. That is what sounds like a fitness trend that is here to stay for a good run.
In the fitness industry, you often hear about products that claim to solve all your fitness worries overnight. However, all such claims are misleading fads. At the end of the day, a fitness trend is something that can alter your mindset and all-in-all approach towards exercise and fitness.
“As we prepare to, hopefully, reset in a new post-COVID world next year, we expect to see many of the fitness developments from 2020 continue to endure, evolve and gain popularity throughout 2021.”
Steve Pettit, CEO - Australian Institute of Fitness
2020 opened up a Pandora's Box for all sorts of digital solutions, whether it was working from home or working out from home. Digital is driving the growth for many fitness studios, pilates and yoga studios, gyms, health clubs etc.
Live streaming and Video-On-Demand content are helping brands win over online audiences and even with the curbs easing down, they are becoming an essential part of the hybrid fitness economy.
This points to the fact that online fitness will continue to run along offline fitness studios. People will opt for flexibility instead of restricting themselves to a single option. That’s because the ease of online classes goes great with the real-life value of an in-studio experience.
The point’s made. 2020’s rapid evolution towards digital fitness will impact the trends in the fitness industry for 2021 & 2022.
So without further ado, let’s jump straight to the top 21 fitness trends that you can expect in 2022.
Wearable fitness technology like fitness trackers, personal training assistants, smart watches will continue to play a crucial role in 2021. Fitness enthusiasts are sharing more health data metrics from their smart watches that give access to tons of such information.
Not just limited to that, new fitness tech. can extend to AI coaches, virtual reality and much more. The future most certainly looks exciting. Even the data one can gain from simple fitness trackers is getting a lot more detailed than just counting steps and calories.
These devices now deliver insights about health, sleeping habits, recovery and many personal recommendations based on user activity, securing their position in the latest health and fitness trends.
It is predicted that by 2020 over 900 million people will wear these devices. Fitness brands that are still staying away from the world of fitness tech. are missing out from an increasingly personalized fitness world.
HIIT is on a long streak now. Even in 2020 it came at number two on ACSMs Survey of Fitness Trends. One of the most popular exercise classes. The single great thing about HIIT is the number of calories you can burn by mixing heavy bursts of exercise with short periods of rest. That makes HIIT an ideal option for a population that’s short on time but still needs to stay fit.
“HIIT training is quick and effective for weight loss and lean muscle building, which the majority of everyday fitness enthusiasts want – and it can be done with or without equipment, in a gym or at home.
Brodie Hicks, Master Coach - Australian Institute of Fitness
Impositions of lockdown in 2020 and the paranoia surrounding COVID led many people towards reforming their health. They opted for choosing an active lifestyle that improved their physical and mental health.
Increasing isolation and added stresses of the pandemic has led people towards chasing the newest fitness trends as a solution that can bring them greater well being. Poor physical health can boost risks associated with both mental health and chronic illness. Physiotherapy is hence becoming popular with people being asked to engage in some form of exercise for their good health.
This 2020 trend is likely to continue in 2021 & 2022 as the awareness that has struck people won’t be fading out too soon.
Groups that were more at risk during the pandemic like the older folks, obese groups and those with comorbidities, have now become more health conscious. People belonging to such risk groups need special fitness regimes to keep themselves in shape.
Fitness studios have responded to such needs by offering popular exercise programs and training sessions designed specifically for those above a certain age, or dealing with sensitive illnesses like diabetes and heart related issues.
Functional fitness focuses on using your body to help you get in shape. It incorporates movements and popular exercises that can improve your daily life. Exercises like planks, pushups and squats that are based on your own body weight don’t require any additional equipment, are easy to perform and thereby are a really popular workout choice.
Courses certifying fitness professionals have increased over the years. They are also more popular than ever in 2021. The growing demand of fitness has made more and more people realize how important it is to have a good fitness trainer. Job opportunities for qualified professionals have only grown since.
Personal training is getting incredibly popular because there are now a large number of qualified professionals who are certified and can offer such services. The kind of personalised touch they lend to a client’s fitness regime along with personal attention is definitely rising in demand.
Yoga was the top digital workout in 2020. That was because it gave people an escape from the ongoing stresses of the world. That’s why people chose yoga as a means of relaxing their minds and strengthening their mental health.
The gap between mental and physical health has been shrinking for some time now. Fitness concepts and activities like Yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness, Meditation and Mental Health Training in general are helping bridge this gap.
Figures don’t lie when it’s reported that the yoga, pilates and the mind-body industry in general is expected to become huge in the years to come ($66 billion dollar huge). That’s definitely something.
Long months of isolation increased the want of people for greater social interactions. With the curbs easing down, it’s likely that fitness enthusiasts would want to go out and meet other people more often. Group workouts provide one such avenue where people with some common grounds can get involved in common training trends to feel a sense of community. Fitness studios are responding to such needs by making use of outdoor recreational spaces to conduct their group workouts.
A study by RunRepeat suggested that more than 70% participants considered outdoor activities and home fitness as the best way to stay fit in 2022. Outdoor fitness is not a new fitness trend, but strict lock downs have made many people resort to local parks or green spaces as the go-to spot for their fitness routines.
Be it an outdoor boot camp or a morning yoga class, people are embracing all sorts of outdoor activities with great enthusiasm. Even post the restrictions, the newest workout trends suggest that outdoor workouts like strength circuits, HIIT sessions or a simple yoga class are here to stay in the fitness industry.
Fitness consumers are relying less and less on stand alone memberships to achieve their fitness goals. Remote personal training and consultations enable members to get that extra motivation and care they need to fine tune a home-workout regime.
