As we approach the new year, it’s time to evaluate what 2022 will bring to the fitness world. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a wind of revolutions and innovations to the fitness industry, encouraging people to:
- Build at-home gyms,
- Exercise outdoor,
- Find one-to-one coaching services,
- Invest in home-based fitness tech and gear,
- Transform their approach to physical activities.
While the pandemic situation is still evolving on a day-to-day basis, it’s fair to say that some of the changes brought to the fitness world in 2020 will be here to stay. Indeed, the use of innovative technology and new priorities as part of the fitness journey are likely to be part of our active lifestyles for the years to come. What does the fitness world have in store for us in 2022? Below, we’ve compiled the top 10 fitness trends for next year.
The gamification of fitness
The popularity of VR sets is not slowing down! In fact, many name the launch of MetaQuest Oculus VR set at the official start of a new fitness regime: Gamified fitness. The VR technology has evolved significantly since its first launch on the market, making gaming a staple and more affordable hobby in most households. While some gaming consoles had already experimented with fitness, such as the Wii Fit with the Balance Board edition, Oculus is the first gaming gear that has fully branded itself as a fitness and entertainment tool. The reason for the change in tone in marketing lies within the game set tech. Compared to the outdated Wii Fit, Oculus VR set makes exercises a natural and integral part of the gaming experience. The VR headset manages to gamify fitness with games such as Supernatural, Holofit, and Beat Saber.
Social workouts in a team
After almost two years of pandemic, it’s fair to say that people do not want to head back to the confined and solitary gym. More and more fitness aficionados are looking at alternatives to exercise with friends. As such, team games are experiencing a surge in popularity, with people seeking social workouts that are safe in a covid-secure environment.
For covid-related reasons, low contact sports are preferred to reduce risks, such as:
- Basque pelota
To keep contact and risks of spreading germs to a minimum, players are advised to vaccinate, wear a mask indoors, and invest in their own equipment, such as tennis rackets or pickleball paddles.
With the rise of vaccine rollout, small ball teams for amateur volleyball, handball, basketball, baseball, and football are also growing in local communities.
Reverse running is a thing
Running has always been a popular fitness hobby. The pandemic has seen a rapid surge in new runners, as people have been trying to replace their day-to-day gym routine. Therefore, it makes sense that running remains a fitness trend in 2022. However, it comes with a twist as fitness experts expect reverse running to grow in popularity. Reverse running has already seen a sharp increase of 50% in new members throughout 2021. We can expect the trend of running backward to maintain its growth next year. Reverse running burns more calories than normal running. But it is also beneficial for the posture and the overall balance. Additionally, unlike forward running, which can impact the knees, reverse running is gentle on the knee joints and focuses on posterior muscles.
While it may not become a streamlined outdoor activity, reverse running should be part of every runner’s routine to address disparities between anterior and posterior muscle strength and mobility.
Playground workouts are coming back
Every Millennial remembers their favorite games in the playground. Childhood’s favorites are coming back into our lives, making fitness fun and exciting again. Trampolining, rope jumping, and roller skating are leading the way, with many adults turning back to their playground hobbies for fitness.
Households with a garden can safely invest in a family trampoline to keep everyone fit and entertained. But even in a small city apartment, a solo trampoline set can be a neat addition to boost aerobic workouts. Not one for bouncing at home? Reconnect with your childhood through rope jumping. The activity builds up stamina, coordination, agility and burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time. The most adventurous fitness addicts will commute into town on a pair of roller skates, improving leg strength, balance, and coordination.
Fitness tracking devices are here to stay
Fitness trackers are not a novelty. However, they’ve improved gradually over the years to provide more accurate data on your fitness levels. Nowadays, many fitness tracking devices have been instrumental in diagnosing cardiovascular diseases, highlighting abnormal heartbeats or results.
