Keeping fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, has never been more important. With restrictions now in place for the beginning of 2021, we’ve rounded up the workouts and fitness trends you can look forward to on your way through to ensure your mind and body are in tip-top condition.
Walking, hiking, jogging, trail running, cycling, and even wild swimming, you name it, people are only going to continue immersing themselves in nature for 2021. There’s something about only being allowed outside once a day that just really makes you want to be outside, by the sea, in woodlands, hiking in mountains, breathing in the fresh air surrounded by nature.
Whether you choose for one of the best UK hiking routes, decide to try a new cycle challenge, or immerse yourself in cold water therapy with a dunk in the sea, there’s something for everyone. Even a simple 20 minutes outside a day, according to a 2019 Nature study, lowers your stress hormones, improves your mood, and boosts your self-esteem.
Research suggests it’s important to make time to get outdoors as well, since doing so is beneficial — maybe essential — for human health. Psychologists and health researchers are finding more and more science-backed reasons we should go outside and enjoy the natural world. Studies have also found that natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost.
More virtual challenges
2021 will see even more people embark on virtual challenges, be that running races of a 5km, 10km, half marathon, marathon, a cycling challenge, or a more general fitness challenge, like mastering your first 20 press-ups.
They’re a very easy way to keep motivated when you’re spending most of your time at home. Set yourself a challenge like, beating your 5km personal best, and you’ll be raring to go come your next run. This is the way people will keep going this year – focusing on fitness self-improvement, in whatever way they can.
Strava’s yearly report found that the total number of challenge joins exceeded 71 million between January and September, with over one million athletes joining the platform’s monthly 5K challenge in May (the most ever in a single challenge).
Virtual challenges will continue to be the easiest way to maintain fitness in a fun, competitive and digital environment moving into 2021.
Virtual wellness is here to stay
Wellness at home is going to continue to be a major driving force in 2021. Anything that was digitally delivered has just taken off, whether it’s telemedicine, virtual therapy, meditation apps or digital fitness platforms. As soon as the pandemic hit, we saw an immediate, exponential explosion of people doing some kind of class online. Fitness equipment sales have also gone up 170% during COVID-19, as those of us with the space and the means turned our homes into makeshift gyms. Virtual wellness makes services much more accessible to everyone, including those who may live in areas where certain classes or practices aren’t offered. We’ll see a return to classes someday, but most people predict that there will be a very strong digital component or mixed digital. For almost a year, people have become very comfortable taking fitness, yoga, meditation – you name it – classes at home.
Whether you use it to track your steps and heart rate or how many kilocalories you’ve burnt and flights of stairs climbed, wearable tech was never more popular than in 2020.
When it comes to wearable tech, the first thing that comes to mind is fitness tracking watches and you can be sure everyone will be on the look out for the latest launches.
The newly released Apple Series 6 now helps users measure oxygen saturation levels, while the Apple SE has water resistance of up to 50 meters which is sure to help swimming enthusiasts.
To support its wearable tech, in December Apple launched its Fitness+ platform, powered by Apple watch, which it says provides ‘an all-encompassing gym membership experience through the Apple devices’ with classes such as HIIT, strength, yoga, dance, core, treadmill, rowing, cycling and more. It works by integrating personal metrics from the watch to users. For example, when a trainer starts a countdown timer on-screen, the timer will also appear on the watch. Users can also find out how they’re efforts compare to others who have completed similar workouts.
For those struggling with sleep during lockdown, they might want to invest in a Xiaomi Mi Band 4 which not only tracks the duration of sleep, deep and light sleep and how long it took for you to fall asleep but also your heart rate and set morning alarms. For budding skiers, Carv has launched the world’s first digital ski instructor. Carv is a wearable device that fits in any ski boots to analyse technique and provide live audio as you ski, whether its tips on how to improve body isolation or teach you how to carve.
In 2021 you can expect to see a huge shift in the fitness industry.
With ever-changing technology, the fitness industry is expected to keep up with the times and provide a more personalised approach to fitness and health.
From at-home workouts to virtual training and health monitoring, 2021 promises to make fitness more accessible and enjoyable for all.
2021 – we’re ready for you!