"Instead of having to go to different places for your fitness, health, and wellness needs, you'll be seeing more trainers, dietitians, physical therapists, and doctors working together under the same roof,"
Eric Rakofsky, Director of Fitness - The Well NYC
Remote training is of course an extension of virtual fitness that is more collaborative in nature and allows people to train and connect with professionals in a socially charged up digital atmosphere.
Hybrid is a combination of digital and in-person services. In 2021, class size restrictions and people’s desire for more flexible fitness options will lead many facilities to offer both live stream classes and in-person options at their studios. So while some members hustle at the studio, others will sweat at home.
These virtual solutions will help deliver group workouts at the client’s convenience and also enable member retention, all the while providing new opportunities for people to engage with their trainers online.
“Many fitness professionals and consumers will continue to return to on-site gyms in 2021; others will continue to take up virtual options – especially as additional virtual tech disruptors enter the market and widen choice further. Mobile apps, online on-demand workout libraries and virtual PT training will continue to be massive and broaden our horizons."
Kraschnefski, Head of Compliance & Training - Australian Institute of Fitness
This comes as no surprise given people are now expecting impeccable hygiene standards as a bare minimum at their fitness facility. This can be attributed to the increased awareness in people as to how germs and diseases can spread so easily at common workout space.
Therefore, studios that offer shared bathrooms, closely-spaced activities and common equipment will have to take extra care in setting the hygiene guidelines and constantly monitoring their facility like a cleaning freak.
Home workout is one of the top trends in the fitness industry of 2022. As per a recent poll by OnePoll, 75% of people find it easier to stay fit at home. Further 64% respondents say that they are more interested in home exercises than ever before.
During the quarantine period, the average American spent about $95.79 on home equipment which is considerably less than a long term fitness membership. Home workouts are less expensive in that sense and provide greater accessibility and affordability to people.
Fitness influencers and brands are becoming more aware of incorporating inclusivity in their fitness offering. Social media fitness trends are on a rise. Increased focus on social issues like body-shaming has led people to re-imagine the ideal body type. Brands have responded to this by shifting their messaging to forms of fitness that’s more inclusive in nature and promotes self-love and self-acceptance.
Recent emphasis on mental and physical health has led to a renewed focus on employee wellness for several corporations. As stated before that exercise is medicine, and with four in five professionals stating that fitness is a crucial part of strengthening their work from home routine, the need for corporate wellness is justified.
Businesses need to start implementing official policies that encourage employees to be more active. Normalizing activities such as team-stretches, mid-day workouts and walking meetings can help establish a wellness centric corporate culture.
Social media will continue to dominate the way individuals search and consume fitness information online. The social media presence of fitness professionals has seen an upward trend as they continue making use of platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to engage prospects and clients. Consumers are also turning to social media to kick start their fitness routine and look up advice from such professionals.
In 2021, we can expect post-recovery workouts to shoot up in popularity. That involves fitness habits one can adapt post a hard fitness routine to boost their body’s recovery. Emphasis on the health benefits of sleep and its positive effects on the immune system is just one of many things. There are a number of innovative fitness products that are offering solutions to expedite recovery and results that people expect from their workouts.
Lunchtime workouts which are quick and can be squeezed in during a regular work-day are gaining popularity. No longer are people finding themselves just sitting at a desk for hours at stretch. 12 PM is becoming one of the most popular workout times due to a rise in remote work.
Virtual meetings don’t require you to shower. Plus health experts say a midday workout can do much good for your health and work productivity. So why don’t you also give it a try.
People sitting in the US can tune into a workout in Hawaii. That’s something you wouldn’t have found ideal before 2020. Now however, virtual reality is making it possible. More than half of ClassPass’ members have tuned in for a class that was taught in a different city. North American fitness enthusiasts like traveling to London, Sydney and Amsterdam.
This is a different kind of fitness globalization that’s redefining the limitations of fitness and how far we can go to satisfy our fitness appetite. Also you don’t need a passport, so that’s a huge relief.
Millenials are quickly becoming one of the biggest consumer bases for the fitness industry. Almost 81% of people belonging to this generation are showing their willingness to engage in some sort of physical activity that keeps them in shape. This can also be linked to a growing number of millennials opting for new fitness trends such as wearable technology and virtual memberships.
This new fitness trend stands undecided as of now. It’s probably something that one of you who’s reading this article might bring in for 2021. That’s because we know that the fitness industry’s growth rate stands at an incredible 2.6%, globally. What this means is that more and more people are being drawn into forms of fitness that excite them. The more people involved, the more chances there are of constant innovation and improvement in fitness offerings that resolve precisely the pain points that fitness consumers will deal with in future.
It’s unsaid that 2020 was a redefining year in fitness technology which continued in 2021 as well. The increased reliance of consumers on technology to improve experiences has set focus for how virtual fitness will evolve in 2022. Till that time we can only forecast these trends and expect to adapt to them to the extent we find necessary.
Virtual + Offline = Fitness Model of Success
Going Hybrid - It’s easier said than done. It’s difficult to manage an offline studio itself, let alone a hybrid one. Therefore it becomes important for you to choose a companion in this journey.
Bookee is designed for adapting your fitness business to the post-pandemic world. With a modern hybrid software like Bookee, you can constantly be on the ground & on the cloud.
“Bookee is an easy to use fitness management software for boutique fitness studios, yoga studios, boxes, and gyms. It makes discovering and booking classes at your hybrid studio a fun and easy experience.”