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fitness trends 2021

Fitness trends that should be on your radar & how to stay motivated

Fitness trends 2021

 How we’ll be getting fit and staying well in the year ahead.

Home gyms

The pandemic and subsequent closure of gyms has led many of us to create a space in our homes for some basic fitness equipment. Some have gone for the whole experience with a garden room or spare room turned into a home gym, complete with the likes of a Peloton bike where you can join in virtual classes and motivate yourself by climbing up the leaderboard. Even when gyms are open, having that extra convenience to add in a routine at home when we feel like it will stay.

Outdoor fitness

The lockdown saw many of us take our training outside. When pandemic restrictions said we could still meet one other person from another household outside for exercise, we jumped at the opportunity, whether it was a friend that we would have previously met for a coffee or a personal trainer. Combining exercise with being in nature is good for our wellbeing too. Group bootcamps are set to stay. We’re also seeking challenges that will push us to achieve our best. Bear Grylls’ military based fitness sessions are a good place to start.

Restorative fitness rather than aesthetics

Our fitness goals have changed and we’re more interested in the real health benefits of exercise than what it can do for our appearance. Says Ollie Thompson, personal trainer at boutique studios SIX3NINE: “Social media has contributed heavily in recent years towards developing a very aesthetics-driven approach within fitness and health. I believe we’ve seen this shift during 2020 as people’s goals, reasons to stay fit and approaches to fitness have moved to a more holistic focus on health. It has become less about body fat or abs and more about how we feel mentally, how our body feels day-to-day and how healthy we are from a preventative health perspective. I truly hope and predict that we will see this shift continue to be the case during 2021 and beyond!

Ask yourself what your fitness goals are for 2021 – if your first reaction is to say that you want more toned thighs, make it about hitting a target to improve your fitness levels instead. The Couch to 5k app is a good place to start.

Posture and form redefining exercise regimes

One potential drawback of WFH is that we often don’t have the right desk set-up, add in the lockdown which has us lounging around on our sofas more than we should, and we have a recipe for bad posture and potential health issues. Says Justin Rogers, creative director at Ten Health & Fitness, which bridges the gap between the exercise and medical sector: “What lockdown and certainly working from home has taught, is that collectively, posture and form is one of the biggest health concerns for many. With less movement, more couch-time and certainly terrible WFH set ups, we need our movement and wellbeing regime to help us undo all the damage we cause. We need low-impact, targeted and tailored sequences that strengthen our joints, improve our posture and flexibility and allow a more seamless movement experience all round.”

Mind over Muscle

Yoga and Pilates have been more popular than ever as we looked at how to improve both our mental health as well as our physical fitness.

Says Sarah Durnford, head trainer at Les Mills UK: “With uncertainty and anxiety levels soaring, expect a resurgence in workouts that incorporate mindfulness and aid mental health, beyond the standard exercise benefits.” Its BODYBALANCE programmes is a blend of yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates and regular sessions can help banish the lockdown blues, increase sleep quality and boost mental health.

Adds Ollie Thompson, of SIX3NINE: “The difficult times we’ve all faced during this year has had a huge impact on our mental health. Thankfully, there are some awesome apps out there that have supported millions across the country during this time and I fully expect 2021 to be the biggest year yet for mental health apps. Apps such as, Moodfit, Headspace and Calm are just a few that lead this push.”

Small group fitness

We will be looking for smaller group exercise sessions when we do venture back into a studio. Says Ollie: “With restrictions in place and clients likely wishing to avoid busy gyms and classes for the foreseeable, I think small group training, whether it be classes or PT, will be on the up.”

Augmented reality & gadgets

Your personal instructor in your own home – even during a lockdown? Absolutely – augmented reality is the way to go. Explains Zoe Bertali, co-founder of the Refine with ALFI app: “The app has been created with motion capture and augmented-reality technology; which overlays digital content in the form of a fitness instructor onto the physical world — as if they’re actually there with you, in your own space.” The Refine with ALFI app is initially launching with yoga (and will be followed by HIIT), and each session comes with a bespoke posture clinic option. Users can browse the collection of yoga movements used in the class to learn the significance and benefits of each technique.

We’re also using fitness monitoring devices and smartwatches more than ever, from tracking how many steps we’ve walked, miles run, to our heart rate.

Blended fitness

Gym members are demanding that they can access classes wherever and whenever it suits them best. They want live classes in their homes as well as at their club.

Says Martin Franklin, CEO of Les Mills Europe:“Covid-19 has changed the game forever, making digital fitness a core expectation of every gym-goer in the world. Live fitness experiences remain the pinnacle – it’s hard to replicate the motivation of a thrilling live class or the sheer choice of strength equipment at home – but digital workouts offer high convenience and are particularly useful if you can’t get out of the house.”

Adds Ollie: “In recent times, the popularity of both virtual training with a personal trainer and within a class setting has massively increased in popularity. The vast majority of fitness professionals, gyms and studios have transitioned their services into a digital format and it has been a huge success! We offer both virtual and in-person personal training to meet this demand.

“In 2021 we can expect more of the same. Existing trainers and studios will be pushing their online services, along with a ton of new competition entering the digital training space.”

Move as a unit

It wasn’t just the kids that exercised with Joe Wicks online for his morning PE sessions. Parents joined in as we lunged around the lounge and did burpees in our bedrooms. This idea of everyone in the family helping to motivate each other and have a good giggle while we’re at it, is set to stay.

During the pandemic, Les Mills offered schools free access to its exercise programme Born to Move. Global Business Development, Justine Williams, says this trend for family exercise is set to stay, bringing parents and children together in a mindful way through exercise. “We believe this isn’t just something that will last just for the pandemic but forever – families who exercise together, stay healthy together!”

And here’s how to stay motivated…

Ebou N’jie, from mobile personal trainers and coaches, Physical Excellence reveals his tips:

Establish your why

Why do you want to work out? Once you establish why you want to work out, this gives you a purpose. This purpose will help establish the steps that you will take towards your purpose/destination.

Set Goals!

Setting goals is extremely important because once you set goals you now have a real target to hit. Remember to push yourself but set realistic goals that you are capable of reaching.

What you consume, consumes you!

Create healthy eating habits but remember once again, do not make drastic changes. Make small sustainable changes that you can maintain and improve on every month.

Keep track

It is beneficial for you to write down your workouts and keep track of them.

Its ok to slip up!

Remember that we are all humans and when we do fall short we should simply stand up, take a deep breath, dust yourself off and get ready to resume your journey.

Stay motivated

It is important to keep yourself motivated and one of the best ways to do this is by going back to your reason “why” then look at your “goals” and picture yourself achieving them.

Get ready for success

Success here means success in your own terms whether it means accomplishing your goals, creating better habits or whatever you have set for yourself. Success is your journey and not anyone else’s destination.