5 fitness trends that ruled the year in Covid-19

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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The Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact people’s life in 2021, and fitness routines weren’t spared either. Here are some trends that stood out.

With the New Year comes new beginnings, expectations and resolutions. The most common resolution for the New Year is to stay fit and healthy. The year 2021 was fraught with the terrible Covid-19 pandemic. Many individuals became aware of the need for health and fitness due to the disease’s spread and its awful consequences. This awareness led individuals to engage in various workouts and yoga.

The following are the top fitness trends that ruled 2021:

  1. Online workouts with virtual training

    Virtual fitness became popular since going to the gym or the local sports center was not an option during the lockdown. People chose to connect with their trainers through video calls like Zoom meetings for online training sessions. There were also online group workouts like aerobics or Zumba and meditation sessions, where trainers logged in with their trainees and kept track of them during the session.

  2. Mental fitness through mindful exercise:

    Many people experienced anxiety, tension and fear as a result of the pandemic. It was vital to work on these issues through mindful exercises to boost the mood and overall health. Many people tried everything – from power yoga to meditation and Tai chi to improve their mind-body connection.

  3. High Intensity Interval Training

    It’s no surprise that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been the fitness industry’s big winner in recent years and the trend continued in 2021. HIIT is a rapid and effective way to lose weight and build lean muscle, which is what most everyday fitness enthusiasts seek – and it can be done with or without equipment, at a gym or at home. All of these elements made HIIT programming simple and appealing to the public.

  4. Road to Solo Fitness

    For most of us, staying indoors for the majority of 2020 and 2021 has been challenging. You may have been allowed to walk outside and get the much-needed exercise depending on where you reside, but the lockdown indeed knocked down the people’s zeal and enthusiasm in the beginning. As the situation eased with time, sports that naturally lend themselves to social separation, such as golf, outdoor cycling, and surfing, continued as a 2021 trend. Surfing gained traction as a physically and mentally demanding sport on the East and West Coasts of the US. As a result, post-pandemic, these solo sports continued to expand as a means to be outside while maintaining a physical distance.

    People preferred outdoor activities like running and cycling. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

  5. Opting for sports and outdoor workouts

    Those who had spent almost a year at home due to the pandemic missed the delight of being outside once the lockdown was lifted. As a result, instead of going to the gym, many turned to outdoor exercise and sports for their daily workout. Outdoor workouts – from jogging on the roads in the morning for a breath of fresh air to playing football or cricket on the grounds while listening to the bird’s chirping from the trees – were favoured.

  6. Group training

    Group training is a cost-effective approach to get back into shape after a long break. It also gives you access to a competent coach or trainer. While it may take some time for group training to reclaim its total capacity, 2021 saw an inflow of new members searching for a fresh way to get in shape and socialize once the limits were gone.

The future of fitness

To look forward accurately, you should start by looking back. The pandemic year was one filled with uncertainty, which surely puts a dent in your fitness dreams. Health took a backseat with gyms closed and livelihoods at risk, but 2021 brought back fitness goals.

Workout sessions at home became creative in 2021. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“The shutdowns and challenges the fitness industry has endured in 2020 have paved the way for large-scale technology disruptors and major evolutions in fitness offerings,” Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) CEO Steve Pettit said.

The fitness industry is expected to keep up with the trend and situation, and provide a more personalized approach to fitness and health with ever-changing technology in the coming year. From home workouts to virtual and game training and health monitoring, 2022 promises to make fitness more accessible and enjoyable for all.

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