As 2021 begins to shuffle off this mortal coil and we look to 2022, those in the fitness industry are gearing up for some changes. It’s only natural that new trends emerge alongside the new year, as though the blank page of a new calendar year brings with it the chance of new beginnings, especially when those beginnings relate to the out-loud goals of fitness. Whether it’s weight loss, consistent training, or tackling an endurance event like a marathon or Ironman, the new year is a time to prioritise health and look to those small changes we can make daily to ensure we stay on top of our fitness as the months accumulate and the shine of the new year wanes.
While the pandemic has certainly made us reassess our lifestyle choices, it’s also safe to say that it’s had some impact on the fitness industry and the trends that are set to emerge in 2022. Now more than ever, it’s not just a matter of getting those 30 minutes of exercise daily, but also prioritising those other aspects of wellness that make health holistic – things like mental health, sleep, and recovery.
This more complete, well-rounded approach to our lives is set to revolutionise fitness, with more people looking to focus on areas that improve health that don’t just relate to strength or cardiovascular endurance. Here, we present the innovative trends and changes that are set to occur in the fitness landscape come 2022.
Calisthenics is a form of strength training that consists of various bodyweight exercises to push the body to its true physical potential. It might sound extreme, but the chances are you’re already doing a version of calisthenics in your own strength training already. Squats, lunges, press ups and planks are all basic calisthenic exercises that are used as a foundation to move onto bigger and more impressive moves.
While calisthenics certainly looks cool, it serves an important purpose too. Essentially, it’s all about taking note of body position to ensure a strong central core and smooth line. The best part is you don’t need any fancy equipment. Pull up bars and resistance bands certainly come in handy at times, but they’re not essential to engage in the practice.
According to research conducted by the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association, 3.2 million UK households bought a new pet during lockdown, and it’s estimated that those in Australia experienced a similar inclination to enter lockdown with a fur baby. We might not be in lockdown anymore, but with a dog in tow, more of us will be doing canicross in 2022. This basically involves running with your dog, and is a great way to increase your fitness while bonding with your canine companion.
To do canicross safely, you’ll need to ensure your dog has a proper harness and stretchy lead, as well as a waist band for yourself. If you don’t use the right harness, your dog could get injured or have joint problems later in life, and the same applies to you if you’re not using the right support from the waist band. It takes a little bit of practice to get used to the idea of canicross, but it’s a great way to get outdoors and move your body.
Where it used to be the case that athletes only ever talked about their workout and training, now they’re increasingly waxing lyrical about breath work. Yep, it turns our breathing is just as important as the training you put your body through and as CrossFit champion and four-time Fittest Man on Earth, Rich Froning, can attest, you can even hack your breathing to achieve better performance.
Breathwork involves specific breathing techniques that help open up the lungs, while also allowing the mind, body and soul to better deal with stress. Techniques include deep abdominal breathing, 4-7-8 breath, alternate nostril breathing and holotropic breathwork. For those who have never done breathwork, it might all sound a bit ridiculous. But learning to regulate the flow of your breathing can pay dividends in your life, even outside of the realm of fitness. Consider giving a presentation at work or going for a job interview, being able to control your breathing can help combat negative feelings that arise and help you stay calm and centred.
From Garmin and Suunto to the Apple Watch, wearable tech has got a firm hold on the fitness industry and isn’t letting go anytime soon. It’s expected that wearable tech will continue to dominate the fitness industry, with even more devices and innovations in the coming months. The accuracy and capability of such devices will continue to improve, with some even looking to offer AI and VR to make exercise more enjoyable.
Where 2021 saw the rise of the online workout and streaming platforms, personal trainers will once again reign supreme in 2022. With gyms slowly reopening and many looking to enlist the services of trained professionals to help them navigate their fitness journey (and stick to a plan), the need for structure has never been more important. As well as that, more people want someone to hold them accountable to their goals and training schedule, which is where a personal trainer proves particularly helpful.
This time though, you can count on personal trainers getting you out of the gym and into the outdoors. The popularity of outdoor activities increased dramatically during lockdown and it’s safe to say that the trend is sticking around. You can expect to see PTs running bootcamps, 1 on 1 sessions in parks, and green spaces all to keep our bodies and minds fit and healthy.