Need exercise inspiration to get you moving? These exciting fitness trends will give your workout mojo a makeover in 2022!
By Sarah Sellens
When the American College of Sports Medicine revealed in its annual worldwide survey that online training had taken the number one spot for 2021, few were surprised. Covid-19 had transformed the way we exercised: group rides were done virtually, gym workouts were streamed via smart devices, and races were solo efforts uploaded to social platforms.
It wasn’t how we thought 2021 would go. However, it did alter how, why and what we want from exercise. It’s nearly two years on from the first UK lockdown and we’re still experiencing the ramifications of a sudden upturn in workout technology.
Many of us may welcome the ease and convenience of digital exercise. However, there’s also a growing crowd calling out for screen-free fitness and more mindful movement. And that’s not all…here are our predictions of the top fitness trends for 2022.
Top fitness trends for 2022
If you spend all day working at a computer, you may not enjoy looking at a screen while you exercise. However, don’t mistake ‘screen-free’ for ‘old-fashioned’. The rise of audio coaching (apps that provide audio training) is paving the way for a more modern way of working out – sans screen.
‘Screen-based workouts largely require you to be indoors, but the portability of audio fitness means you’re more likely to get outside,’ explains Tim Benjamin, co-founder and trainer on WithU app.
‘Audio coaching is also incredibly accessible for beginners or those who are less digitally savvy. It’s instruction without distraction, meaning people often work out more frequently and with more effective results.’
In today’s high-stress society, it’s important to exercise your mind as well as your body. Boxing offers a total body workout that improves cardiovascular fitness and quashes stress. Plus, in light of female public safety concerns, it’s no wonder women’s boxing is going through a resurgence.
‘Boxing is a whole-body workout during which women can pick up new skills, learn to defend themselves and improve their overall fitness,’ says Stuart, a martial arts instructor at new women’s boxing class, Retrofit.
‘The best way for women to get into boxing is to go to a class. Here, they will be supported by an instructor to help develop technique and ensure they’re training as safely as possible.’
Are you struggling to muster the motivation to move between hot flashes and hormonal upheaval? Despite the fact that the menopause is an inevitable phase of female life, there’s been a woeful lack of tools to help us navigate it – until now.
Menotech (menopausal technology) is a growing branch of femtech (female technology) that provides technology to help ease symptoms. This includes tracking apps, wearables with cooling patches, and digital workout plans tailored specifically to ease symptoms.
We love P.volve, a monthly subscription service offering low-impact resistance exercise that is both mindful and restorative – great for perimenopausal management. The 30-Day Evolution plan (14 days free, then £14.95/month) was created with menopausal and post-menopausal women in mind.
The pandemic has helped normalise the conversation surrounding mental health. This has encouraged a growing number of us to exercise for emotional wellness as well as fitness gains.
Indeed, recent data from Apex Rides shows that a whopping 85 per cent of people exercise specifically to improve their mood. You can expect a growing number of workout brands to offer mindfulness programmes and tips, or to go from a Spin class to a meditation session in a gym near you soon.
It’s becoming clear that we’re all unique and therefore need more personalised approaches to keeping fit. And with studies indicating that 40-60 per cent of the variability between people’s body mass indexes being attributed to genetic factors, it’s no wonder we want more than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Commercial tests could provide you with the opportunity to tap into your epigenetic (the study of how the environment changes how genes work) and DNA know-how.
‘The Bio-Synergy DNA & Epigenetics Testing Kit (£219) is the ultimate DNA blueprint to health, performance and longevity, using algorithms to provide you with the knowledge to make life-changing health improvements and reduce potential genetic health risks,’ explains Daniel Herman, founder of Bio-Synergy.
If 2021 brought us percussive therapy, 2022 is set to be the year of infrared light therapy. It uses infrared light, a healing form of electromagnetic energy, to penetrate the skin and regenerate the body on a molecular, cellular and tissue-based level.
There’s growing research to support its role as an aid that helps with sleep, energy and injury treatment. Plus, there’s a proliferating number of products to boot.
New on our radar is the near-infrared FlexBeam (£549), a flexible light therapy device that offers targeted treatment to where you need it. Use it to prepare for exercise, aid recovery or assist with niggles.
Digital fitness shows no signs of slowing down in 2022. A blended schedule of in-gym and at-home training is set to become even more popular.
‘Online classes are easily accessible,’ explains Chris Antoni, from Tailor Made Fitness. ‘People can use live streamed classes or get pre recorded classes and do them at a time [and place!] of their choosing.’
Smart machine options are proliferating too, with interactive workout mirrors such as VAHA (from £1,150) making it easy to not only join a group fitness class but also book 1-2-1 personal training sessions from the comfort of home.