2020 has certainly been hard on us. Because of the pandemic, it comes as no surprise that our health and wellbeing is among our top priorities this year. Getting some exercise and building up our immunity is now part of our daily routine, and technology has been there to help us cope while being confined to our homes. With 25% of gyms expected to close by the end of 2020, the way we workout has drastically changed. For your benefit, we’ve gathered the top health and fitness trends for 2021. From virtual workouts to the latest gears for monitoring your health, we made sure to help you get caught up with the latest trends.
The great outdoors
With limitations on indoor fitness facilities due to certain local restrictions, people are now taking their activities outdoors. According to a worldwide survey on fitness trends by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), outdoor activities have steadily risen from being ranked no. 25 in 2010 to no. 13 in 2020. A RunRepeat study also showed that more than 70% of gym members prefer to take their fitness outside the gym in 2021. Outdoor fitness isn’t exactly new and has been around for as long as we can remember. Whether it be running, cycling, or a simple walk around the park, outdoor activity doesn't seem to be a bad idea. People can breathe fresh air and get some exercise while still observing Covid-19 safety protocols. Social distancing can be easily followed with all the space available outdoors.
Open air gyms
Only 75% of gyms are expected to survive 2020, and more are expected to close, downsize, or relocate. Fitness facilities are now resorting to different programs to stay afloat, and this includes moving the work outdoors. Covid-19 is more transmissible indoors, and because of this, restrictions such as limiting the number of people inside the gym have been implemented. Other safety protocols have also been strictly imposed which might have led to a decline in memberships. By taking the classes and equipment outside, gyms will have lesser restrictions and hopefully get more memberships.
Gym hygiene standards
More people are shifting to outdoor activities or home workouts to get their fitness fix. Only 20% of Americans are comfortable going to the gym. As restrictions are imposed, and cities go in and out of lockdowns, gym members are looking for a safe place to workout. People are now concerned about having these fitness facilities maintaining the highest possible standards of cleanliness. Gym owners must ensure best hygiene practices are followed by all members and staff.
Monitoring our health has never been more important than now. Tracking our health is now as easy as wearing a watch, and more people are using wearable tech for fitness. Wearable technology has been on the top of the health and fitness trends for 2019 and 2020, according to ACSM.
These devices can track heart rate, body temperature, calories, sitting time, and a lot more. With recent innovations, these wearable tech can be as simple as a ring that monitors sleep activity. Big companies are now investing hard in this technology, and it is now estimated to be a $100 billion industry.
High intensity interval training or HIIT isone of the top ways to work out. It remains to be a popular choice for fitness buffs due to its ability to deliver results in a short amount of time. This involves short bursts of high intensity bouts of exercise with periods of recovery in between. You’ll be burning more calories compared to lower-intensity workouts.
Digital workouts and online training are nowhere near going out of style. This method of exercise is closely tied to home workouts and was developed for such situations. With looming risks in going to the gym during a pandemic, 60% of gym members enjoyed home workout according to RunRepeat, and are planning to cancel their gym memberships.
Yoga and pilates
Due to stress brought about by the pandemic, mental training has been on the rise with the help of Yoga and Pilates. According to ClassPass, yoga was the top digital workout in 2020. Since mental health is as important as physical health, the need for exercise that focuses on both has become prevalent. The pandemic stress is real, and with more people switching to home workouts, we will see more of Yoga and Pilates.
Mental health will be one of the biggest issues we’ll face in 2021. Burnout, sedentism, insomnia, and disorders that thrive in isolation will be a hurdle. The need for mental wellness has never been more apparent. We will see a rise in Yoga and Pilates classes and also with meditation classes. We will also see a spike in online therapy as counselors have moved to providing sessions remotely online or over the phone. If you are having trouble or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Fitness for risk groups
Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to risk groups such as senior citizens and those with health problems. We’ll see a steady rise in fitness and wellness programs for those in the high risk and vulnerable groups this year.
Covid-19 recovery programs
A lot of people are or were infected by the coronavirus and have left them with lingering symptoms, and experts also predict long term effects on their health. We will have Covid-19 recovery programs popping up as more people get infected every day, and it will take a while for communities to get herd immunity even when the vaccine is on the way.
Immunity is the key
Immunity will become big business as people will clamor for preventive measures against sickness. Immunity programs such as the Wim Hof Method, which focuses on breathing, will thrive as people find ways to boost resistance against the virus.
People will cook more and eat out less with restrictions and safety protocols still in place. Not to mention the fear of contracting the virus while eating out.
As companies try to convince their employees to come back to the office, corporate wellness will be a necessity. Policies will be put in place to guarantee a safer working condition for employees, as well as programs to ensure mental and physical health support in the workplace.
The pandemic is still on our heels in 2021. This year we should focus on wellness, and continue to heavily use technology as a means to staying active and fit. This year we should value our health more, regain what we lost last year, and continue to find ways to look after ourselves and our communities.