Expert Predictions for Fitness in 2022 – TechRound
January 18, 2022
2021 brought a variety of changes to all major industries, with health and fitness being no exception. Gym owners were forced to shut down their facilities, meaning there was a huge increase in people buying weights to train at home, undertaking virtual exercise classes and following YouTube tutorials. But what is to come in 2022? Here are our experts’ predictions for the upcoming year!
We’re seeing continued interest in hybrid fitness routines where people embrace a mixture of virtual and real-world experiences. Throughout the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, we have all had to adapt to how and where we exercise. From this, a new mentality that you can exercise anywhere has continued to rise and people will continue to crave this flexibility and convenience in 2022 and beyond.
We’re going to see even more interest in community fitness across 2022. Communities can help you get stronger, healthier, and fitter, and in our experience, they can also help with your sense of belonging and help to boost self-belief. Many of the Her Spirit community are attempting things they never thought possible such as wild swimming or duathlons. The community encourages each other to step up to these challenges and then supports them through training. There is something incredibly powerful about community fitness and this connection and interaction is helping thousands of women reach their potential.
Outdoor activities like hiking, running, cycling, and even wild swimming will continue to gain popularity as people are not only looking to exercise more but benefit from being out in nature.
While the importance of strength training and building muscle mass has been around for some time, awareness around why this is so important, especially for women, will rise. As more people look to work on functional daily movements and just live a healthier life, strength training will continue to be a fitness trend as it can burn fat, increase bone density, improve posture and balance, prevent injury and improve heart health as well as our mental wellbeing.
Digital fitness products are still by and large, aimed at the under 40s, but there is a huge interest in this market from people well into their 50s, 60s and beyond. Testament to this is the Eastwood Movement Method.
My online workouts are specifically designed for all age groups but with a particular focus on what’s important to remain injury free and strong as we age. Far from the chair-based workouts of old, sessions focus on rediscovering the power of movement at a level of intensity designed to push everyone to work hard. I believe in multi-directional movement to keep the body challenged and strong. My method is tried and tested across all the age groups, without having to suffer through stationary moves!
2022 will be the year of movement! Consumers are beginning to recognise the benefits that just moving your body through its intend range of motion can bring. Our bodies were never designed to sit, slouch or hunch for extended periods, yet that’s exactly what modern life does. At Ten we’ve seen a big increase in our Pilates classes and anecdotally a much greater interest in sessions which focus on increasing range of motion.
5 years ago, corporate wellness meant a free fruit bowl in the office kitchen. Today, employees are actively questioning employers about their corporate wellness policies; Gympass’ research shows that 77% of employees believe it’s ‘important that their employer provides affordable wellness options’, and the answer to that is affecting their decision to join a company or not.
Corporate wellness offerings have become increasingly important to businesses of all shapes and sizes with whole departments created to head up the initiatives. Wellbeing initiatives are no longer a tick-box service, the best employers are recognising the huge and essential benefits that the right programme can bring from a more contented and productive workforce, to a more efficient and profitable business overall.
Over the course of the pandemic, many revelled in the nurturing principles of the practice and have continued to work it into their lives to find physical and mental equilibrium. Although yoga was previously perceived as something only the elite could afford, MoreYoga is a brand determined to shake up the market and make high quality practice accessible to the masses, in studio and online.
More than ever, we want to ensure every person has access to high quality but affordable fitness and wellbeing tools. That’s why we will continue to roll out more studios with the lowest possible membership prices, and why we’ll prioritise making online yoga and mental health support available virtually via digital platforms too. MoreYoga’s model means affordable fitness has reached a higher standard, with more choice and support, without it costing the earth.
Once just the preserve of mums after the school run, group fitness is now transcending the age categories and proving as popular with everyone from teenagers to octogenarians. With its latest data, showing fitness class attendance is at 120% of pre-COVID levels in markets where restrictions have lifted, global group exercise brand Les Mills proves that there has been a worldwide renewed appetite for group fitness.
Much like bars, restaurants and sports events, fitness is experiencing a real ‘live revival’, as people make up for lost time with a renewed appreciation for real-world social settings. Many people have missed the thrill of a busy class and the extra motivation you get from working out with others while being led by a rockstar Instructor.
One of the most advanced and effective tools on the market, Electro-Muscular Stimulation (EMS) Training is paving the way as one of the most efficient exercise forms to reach your desired fitness goals. Through sending a finely tuned electrical signal to the muscles, causing them to contract, EMS Training activates an incredible 98% of muscle fibres vs. 60% through conventional strength training.
Also, unlike conventional methods, EMS Training can target all the major muscle groups simultaneously, making it an unrivalled form of full body exercise. Fitting seamlessly into any busy schedule, only one 20-minute session a week is needed to see real results. Whether that be muscle growth, fat loss, enhanced sports performance, the list goes on, EMS Training can help do it all.
Due to gym closures during the pandemic there has been a significant increase in the number of people working from home. This has made the manufacturers of home fitness equipment consider the best way to keep their buyers motivated.
The past two years have seen a rise in app based workouts, streaming and virtual fitness. As such, more fitness equipment manufacturers are focusing on technological solutions to provide the exerciser with immersive and cutting edge experiences.
