The fitness industry has had to evolve in the last few months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed in different countries worldwide. But, when it comes to the fitness and health industry, they don’t just lay down their dumbbells and give up; they evolve and create new fitness trends to help people stay fit and healthy whether on a lockdown at home or embracing a whole new way of working out.
Being restricted seems to have positively impacted many people who perhaps hadn’t ever felt good about the gym environment and took to exercising more at home and outdoors. With gym and exercise studios closed for so long and restricting numbers when they did reopen, those already into their fitness and health had to find alternative ways to exercise.
The pandemic was a golden opportunity for industry leaders to pivot and capture new customers attention with online offerings and gave those businesses new to the fitness industry the opportunity to capitalise on the growing need for online and digital exercise platforms and APPs.
Jürg Widmer Probst takes a look at the fitness trends for summer 2021 to see which ones are likely to be here to stay.
Wearable Fitness Trackers and Tech
Wearable tech has soared in popularity so much that there is now a computer chip shortage for digital products! Wearable tech was gaining in popularity before but more so now, mainly because they help people stay motivated by tracking steps, calories burnt, distance covered, and levels climbed, to name just a few benefits. According to Coach Mag, these are the best fitness trackers of 2021.
Virtual Fitness Challenges
So many in-person events had to change to online virtual events in 2020 and 2021. Even the London Marathon was held as an online virtual event this year. Those who enjoy taking part in these big occasion events will miss the atmosphere of so many people competing and cheering together. But there is another audience who may felt compelled to try an online challenge where they wouldn’t if it was an in-person one.
Fitness enthusiasts and those with a competitive streak can revel in the rewards of virtual fitness challenges because many will send you a medal or t-shirt for completing the challenge. The Strava exercise tracking APP grew from 42 million users in 2019 to 76 million users in 2021, and according to them, their currently having 2 million users download their tech every month. So, it seems clear people are more than up for the virtual fitness challenge, and this fitness trend will remain for summer 2021 and beyond.
Walking Back to Fitness
Speaking of competition. None of us knew we had a competitive streak when it came to walking, but lockdown turned us into walking maniacs keen to outdo the step count on our fitness trackers and outdo the distance covered by our friends. Being asked to remain inside for long periods made us all hungry for the fresh air and nature. Walking can have profound long term health benefits, too, and when coupled with a little more rigorous cardio and some strength training, it’s a great way to stay in shape. Far from a trend now, our love of walking seems likely to continue, especially through the summer months and with APPs like Strata and wearables like Fitbit helping keep us motivated and competitive, there’s no stopping us now.
Whether you’re into yoga (LISS – low-intensity steady-state), HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or AMRAP (as many reps as possible), there’s something online for you, and while this trend started during the lockdown, it’s set to continue through summer 2021 and beyond. There are several reasons why online workouts have become so popular. It’s convenient not having to go back and forth to a gym and even get changed out of your PJ’s if you don’t want to. You can join in a group or enjoy one to one training, and you need little to no equipment. The workouts can be 5 minutes or an hour. Joe Wicks HIIT sessions and his PE with Joe were a massive hit on YouTube.
The AMRAP is performing as many reps of an exercise within a set timeframe. This exercise is for those who like to get their sweat on and go a bit beast mode. Just like HIIT and Crossfit, these types of movements create an afterburn that helps keep your heart healthy, builds endurance and increases physical strength.
These fitness trends for summer 2021 will help keep everyone physically and mentally fit and healthy this year and for many years to come. The most important thing is to find something that you enjoy enough to do it consistently, and then you guarantee it will be beneficial to body and mind.