Sweat Often

The Evolution of Fitness: 10 Killer Trends We’re Trying in 2022


It’s hard to talk about anything these days without mentioning the impact COVID-19 has had on all aspects of our lives, including the way we approach fitness. With traditional gyms faced with challenging restrictions, many facilities have had to pivot to meet safety guidelines while continuing to deliver the workout experience members expect.

It hasn’t been easy for any of us, but in the name of health, wellness, and getting our fitness on, we (lovers of a nutritious and healthy lifestyle) continue to find hacks for incorporating exercise into our “new normal.”

Here are some of the hottest new and evolving trends in the fitness world, including: The equipment and tech that helps us get it done, the gear we wear to sweat it out, and the places we choose to roll out our mats, and more. Check out what we believe fitness will look like in 2022 and beyond.

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2022

If anything is certain for 2022, it’s that we’re intent on figuring out how to fit exercise into our ever-changing lifestyles. Sure, we’re busier than ever, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to sacrifice our health; it only means we’re getting more creative, and more mindful about how we’re moving our bodies.

All-in-one approach to fitness

Now, more than ever, the fitness industry is approaching exercise in a holistic way—one that results in more than just a fit body. Today, we want to be fit physically, but also mentally.

As a result, gyms and other fitness brands have evolved their offerings to include more than just fitness equipment, tech and a space (or app) to help members sweat it out. They’re also integrating nutrition, mindfulness, and accountability into their services, and gym-goers (or app users) are eating it up.

Gyms and fitness brands are offering wellness communities and coaching for added inspiration to help members with every aspect of their health and wellness goals. Whether we’re at home or in a gym, we’re working out together and connecting to like-minded individuals who prioritize their health and fitness, and we expect more of the same in 2022.

Shorter workouts without sacrificing results

While nothing quite trumps the feeling you get after going for a long run, the benefits of shorter, more intense workouts, such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) are many. Aside from the time savings, you can also burn 25%-30% more calories doing this type of exercise, compared to more moderate-intensity workouts . The ability to get more out of your workouts in less time makes it easier to fit some fitness into even the busiest of schedules, or while traveling.

Many HIIT workouts can even be done without any fitness equipment whatsoever, using only bodyweight resistance, which makes them even more accessible. In a world where our schedules are jam-packed and time is of the essence, shorter workouts that can be done from anywhere are here for the foreseeable future.

Nature is the best gym

What’s better than an intense sweat session? One that can be done with nature as your stunning backdrop! Getting outside for a walk, jog, hike, or bike ride, alone or with a friend–human or canine–combines the best of two worlds. We’re burning calories while breathing in fresh air. And, if you bring your pooch along, then he or she is getting their exercise on, too.

More strength training

While cardio certainly has its place in our fitness routines, strength training is often misunderstood and underestimated as far as its benefits are concerned. There are so many reasons why strength training and weight lifting are good for your health, and not just if you’re trying to bulk up or win a bodybuilding competition.

In fact, if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off for good, strength training is where it’s at. Adding strength training to your fitness routine helps keep your metabolism functioning at optimal levels, and it can be done with or without weights, making it another popular fitness trend.

No boys allowed!

No offense, guys, but sometimes women want to work out with only other women. This isn’t a new concept, by any means, but women-only gyms appear to be on the rise again. Perhaps it’s because our bodies are so different from men’s, or that many women feel more comfortable working out with other women. As a result, females are uniting (again!) to lift, sweat and improve their health in the comfort of a girl-gang environment.

Stretch it out

This one’s sort of surprising, given our focus on shorter workouts, but in the name of efficiency, it makes complete sense. Stretching after a workout helps your body’s muscles to recover, so you can come back again tomorrow and do it all again with minimal soreness. We’re finding that more and more people are prioritizing stretching these days. Even when time is tight, we’re finding ways to fit this crucial aspect of fitness into our routines.

Mixing it up (Virtual & Hybrid Workouts)

With advances in technology and the ability to work out pretty much anywhere at any time, we’re seeing more and more people opting for virtual and hybrid approaches to fitness. Sometimes you just want to be around other people; we feed off of each other’s energy and get inspiration from seeing others work hard. Other times, we either can’t physically go to the gym, or we just would rather work out alone.

And, with all the latest wearable tech and at-home equipment available, it has become a lot easier to choose on any given day, when, where, and how we work out. While Peloton and Mirror exploded during the height of the pandemic, there’s still a place for these smart home gyms, but we’re seeing a return to physical gyms as well.

RELATED: The Best Fitness Trackers for Women

In fact, 75% of virtual fitness users also go to in-person classes, according to Runrepeat.com. Gyms offering a mix of in-person and virtual workouts are seeing great results, and this trend should continue for some time.

Inclusive fitness apps

New apps are emerging for fitness enthusiasts who are seeking simply to move their bodies more, without a focus on weight loss, diets, or achieving the “perfect” physique. These apps are offering diverse options for living a healthier lifestyle for bodies of all types. Here are a few to check out for yourself: Joyn, The Underbelly, Big Fit Girl, and The Fitness Marshall.

Sustainable fitness clothing

We live in an increasingly eco-conscious society, so it’s no surprise that we’re becoming more mindful of the impact of the clothes we wear, including the ones we sweat in. Eco-friendly fitness wear companies are emerging with options for those who like to work out in style, but also care about limiting their eco-footprint. Some of these companies include Girlfriend, SummerSalt, and Reformation’s Active Collection, featuring recyclable pieces made from recycled materials.

Nutrition and wellness coaching

Life has been throwing us all a lot of curveballs lately, making our commitment to health and fitness more challenging to keep. Thankfully, we’re seeing a significant increase in nutrition coaches, personal trainers and wellness coaches looking to enter the field right now to help us get through these difficult times and come out healthier on the other side. If you could use some help navigating your health journey, there are a variety of coaches out there ready to help you focus on whatever aspect of your wellness you desire. And if you’re looking to join this red-hot industry, we have to give a shout-out to our very own Nutritious Life Studio! (Check out our Become a Nutrition Coach program today!)

Whatever your fitness goals for 2022 are, the 10 trends here are sure to help you find new ways to live a healthy, fit life, based on your individual needs, preferences, goals and comfort levels. Sounds like it’s going to be an amazing year!

(Image: Shutterstock)

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