by Sarah Hughes
We all head into the new year with the best of intentions don’t we? After the excesses of the festive season we often feel bloated, low in energy and less than our best. That’s why gyms are busy, classes are heaving and the paths are filled with joggers throughout January.
But if we want to keep our motivation levels high throughout February and beyond, we need to keep the fun factor present and continue to challenge ourselves. As a trainer I’m always really interested in what the buzz is around new fitness trends… after all variety is the spice of life isn’t it!? I’m a firm believer that trying something new and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the key to making workouts feel like a treat rather than a chore!
So what are the fitness crazes all the cool kids will be trying out in 2023? Let’s have a look at six key trends…
It started out as a convenient way to keep exercising and stay connected to others during the pandemic,but it seems online workouts are here to stay. A recent study in the United States indicated that 56.1% of regular exercisers are now working out online at home on a weekly basis. This has meant large gym chains as well as smaller boutique fitness companies have had to diversify their offering. Lots of companies now offer a Hybrid model where members have access to both face-to-face classes and online content, meaning we can have both convenience and community.
Advanced Wearable Tech
This trend has been on the rise for the past five years, but 2023 will see the popularity of more advanced wearable technology rocket. It’s no longer as simple as tracking your sleep, setting your step counter or looking at your sedentary vs active time on your watch. The huge advances being made in Artificial Intelligence technology means personalized training is about to become much more accessible without having to book in with a personal trainer in a local gym. Fusing together your biometric data, activity levels, and goals, AI-based training programs are able to deliver highly personalized exercise regimes.
As well as individualised workout regimes, exercisers using certain AI programs will be able to work with a virtual PT who prescribes moves perfect for your body, at an intensity to match and improve your fitness.
The mind boggles!
More and more people are realising that exercising is part of a much bigger picture and want to focus on overall wellness. It means that classes like Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi will continue to be popular choices for those of us who want to take a holistic approach to our training.
Again there’s a crossover with technology here and it’s predicted that apps offering guided meditation and mindfulness will continue to grow in popularity.
Soothing our souls through breathwork and stretching will become a key priority for us in 2023. The best thing about this type of exercise is that it’s inclusive and adaptable for all levels, so no excuse not to get on board and be kind to your mind.
I’ll level with you now, this one is in no way as exciting as it sounds. We are not suggesting taking crisps into the gym…
Instead the focus here is on integrating small bouts of physical activity into your day rather than having to carve out the time for one big workout. So, think ten minutes of light cardio first thing out of bed, sneaking in some squats and lunges during your morning tea break, heading out for a short brisk walk mid afternoon and then treating yourself to ten minutes of core work or a short yoga flow once the kids are in bed.
Lots of us have been under the misconception that training in this way won’t give us the results we want, but increasingly research shows that breaking up our workouts into shorter, more intense bouts of exercise can be even more beneficial for our bodies.
Professor Ken Nosaka, an exercise and sports science professor at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, has been exploring how even exceptionally small amounts of exercise can have a surprising effect. He discovered that choosing frequency over volume when exercising leads to strength gains and improved technique.
So drop the guilt if you can’t fit in a whole hour long class and just fit in a few small bursts of exercise a day!
Virtual Reality Workouts
Gaming isn’t something we naturally associate with getting fit is it? In fact the stereotype still tends to be a sedentary teenaged boy in a dark (possibly smelly) bedroom.
But gaming is still on the increase in females and there’s a whole new element available to those of us wanting to exercise whilst competing against other gamers.
A raft of games emerged in 2022 allowing gamers to get sweaty and fit whilst taking part in a truly immersive experience. 2023 will see the launch of new games from all the big gaming giants. There are tons out there but three family favourites are:
Dance Central - allows you to pick your tunes and go head-to-head with your mates undertaking cardio dance challenges.
FitXR - sees you boxing your way through the game, uppercutting and jabbing your opponents for a true adrenalin hit.
OhShape - this one will have you dodging obstacles left and right, or positioning your body in all sorts of flexible ways to fit yourself through walls with human-shaped cutouts. Sounds like a more fun way to burn calories than pounding the pavement to me!
Yep you heard me… good old fashioned walking is back with a vengeance for 2023. It’s in part due to the 12-3-30 trend that went viral in 2022. The 12-3-30 is a treadmill-based workout where you set the treadmill to an incline of 12 and a speed of 3 miles per hour and then walk for 30 minutes. It's a highly effective low-impact way to build cardio fitness and improve lower body strength. It’s also proving to be a good option for anyone with injuries which have held them back from higher impact workouts. Although a great strategy to get new or anxious exercisers moving, the idea of low-impact workouts being just for beginners is fast becoming a thing of the past. Even hardcore fitness fanatics are starting to value low-impact movement and the role it plays in a well-balanced and healthy training regime.