One company that has embraced this fully is Icaros. Icaros has designed a number of fitness products that use both apps and virtual reality to transport their users into virtual worlds and gaming scenarios.
The award winning Icaros Flying Machine enables you to fly and dive through virtual worlds while improving your fitness, core strength and muscle tone. By moving your body weight around the central pivot point, the ICAROS Home machine will tilt forward and backward and roll from side to side.
Sensors on the ICAROS transmit your movement to the Virtual Reality world. Therefore you are not only visually but physically connected to the virtual world. ICAROS combines both gaming and fitness aspects that stimulate both your body and mind. The Icaros Cloud is another product that is designed to provide a full body interactive workout. It’s a giant wobble board that will work your core, build lower and upper body muscles and improve coordination and balance through unstable exercises.
Connect the digital interface and you can experience all the ICAROS Cloud exercises on your smartphone, tablet, TV or Pico G2 headset. First download the ICAROS App and you can play exergames, try out specifically designed workouts or follow pre recorded classes. If you have a Pico G2 VR headset you can download VR games flying through virtual worlds or chase down prey.
It is all about creating a “game” experience and creating a more immersive experience.
Incentives and reward schemes are a well-recognised driver for productivity, seen in childhood learning, the workplace, and local coffee shops. Over the past number of years, more and more sport and fitness apps have been deploying reward schemes to encourage physical activity.
According to London Sport research, a large part of the adult population in London faces the motivational challenge of committing to regular exercise. Studies have found that this demographic need incentives to actively participate in exercise.
Last year, the UK government announced its plans to launch a ‘health incentive scheme’, planning to offer financial rewards to motivate the UK population to exercise more.
The UK government aren’t the first of its kind to do so, with the example of the National Step Challenge in Singapore, where participants earned vouchers as a result of meeting daily step count targets. This was a government initiative to keep their population healthy and active.
Incentives are needed for those inconsistently involved in exercise to remain engaged in physical activity. Apps that gamify health and fitness and can provide monetary rewards have seen the benefits, including the likes of Sweatcoin, an app that turns steps into ‘sweatcoins’.
Last year Sweatcoin partnered with the NHS to encourage pre-diabetic patients to exercise, through using their app. The existing NHS diabetes prevention programme had a 27% completion rate, which jumped to an impressive 100% completion rate by the end of the second programme with Sweatcoin.
Looking at younger generations, in a world where Gen-Z are growing up with online banking, instant gratification through social media and increasing interest in crypto currencies, instant rewards and results for their behaviours is what keeps them engaged. We may see an increased demand for reward schemes as younger generations become the dominant users in the health and fitness market.
The pandemic will continue to influence the fitness trends into 2022. I feel that running and cycling are set to become even more popular as people need to find an escape from their households. It’s a cost effective resource and getting outside is good for the work/life balance.
Boutique gyms are also set to become even more popular. Small group personal training is affordable and provides a community and social aspect that working from home lacks for many people. It is a way to meet new people and create new relationships, whilst becoming fitter and healthier. It is also a safe way to exercise in groups during the confines of a pandemic.
Gyms may also find themselves pivoting to offering kids training. Children’s sessions are becoming more popular and small structured classes offer a pandemic-safe alternative to many traditional kids sports. offering kids sessions is a great support for many parents.
3×3 basketball is the latest trend that’s here to stay. Fitness fads come and go, from ‘shake weights’ to ‘thighmasters’, but some trends, such as CrossFit and HIIT, based on pre-existing activities, become integral to the health and well-being of society. This is the path for 3×3 basketball in the UK and across the globe – an engaging, accessible and fun version of an established sport, bolstered by its proliferation on social media and integration with technology.
If you aren’t aware of 3×3, it’s a condensed version of regular 5v5 basketball that is easily understood, intense and very fun. It originated as a streetball game and it’s played on a half court with three players in a team (plus a sub) and 10 minute games. It’s normally played with music in the background and has a ‘festival’ feel – think T20 cricket or 5–a-side football, with more spectacle and music.
Looking briefly at the health benefits, 3×3 allows people to exert short bursts of energy at quick intervals. In addition to enabling more people to be active at one time (12 people can play a game on a full basketball court), studies show that it is “significantly more anaerobic than traditional 5v5 basketball” (Source: FIBA3x3).
Most importantly, a large reason for the growth of the game has been due to its seamless integration with social media, as well as real-time scoring apps and technology.
3×3 was boosted by its inclusion in the Olympics for the first time last year and social media numbers were stratospheric. FIBA3x3 – the governing body and driving force behind 3×3 basketball – reached 54m people on social media, ranked Top 5 in engagement per post on Facebook and Top 10 in twitter’s growth rate.
With fast-paced highlights, easy-to-watch-games and commentary through online streaming platforms (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook), you could say that 3×3 is the Netflix of basketball, which is accessible to all levels and abilities, whether watching or playing.
As a new entrant into the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, it’s testimony to how perfect it is for a modern audience. The scene is set for 3×3 basketball to take centre stage as one of the most well-known fitness and general sporting trends for 2022 and beyond.
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