Back in March, when COVID-19 forced gyms to close their doors, we all quickly realized that wherever you lay your mat is the “gym.”. According to the media analytics firm Comscore, “March of 2020 saw a 147% increase over the prior year in on-demand fitness video consumption.” In June, YouTube announced that in the three months since March 15th, daily views of videos with “home workout” in the title rose 515%.”
These trends are expected to continue in 2021 as we continue to adapt and adjust to the new normal. This newfound appreciation for sweating at home will only become more entrenched in our daily lives as the year progresses.
Here are some fitness trends to watch in 2021…
• Online Fitness Classes Are Here to Stay!
Before the pandemic, we associated exercise with “going to the gym.” As we’ve changed our habits, digital workouts have become the norm, and this will continue in 2021. Brands are embracing an approach that gives users access to a variety of workouts, including live-streaming classes and on-demand libraries.
Companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon are developing their own offerings. Apple Fitness+, launching in 2021, will offer workout recommendations based on the intensity of your last workout. Matrix Fitness has partnered with Apple to connect the Apple watch to their treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes.
• Focus on Restorative Fitness
The self-care/mental health trend has been brought home by the sky-high stress levels of 2020. Restorative fitness like yoga, pilates, meditation, and stretching made it into the top ten for 2020. In 2021, expect the trend to continue as we all deal with managing ongoing pandemic stress!
• Wearable Technology
Wearable technology consists of smartwatches and fitness trackers and includes devices like heart rate monitors and GPS trackers like those used in cycling. Their accuracy and capabilities have expanded. Some even offer AI fitness solutions; others use VR games to promote fitness. The wearables trend is growing and is expected to be a top trend in 2021.
Digital / In-Person Hybrid
While digital workouts and classes are here to stay, it doesn’t mean “in-person” classes are obsolete. A recent survey of professionals found that 92% hope to return to the gym in 2021. Forty percent of respondents are planning on returning exclusively back to in-studio workouts when they feel it’s safe.
• Interactive Home Machines
Whether it’s strength training or cardio, we’re adding workout machines to our home gyms and dedicated workout rooms. Companies like Matrix are creating large-screen consoles for their treadmills, ClimbMills, and ellipticals that allow users to stream and view live entertainment, browse social media, and race through virtual mountain trails while working out.
• Well Equipped Home Gyms
The market for home gym accessories will continue to grow in 2021. Whether it’s dedicated machines for cardio and strength training, all-in-one gym units, or flooring and storage trees and racks, the market for home fitness items and accessories will grow in 2021.
Physical fitness is vital to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Digital technology has helped us through the pandemic, but it can’t completely fill the void of connecting and exercising with friends and instructors in the gym.
As we work through the challenges of the pandemic, we’ll begin to see the growth of this new “hybrid” community of both in-person and digital offerings. We’re entering a phase where we will each decide what works best for us, and as a result, the companies and brands that will survive will seamlessly serve the client who craves the community that an in-person class offers but still needs to take online classes as well.
For more information about the trends of fitness in 2021, contact an Opti-Fit fitness professional.