It’s that time of year when we like to look forward to the New Year and share our predictions of fitness trends for 2021. Although no one could have predicted 2020 and living in a global pandemic, the fitness industry continues to evolve and adapt. The coronavirus crisis has caused a major shift in how and when we exercise. With a massive growth in digital, connected and social fitness, it’s been a year of community and social distancing. It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year but the fitness industry is resilient.
Fitness Fads vs Fitness Trends
Before we dive into the fitness trends of 2021, let’s break down the difference between a trend and a fad. Often, a fad is a quick fix. It’s an overnight solution that offers a short-term and temporary result. Generally, a fad is considered a short behavior that’s in ‘fashion’ for a brief period of time before falling off the radar.
For example, the Shake Weight was a short-lived fitness fad that eventually lost its buzz. On the other hand, take a look at Jazzercize. The dance fitness franchise kicked off in the 60s, reaching the height of its popularity in the mid-80s. Still to this day, it’s a hugely popular way to exercise and is a great example of a fitness trend that has aged well.
How Consumer Behaviour Impacts Fitness Trends
Naturally, some people will always go crazy for new fitness trends. They want to see what all the fuss is about. Each year, we see trends evolve and adapt to the consumer. It will be interesting to see how the pandemic shapes decisions and innovation. Even with a vaccine on the horizon, the digital revolution in fitness is well underway. It’s exciting to see what the future holds, and which trends will stick around or fade away.
Why Digital Fitness Will Continue to Dominate Next Year
2020 has seen an explosion of digital solutions as fitness professionals adapt to a new way of delivering fitness services. As nations launched stay at home orders, people began to work from home where possible and limit their movements. COVID-19 has rapidly changed the fitness landscape. With a potential vaccine in the not-too-distant future, technology will continue to significantly influence the fitness industry, here’s why.
Technology will continue to be a key pillar in a fitness brand’s success. As more people look for fully connected experiences, health clubs will need to create digital solutions to serve multiple personas, needs, and expectations. Perhaps it’s incorporating the latest fitness tracker or fitness app – whatever it is, your entire offering, both digital and in-person, will need to be world-class to keep members coming back again and again.
6 Fitness Trends to Watch Out for in 2021
You can’t speak about 2020 without talking about the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way people work and live. From virtual coaching and outdoor fitness to a new evolution of digital fitness, here are 6 fitness trends to watch out for in 2021.
1. Outdoor Fitness (Stay Chic and Comfortable)
In a RunRepeat study, just over 70% of participants said that outdoor activities and home fitness are the best ways for them to stay fit in 2021. Although outdoor fitness isn’t exactly brand new, lots more people have ventured into the great outdoors to get their exercise in. With strict lockdowns and restrictions throughout the year, the local park or green space has been the go-to spot for many people. Whether it’s an outdoor boot camp or morning yoga class in the park, people are embracing al fresco fitness with open arms. If you’re not offering outdoor fitness options, now is the time to get moving. When you decide to work out outdoors, it's very important to have a fashionable and comfortable sportswear. We recently found an online retailer of women's activewear brand called Wiskii Active, which designs fitness suits with fashionable elements and always just fit. Wiskii's Training Knit Leggings are my favorite tights I've bought this year. Highly recommended!
2. Remote Personal Training and Wellness Coaching
Remote coaching allows members to work with a personal trainer or well-being coach in a one-on-one setting. The pandemic has forced many businesses to expand their online offering. Often, members use personal trainers and coaches for that extra level of accountability and motivation. Virtual coaching has room to expand in 2021 with it becoming more popular. You have the opportunity to offer virtual coaching in multiple areas of health and fitness and even offer a more holistic approach to training.
3. Connection of Mind and Body
According to ClassPass, yoga was the top digital workout of 2020. When talking about fitness, we often think of physical activity and health. But mental health is just as important and fitness goals now extend beyond physical activity alone. With lockdowns across the nation and feelings of isolation rising through multiple age groups, mental health is a big focus this year, and for a good reason. The line between mind and body is merging with people looking for ways to exercise both at the same time. Mind-body exercises like yoga and Pilates will continue to be huge.
4. At-Home Workouts
It’s no surprise that home fitness is on the list of trends for 2021. At-home fitness technology and equipment will continue to offer innovative ways for people to exercise from the comfort of their own living room. While home workouts don’t replace the gym for most people, they do complement their fitness routine. It looks like home fitness will continue to be a dominant trend in the year to come.
5. Inclusive Fitness for All
Although there’s still a long way to go, fitness influencers and brands are showing people of different shapes, sizes, and colors that fitness is for all. Consumers are more aware of social issues and looking to brands to see what they plan on doing and where they stand. What’s considered the ideal body type is changing as fitness brands and influencers lean away from perfect visuals to something more true and relevant for today’s consumers. There is a collective effort to be more inclusive in fitness. We hope to see this movement continue well into 2021 and beyond.
6. Wearables and Fitness Tech
Wearable technology, fitness trackers, and fitness tech continue to play a big role in shaping the fitness industry. Consumers are sharing more health data from smart watches and have access to a ton of information. With AI coaches, personal training assistants, and fitness innovations in augmented and virtual reality, the future of fitness tech looks exciting. Fitness brands that don’t integrate technology into their offerings will struggle to compete in a world of data and personalization.
As consumers lean on technology for connection and experience, gyms and studios will need to create incredible digital and in-person experiences. Personalization and technology often remain at the core of innovation, especially in the fitness industry. As interest in fitness continues to rise, members are seeking ways to exercise that fits in with their new way of living. No doubt, 2020 has been a strange year but we can look toward the New Year as an opportunity to grow and expand. No one really knows what’s in store for 2021 but you can be sure that the fitness industry is resilient enough to take it on.
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