5 Fitness Trends
We’ve got your hot summer fitness trends – it’s time to reinforce what’s stood the test of time and try something new this year. Let’s jump in with an open mind and your fave runners.
- Getting back to the gym
For some of us, it’s been a glorious two years plus of working out at home alone. Maybe you’ve built a sweet gym in your basement, moved aside the living room armchair and replaced it with a stationary bike, or been religiously taking the online classes of your favourite local yoga studio. It’s been working for you; you’ve adapted and enjoyed it.
For those of us that are more social creatures, we have missed our group fitness time. We long to sweat it out beside our gym friends while the music’s pumping at our local cross fit or cycling studio. If you are ready for a summer change-up, it’s time to reignite that gym membership, join an outdoor fitness class, or gather your neighbours for a weekly walking club.
Some gyms are implementing a hybrid model where you can enjoy their virtual classes and be in the studio a few times a week. It’s time to hop on the trend of getting back to the gym.
- Inclusive fitness
This trend is here to stay; as Lizzo says, it’s About Damn Time, and we love it. Being fit and healthy is not a right only reserved for thin, affluent, white people. From instructors to workout styles and fitness gear, it is time to take responsibility for creating an inclusive environment for all shapes, sizes, identities, and abilities.
If you have felt judged or uncomfortable in a fitness class, lifting weights, or shopping for active wear, it is a relief to be in an environment that actively and intentionally promotes the acceptance of every body. Find the community that works for you and your lifestyle. Maybe it’s with non-binary or trans folks, LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous and racialized people, spaces that talk about disordered eating or disability-friendly fitness classes.
We’ve seen inclusiveness incorporated into other wellness spaces, like massage studios, with something as simple as not having arms on their waiting room chairs to fit people all sizes. Do an online search for inclusive fitness studios Canada, and you’ll get a list of local favourites to try.
- Cold dips
Have you heard of Wim Hof (“the Iceman”), the polar bear plunge, or snowga (snow + yoga)? These trends are all about taking the plunge and reaping the benefits of cold therapy. Professional athletes have been taking advantage of ice baths for years, in which they sit in chilled water after significant physical exertion for a specific period of time. Ice bath immersion speeds up recovery and decreases soreness.
After an injury, applying an ice pack causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing swelling and pain. By submerging the entire body in icy cold water, you cool down multiple muscle groups at one time and decrease metabolic activity, which can reduce fatigue. Once you’re out of the bath or the cold pack has been removed, you’re in the warming period with a return of fresh blood to the body, flooding the cells with nutrients and oxygen and flushing out waste products.
Cold-dips have been gaining popularity, whether ending your shower with the water as cold as possible, doing cold-water immersion in freshwater lakes throughout the fall/winter/early-spring season, or visiting a local cold plunge studio. Some businesses combine breathwork with cold therapy, focusing on that mind over matter brain work.
Taking the plunge for the first time will be more fun and safer with a buddy who knows what they are doing. Be sure to do it safely, especially in larger bodies of water and start small, with a minute or so, and add time as you adapt and become more experienced.
- Wearable tech
Who doesn’t love an excellent stat-tracking session? It’s all about wearable tech like:
- Smartwatches, e.g. Apple Watch
- Smart jewellery, e.g. Oura ring
- Fitness trackers, e.g. WHOOP
With wearable technology, you can track so many components of health, such as:
- Exercise minutes
- Calories burned
- Step count
- Heart health, i.e. resting heart rate
- Recovery assessment, how rested and recovered you are from previous workouts, i.e. heart rate variability
- Track exercise routines
- Standing every hour
The benefits of these devices is that they keep you focused on your health, boost motivation, and bring out your competitive nature – who’s going to close their exercise rings the fastest or get the most amount of steps in? Time for a family challenge.
Beyond just exercise, they can also help you with breathing by setting reminders to focus on breathing and providing a pace.
Wearable tech helps to promote an active lifestyle through regular monitoring and sharing results – knowledge is power.
- Exercise as overall well being
This one might sound like a snooze-fest but stick with us. It can be so refreshing to incorporate a new strategy, activity or piece of equipment into your routine – AND what will bring results over and over is committing to exercise as a lifestyle and marker of overall well-being.
We are talking about consistent, routine nutrition, sleep and recovery. You don’t have to think about it because it has become a habit, like brushing your teeth. Regular exercise promotes better mental health and emotional well-being, with lower rates of mental illness. It boosts mood, concentration, alertness, energy levels, and libido while improving cardiovascular health. That is a win-win-win.
The habits you start today create your future. Create a routine that works for you and give yourself a structure that will overcome your resistance level. Work out with a buddy, pay for a personal trainer, or start training for a triathlon. Look at exercise as your key to physical, mental, and emotional well-being – future you will be grateful.
There you have it – the top fitness trends for the upcoming season and beyond. We can’t wait to see which ones you try this summer.