A new year brings new goals and resolutions, with some thinking, “new year, new me.” The top new year's resolution is unsurprisingly focused around well-being, which includes exercising more, losing weight, and living life to the fullest. This isn’t anything new and it’s especially relevant considering we’re all managing additional stress due to COVID-19.
Although there are many things we can’t control right now, we can help manage our stress with physical activity and exercise. Physical activity not only helps with managing stress, it also helps alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, improves quality of sleep, aids in maintaining a healthy body weight and reduces your health risks (e.g. cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes). To help you improve your well-being and stay motivated during this uncertain time, we’ve rounded up the top four fitness trends predicted by experts for 2021!
With employees working remotely, it’s no surprise that they’re also working out virtually from the safety of their homes. With online training, the opportunities are endless! There are countless fitness classes available, whether you’re looking for a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, want to build muscle with a strength training course, or increase flexibility with a yoga class, all these options are available to you and most are for free! Online training can also include virtual challenges to help you stay motivated and focused on fitness self-improvement. Challenges are varied and depend on your goals but many individuals are participating in half marathons, cycling challenges, or mastering skills (e.g. increasing the number of pull-ups they can perform).
If you’re in need of some extra guidance, accountability or want an individualized fitness plan, an online trainer might be exactly what you need! Online trainers can offer great flexibility in terms of location (you can workout in the comfort of your home) and schedule. This is especially useful since most gyms are closed or hold a limited capacity. Personal trainers offer their expertise and can track your progress thanks to apps (e.g. steps and heart rate variability). What’s more, working out with a virtual trainer is more affordable than hiring someone in-person.
Athletes have also relied on online training (e.g. video conferencing) to stay in touch with their coaches, physios and other members of their sports medicine team during the pandemic.
Making workouts more accessible in 2021 seems to be a common theme!
Wearable technology comes in the form of devices worn to collect data on an individuals’ personal health and fitness. Whether it’s tracking how many steps you took, flights of stairs you’ve climbed or your heart rate, wearable tech is becoming increasingly popular. The demand for wearable tech has more than tripled in the last four years and shows no sign of slowing down.
Luckily, there are numerous options available to help you train optimally:
- The Apple Watch has a blood oxygen sensor that enables users to better understand their overall well-being and tracks sleep, workout types, steps taken and more!
- The Withings ScanWatch monitors blood oxygen saturation and tracks breathing while you sleep, among other things.
- Carv is specifically designed for skiers and is the world’s first digital ski instructor. This device is placed in a ski boot to analyze technique and provide live feedback to improve performance (e.g. how to carve).
Wearable tech is even popular amongst athletes to help them reach peak performance.
Body Weight Training
While gyms are temporarily unavailable, many are resorting to creating home gyms, however, setting up a space and getting equipment can be daunting, not to mention expensive. That’s why a growing trend in 2021 is body weight training! Body weight training is exactly how it sounds - using the weight of the body to train. This can be performed through a combination of varying resistance, movements and multiple planes - the options are never-ending. This type of training can improve balance, flexibility and strength.
Here are some other benefits of body weight training:
- Efficient - you can get great results in a short amount of time.
- Combines strength and cardio - this type of training gets your heart pumping while building muscle.
- Easily switch it up - no need to switch machines, just the type of exercise you perform.
- Free - no need for expensive equipment.
- Accessible - you can perform body weight exercises just about anywhere, even at the park!
With this top trend in fitness you have no excuse not to exercise!
The pandemic has confined us to our homes, however we can still go outside to get some physical exercise! Obviously this fitness trend is weather dependent, but as long as you’re prepared for what mother nature has in store, there are endless possibilities.
Here are some outdoor activities to try:
- Hiking - as long as you have the right attire, hiking can be a great way to stay active (and get your steps in).
- Water-based exercises - These exercises are great for improving joint health and endurance.
- Biking - if you bike vigorously, you can burn up to 600 calories in an hour!
- Tennis - a relatively inexpensive sport which can strengthen your muscles and improve hand eye coordination.
- Paddling - whether it’s canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddling, these activities are great for strengthening your core and your bones.
- Skiing - while this activity can be more costly, it’s a great way to enjoy nature in the winter. The benefits of downhill skiing include improved flexibility, engaged core, and improved mood though increased production of endorphins.
- Skating - also another activity to enjoy in the winter (or year-round at an indoor rink), skating improves core muscles, cardiovascular health and balance.
Clearly, there are numerous benefits to enjoying outdoor activities while staying active.
When athletes incorporate these fitness trends into their routine, it’s important for sports medicine professionals to stay on top of their injuries, treatments, health status and more with an Athlete Electronic Health Record (EHR) like Presagia Sports. Easy-to-use and secure solutions like this enable sports medicine professionals to better manage their athlete’s performance and recovery (even from afar during a pandemic), so they can continue performing at an optimal level.
Please note that we are not fitness experts, and you should always consult a qualified professional for what’s best for you.