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Fitness Trends of 2022
The effect that Covid-19 has had on every industry in the world has been enormous, and the fitness industry is no exception. Although the gyms shut and people were required to stay inside, the need for individuals to continue to exercise and maintain their health and fitness, was not locked down. Online personal training and online gym classes exploded in their popularity, as did the use of exercise programs such as bodyweight training, which can be done in people’s homes. Wearable fitness tracking technology continued to gain popularity, making useful fitness information available to everyone. These and other trends, while finding their feet during the pandemic, have now continued their growth into 2022, and are projected to keep doing so into the foreseeable future.
Benefits of bodyweight
Before and during covid, and now moving into 2022, bodyweight training programs have become more and more popular with people, as they are exercises that can be easily completed at home and by workers who are again now on the road and staying in hotels. Bodyweight training is a type of strength training that utilises your own bodyweight against the force of gravity on your body. Bodyweight exercises do not involve the use of equipment, except for something like a pull-up bar. Common bodyweight exercises are simple to do, and include squats, walking lunges, pushups, planks, sit ups, and jumping jacks. As well as being ‘portable’ and easy to do, bodyweight exercises have other benefits such as helping to prevent injury. The exercises help prevent injury as they strengthen back and core muscles which keep you stable and strong through those key areas. Finally, bodyweight training is popular because it is accessible to all skill and fitness levels, and you can extend and increase the difficulty on exercises as you gain more strength and confidence.
HIIT the ground running
Another exercise program that has been growing in popularity is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This form of training is made up of short bursts of maximum effort exercise, followed by a period of rest equal to that of the exercise. One of the reasons that HIIT is popular is because of the same reason bodyweight training is, and that is the fact it can be done anywhere that you want to exercise, be that at home, on the road, or at your local gym. In a further similarity to bodyweight training, you do not necessarily need equipment to have a good HIIT workout. Interval training also allows your body to retain a heightened metabolic rate for hours after the workout is completed, meaning you continue to burn calories even after the workout is completed.
A variation on HIIT, called ZUU, uses exercises based on animalistic movements such as frog squats or donkey kicks. ZUU is used by top line sporting teams such as the Cronulla Sharks NRL team and the Brisbane Lions AFL team. Although a fantastic exercise regimen to follow, HIIT or variations of it, should only be undertaken 2-3 days a week to allow your body to recover between sessions. The other days give you the opportunity to do some strength training, or to exercise the areas of the body which were not used during HIIT.
Wearable fitness technology
Wearable fitness tracking technology, which includes things such as smartwatches, smart jewelry, fitness bands (such as Fitbit), and even smart clothing, have continued to see their popularity and use grow through the pandemic and into 2022. The rise in popularity during covid was due in part to people wanting to become more aware of their own health and wellbeing. With product popularity comes a rise in sales, and on their own, global shipments of smartwatches rose 47 percent on the second quarter of 2021. Overall, the fitness tracker market is predicted to grow from its USD 36 billion value in 2020, to USD 114 billion in 2028 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15% during the outlined growth period.
Furthermore, the popularity of fitness technology comes from its ability to provide the individual with personalised fitness data. This data has moved from providing a simple step count, to now being able to monitor a person’s heart rate, stress levels, calories burnt, blood oxygen levels and determining the quality of sleep that was had. When taken together, these different forms of data allow an individual with the help of an app on their phone, to adjust their exercise routine to ensure they are not putting their body under too much strain. Moving further into the future, wearable technology will become even more advanced, being able to measure things such as blood glucose levels and gaining the ability to predict health issues before they are obvious.
Expansion of fitness online
As the traditional fitness industry suffered under the dark clouds of covid, the online fitness sector grew quickly to fill the void. Estimated at a value of 6 billion dollars in 2019, the online fitness market is expected to reach 59 billion by 2027. While the covid shutdowns of gyms has been a major driver of growth, lack of time to visit fitness institutions, more people wanting to take care of their health and wellbeing, and the growing popularity with the elderly population, are also playing a part. Online fitness classes can be either pre-recorded or live streamed and let people follow professionally structured fitness sessions from the convenience of their own home, at work during their lunch break, or basically anywhere you have access to a screen and internet. Also, online fitness training gives people who would not normally have access to fitness services, the opportunity to work on their health through an online platform.
With covid now receding in its societal impact, gyms have caught on to the online fitness trend and are beginning to offer combination memberships, that give access to both a physical gym space and now also online classes. One drawback to online fitness training, as it is with many other online activities, is that you will lack human interaction and studies have shown that participating group based activities have a positive impact on mental health. Regardless, all forms of online services, including fitness, are gaining popularity throughout society but it is also necessary to remember human interaction and the importance that plays in our health and wellbeing.
The pandemic has made people consider their health and wellbeing, and so they have sought exercises and fitness services which are accessible no matter where they are or what their daily schedule is. People have flocked to online fitness sessions and sought out exercises which are doable in a small area such as their home. Wearable fitness technology has continued to gain traction, and for those training at home gives valuable data on their performance. Finally, even though we now have access to a plethora of online services and are encouraged toto do as much as possible from home, maintain a connection with other people is as important as ever and will itself play a big part in emerging bigger and better from this period of turmoil.