When it comes to fitness, 2022 will be the most exciting year in a long time. The results of the COVID-19 pandemic – things like gym lockdowns and increases in mental health struggles – have caused many to rethink the role of fitness in their lives. We all know that we should stay active and eat a balanced diet to keep ourselves healthy, but what else does it mean to be “fit” in a COVID-19-affected world?
Read on to discover the trends that will influence the fitness space in the new year and how to use them to improve your fitness and overall health. Of course, the start of a new year is the best time for new resolutions! Whether we’re discussing wearable technology, in-home exercise equipment or mental health care, these trends all have the potential to change your lifestyle for the better.
Mind & Body
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of unexpected stress in many people’s lives. One study found that over a quarter of US adults reported elevated depressive symptoms in 2021. The added stress of simple activities like grocery shopping, traveling and interacting in social environments has caused many individuals to deal with mental health in ways they didn’t have to before. The good news is that the fitness community took notice, and the wellness trends you’ll be seeing in 2022 can help us respond.
Instead of simply exercising the body, fitness trainers and gyms in 2022 will be paying attention to the connection between body and mind. One example comes from the company iFIT, which recently created iFIT Mind. This program will intentionally create holistic exercise routines, catering to both mind and body needs. Activities will include meditation sessions and media discussing mindfulness practices. If the stress of recent years has caused you to evaluate your mental health thoughtfully, or if you wish to become more mindful in your daily life – this kind of holistic fitness content will be the trend for you!
The next trend to consider as 2022 begins is wearable fitness trackers. The most well-known example is the Fitbit series of wearables. Still, many other brands have now broken into the market to create technology that tracks different indicators of your health. This is one trend that won’t be slowing down anytime soon!
This is especially exciting because the technology has been in development for years now. Where the original devices only tracked a limited range of health indicators, the more recent devices have become a hub for all the personal health info you could want. Items like resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature and respiratory rate are now being tracked and reported.
Even more exciting – these wearable devices can be tailored to your personal sense of style. You’re probably familiar with the watch style of many initial fitness trackers, but there’s also a market for fitness-tracking rings. Oura and Motiv are the leading competitors as 2022 begins, with rings that track everything from heart rate to sleep health.
Virtual Reality Fitness
The final trend deserving of mention is the concept of virtual reality fitness. For many people, the phrases “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” conjure up images of expensive headsets and technology that doesn’t exist yet. However, there are uses beyond just headsets. Using augmented reality to upgrade your fitness routine could be as simple as downloading an app and listening to its audio as you run.
One popular example of the virtual reality fitness trend is the application Zombies, Run!, released in 2012. With an audience continuing to grow, the app is essentially an audio drama that narrates your run, with intervals of walking, jogging and running, encouraging you to change speed when the story demands it. This is an example of the “gamification” of fitness, which has already seen great results by making exercise more accessible and rewarding. With technology continuing to facilitate the experience of working out, you can expect to see more virtual reality gamification in 2022!
A Parting Reminder
No matter which trend interests you most, there are exciting developments in the fitness world that can improve year. Programs that address physical and mental wellness, wearable technology that tracks subtle indicators like heart rate and sleep and virtual reality trends are all being developed to help you become as fit as you can. So be on the lookout this year for new fitness trends that suit your lifestyle!