Social distancing and community quarantines have changed the way everyone moves. The exercise from daily commutes have turned into long romantic walks to the kitchen, working out at the gym has become solo sweat sessions in the living room, and social interaction might feel a bit too detached when communication is limited to chatting on social media.
It’s admittedly a quieter time, but if anything, the shift to digital platforms has proven that there are actually some things the fitness industry can be doing differently, and for the better. Here are six fitness industry trends we think you’ll see in 2021 and beyond, long after this pandemic blows over.
1. Fitness-on-the-go: syncing devices to your workout
Since the emergence of wearable technology like Fitbits and Apple watches, it’s easy to note how much fitness devices have evolved. It’s no longer just about counting steps or calories burned. You can turn to these fitness trackers for keeping health in check with heart rate monitors, alignment sensors, and workout apps.
There are many benefits to having fitness apps right at your fingertips. One of its most important advantages is that it empowers everyone—beginners especially—to start a completely customized fitness journey. You can set your own goals, work toward it with easily accessible resources, and track them seamlessly.
2. Community-driven classes
Not everyone enjoys working out solo. Being part of a community can boost your motivation because you can connect with like-minded individuals who will keep you accountable for your progress. Hooray for workout buddies!
It’s easy to find this kind of energy in boutique gyms. Many have already started offering online classes since community quarantine was implemented. This way, you get a safe workout space with live-streamed or on-demand sessions. It’s a completely different experience from being in a room with the whole class, but it’s a great alternative for those who will be moving around often or working remotely long after the pandemic ends.
3. Meditation and wellness tied in workouts
Meditating has many science-backed health benefits, which include improving your focus and decreasing stress levels. While not everyone may have enough time to do this on their own with yoga and meditation classes, instructors are finding ways to incorporate meditation into a variety of workouts.
A great example is putting guided meditation into a workout, similar to what Boom Cycle co-founder Hilary Rowland has done for her indoor spinning sessions. It merges high-intensity sprints with self-reflection. This encourages the class to set intentions, ignite a better sense of self.
4. Dual gym model: offering a combination of online and in-studio classes
Virtual workout classes have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to effectiveness and accessibility. Its appeal lies in the sheer convenience for those with tight schedules; however, it can’t always replace the experience of having a trainer or instructor to fully guide the workout. For this reason, it’s possible to expect a dual gym membership model, which offers both online and in-studio sessions.
5. Functional training
Life indoors can be limiting when you have a significantly smaller space to move through. It’s easy to get fatigued from the reduced motion even more so now in the socially distanced setting.
Fortunately, functional trainingis a popular fitness trend that’s not going away anytime soon. This type of workout engages multiple muscle groups at the same time, you build better mobility and balance and avoid the risk of injuries. It’s a great exercise for any age group and fitness level.
6. Free weight training
Since gyms have had to close temporarily, people have also needed to explore other options for staying healthy indoors. One significant response to this is creating a home gym with free weights. At the start of lockdown, eBay saw a 1,980% spike in dumbbell sales alone.
These free weights stand as a significantly affordable and accessible tool for strength training. They’re also the perfect addition to functional training and a variety of other types of workouts.
The fitness industry looking forward
If there’s anything to learn from this era of social distancing, it’s that one’s health and wellness are irreplaceable. The fitness trends on this list aren’t completely new concepts, but they are essentially the product of adaptation, accessibility, and convenience at its finest. You can expect to see high-tech innovations in fitness and wellness apps, a hybrid of virtual and face-to-face fitness classes, and more in-depth exercise routines that go beyond what we knew them to be.
The fitness industry is at the cusp of change as it shifts to the digital landscape. It opens new possibilities and there’s still so much to learn. Here at Splore, we’re about to unveil something we’ve been working on that will make fitness accessible and attainable. Subscribe to our newsletter so you get a sneak peek of what we’re cooking!