The Fitness Trends Of 2022
The predicted fitness trends of 2022 are slowly starting to emerge and after a crazy couple of years we are more than ready to see how we will be working out next year.
The pandemic has made us reassess so many different aspects of our lives and the way we approach exercise and our fitness has changed significantly as a consequence of this. It has highlighted the need to stay fit and healthy for long term good health, but perhaps even more so it has opened our eyes to the powerful effect that exercise has on our mental health and wellbeing, something we very much want to continue working on in 2022.
So, come with us as we take a look at some of the fitness trends of 2022:
If you’ve ever seen pictures or videos of people suspended horizontally from lampposts in a kind of human flag position… that’s calisthenics. Well OK, that’s very advanced calisthenics, so let’s strip it right back and see what this form of fitness is all about.
Calisthenics is a form of strength training consisting of various bodyweight exercises to push the body to its true physical potential. Sounds intense, we know, but don’t let that put you off, because chances are you’re already doing a few beginner calisthenics moves in your existing workout without even realising it. Squats, lunges, press ups, and planks are all basic calisthenic exercises that are used as a foundation to move onto bigger, more impressive moves. This is all about form however, mindfully moving through the exercise, taking note of body position to ensure a strong central core and smooth line.
Whilst equipment such as resistance bands, dip bars, pull up bars etc. can be used, for the most part, and certainly to start you off, all you need is a body… and we all have one of those, so there are no excuses! 2020 taught us that we don’t need gyms with their fancy high tech machines, all we really need is what we already have combined with a whole heap of motivation and perhaps a YouTube vid or two.
Thanks to more open conversations about menstruation and the menopause, there has been more research carried out about the part that hormones have to play in female fitness and this is set to be one of the biggest fitness trends of 2022.
Although men and women have the same number of hormones (50 to be exact), the level of each hormone varies. Women have higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone for example, and men have higher levels of testosterone, and this can affect the way we workout. Fitness pros are now paying more attention to the varying flow of female hormones and are creating specific workouts to help support and balance these hormones during the different stages of our cycle.
Progesterone and oestrogen levels are at their lowest when your period starts. These levels then gradually increase throughout your cycle. Lower levels of these hormones can make you feel more tired and if you also factor in blood loss, which also adds to feelings of fatigue, it’s no wonder this affects performance.
As a rough guide, here’s some suggestions of the type of exercise you should be doing at each stage of your cycle:
- Menstruation – You are likely feeling tired and perhaps experiencing cramps. Exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing. However, gentle stretching exercises, yoga, and Pilates will help ease cramps and other symptoms. The key thing in this phase is not to stop exercise entirely, but to take things down a notch or two.
- Follicular – Your period’s over and you are feeling full of energy. Now is the time to challenge yourself and bust out all the high intensity stuff. HIIT, boxing, and strength training are perfect for this stage of your cycle.
- Ovulation – This is also a high energy phase, so continue to take advantage of this by doing lots of cardio like running and circuit training.
- Luteal – You’ll start this phase feeling energised but as it draws closer to menstruation you’ll feel your energy and motivation dropping, so it’s time to start decreasing the intensity of your workouts again and cutting yourself some slack.
Now obviously, this ‘plan’ is a lot easier to follow if your menstrual cycle runs like clockwork. However, if you are experiencing hormonal imbalance, for example if you have entered the perimenopause stage of your life, it’s not quite so clear cut. It can be a lot harder to find the motivation to exercise and you may also be suffering from joint pain, fatigue, inflammation, hot flushes, and a whole host of other perimenopause symptoms. Which is where having the help of a personal trainer, especially one who has knowledge of hormone balancing workouts, is going to be your absolute saviour in 2022.
Hands up if you bought a dog during lockdown? According to research carried out by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association 3.2 million UK households bought a new pet during lockdown, with the majority of those being dogs. But as life slowly started to get back to some semblance of normal, with many of us converting back to commuting into the office, suddenly trying to fit in walking the dog as well as a morning run wasn’t so easy. Which is where canicross comes in.