Additionally, in the long term, doctors consider seeking fitness trackers as a way to monitor their most vulnerable patients. So, we can expect 2022 to continue the trend of bringing medical and fitness experts together. Modern tracking devices can educate wearers on their metabolism, sleeping patterns, and essential health triggers. From a fitness perspective, trackers are becoming an essential sports gear addition. They can help to improve performance and achieve goals. However, even fitness amateurs can benefit from using modern tracking devices that can help:
- Understand their bodies,
- Qualify their exercise routine in terms of physical challenges (calories burned, heart rate increase, etc.),
- Find their weight loss sweet spot,
- Monitor progress.
Plié & pas de deux
The pandemic has driven the rediscovery of ballet workouts with online barre exercises. Can barre exercises truly change your body? Those seeking rapid fat loss may be disappointed. However, ballet workouts are highly efficient in targeting and engaging muscle groups such as the core and glutes. For a low-impact activity, barre fitness can deliver high results while being gentle on your joints.
Additionally, home-based fitness enthusiasts have found ballet workouts more rewarding than many other classes. Learning how to hold the body and engage the muscles to create beautiful and elegant movements taps into everybody’s imagination. Don’t we all dream of being graceful creatures moving to the music? What makes barre workouts especially desirable is the way you can feel the burn through your muscles regardless of your fitness level.
More coaching for more results
There is only so much you can achieve alone. More and more fitness enthusiasts are seeking assistance from professional personal trainers, both online and at their local gym. A coach can transform your fitness routine to help you achieve your goals and push yourself.
Once a luxury only seen in VIP circles, fitness coaches are becoming mainstream. A coach acts both as a mentor and a cheerleader, encouraging individuals to push themselves further while introducing knowledge and expertise into the fitness journey. A talented coach can help people transform their relationship to fitness:
- Target each individual’s fitness levels
- Address unique limitations or weaknesses
- Build a tailored program
- Monitor progress safely
Less dieting and more educated eaters
In the past, fitness has often been associated with weight loss programs. Cardio workouts and dieting pills used to be common signs in gyms. The pandemic has helped transform the approach to weight and fitness, encouraging people to fuel their bodies for better results. Therefore, one of the significant fitness trends for 2022 includes a positive relationship with food for energy.
Fitness enthusiasts are building an understanding of their metabolism, knowing which foods help restore energy levels or encourage muscle recovery. Positive food habits are instrumental in addressing eating disorders across many generations.
More focus on addressing desk pains
The typical desk job consists of 10 to 12 hours in a prolonged sitting position. In the long term, desk workers complain of back pain caused by their desk posture and the gradual weakening of core muscles. Prolonged inactivity also affects joint health and mobility. As a result, desk workers used to experience:
- Chronic back and neck pain
- Reduced mobility
- Muscular fatigue and tension
The pandemic has encouraged individuals to address desk issues through targeted fitness. Workouts focusing on balance, stretching, and muscle strength are a favorite for desk jobs, including pilates, targeted compound lifting movements, and dance. Additionally, people who have developed excessive chronic pain through occupational activities are also using low impact fitness to target deep muscles:
- Barre workouts
More outdoors workouts
Being stuck indoors has been no fun during the pandemic. That’s precisely why Americans have been looking at outdoor activities that could get them plenty of sun exposure. Running has been the number one option for gym-goers seeking a replacement activity for the gym.
However, outdoor activities are also suitable for beginners. While running may be a little too intense at first, walking and gentle hiking can help build up your stamina. In the long term, 2022 expects to see more outdoor activities as part of everyday life, including cycling, walking, or even skating to work. Depending on locations, hiking and surfing can be an essential addition to most lifestyles, encouraging people to exercise daily.
In conclusion, the fitness trends for 2022 show mostly a continuation of existing trends. As we’ve learned from the pandemic, we develop a taste for activities that are beneficial for the mind and the body, regardless of fitness levels. Finally, the coach replaces the traditional gym buddy, helping people take their fitness goals seriously.