Canicross is basically running with your dog, and it is a great form of fitness for both you and your canine friend. The most important bit of kit you need to do canicross properly is the correct harness for your dog and a proper fitting stretchy lead and waist band for you. There are lots of specialist brands out there for this type of kit so do a quick Google search and you’ll find what you need with lots of advice. If you don’t use the right harness for your dog there is a chance your dog may get hurt, injure themselves, or have joint problems in later life and the same applies to you if you don’t get the right support from the waist band you use.
Benefits of canicross both for you and your dog include:
- Improved bone, ligament, and joint health.
- Increased cardiovascular health.
- Better sleep.
- Builds a stronger bond between the pair of you.
- Improved mental health and wellbeing.
- Saves time.
It takes a bit of practice, and it will certainly keep you on your toes when you suddenly have to speed up because your dog’s spotted a squirrel or you have to stop and straddle your dog because he’s suddenly decided to do his business right in front of you, but hey we’re all for throwing a few body weight moves into a run. But as with anything practice makes perfect and before long you and your furry buddy will be running as a team.
Last year it was all about the online workouts and training plans, well we didn’t have much choice really, did we?!? When gyms closed, personal trainers had to get clever with what they could offer their clients that both fitted in with the new rules as well as allowing them to continue working. And while we know online workouts are here to stay, we’re also pretty certain that now we’re allowed back out there in the world most of us want to take full advantage of being away from the confines of our homes.
There are many benefits to be had from having someone take charge of your fitness and who helps make you accountable. Having a structure to our workouts, with set goals rather than mindlessly sweating it out at the gym, is exactly what we need to keep us focused and motivated. And so, we predict that the fitness trends of 2022 will include the rise of the personal trainer once more, but this time they’re taking us outdoors.
Outdoor activities have increased in popularity over the past 18 months and it’s clear to see why. Fresh air and sunshine raises our endorphin levels and gives us a healthy boost of vitamin D. And being outside allows us to stay social but without being too close to people. Expect to see PT’s running bootcamps and 1 on 1 sessions in parks, woodlands, and green spaces to help keep our bodies fit and our minds healthy.
You might be wondering how on earth breathing could possibly be classed as a trend, after all we’ve all been doing it from birth, so what’s the big deal? But the thing is, many of us have picked up a few bad habits when it comes to breathing, and there’s far more to it than we’d be led to believe. Now more than ever, what with covid and everything, the importance of good breathing is top of our priority list as we head towards 2022.
Breathwork involves specific breathing techniques that help to open up the lungs and better equip the mind, body, and soul to deal with stress. Breathwork techniques include:
- Deep Abdominal Breathing – to experience full breath capacity to encourage the body to relax.
- 4-7-8 Breath – where you inhale for 4 counts, hold the breath for 7 counts, and then exhale 8 counts to give focus and to help still a busy mind.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing – to help balance the body and mind.
- Breath of Fire – a more advanced technique that involves engaging the abdominal muscles for rejuvenation.
- Holotropic Breathwork – an even more advanced technique, which usually requires the assistance of a trained breathwork professional, to breathe on the inhale and exhale without pause.
Learning to regulate the flow of your breathing, so that you are in control of how you breathe, is actually quite an acquired skill to have. This all natural workout works wonders for every aspect of our health, and we can’t wait to introduce this into our daily workouts as a means to slow down and be more present in the moment.
Exercise As Medicine
We’re all aware of how good exercise is for us in a physical sense, but since the pandemic it’s become more and more apparent of how good it is for our mental health too. And so, in the emerging fitness trends of 2022 we see the idea of exercise as medicine, with particular focus on exercise as medicine for the mind.
One thing we can do to help in the fight against covid is to keep ourselves fit and healthy both in body and mind. There’s no question that mental health has suffered over the last couple of years, and it is clear we need a much more holistic approach to health going forwards. Next year will see counsellors, physiotherapists and nutritionists teaming together with physical fitness classes offering their services as a complete package. Kind of like a mind body overhaul if you like.
The new year will soon be upon us and it you’re looking to make some healthy changes to your lifestyle perhaps some of the fitness trends of 2022 will help inspire you to try something new.