The fitness industry has seen a lot of change over the last year. Repeated lockdowns meant folks were turning to online workouts or picking up running for the first time, and many began questioning their relationship with the gym as a whole. Health and fitness trends changed rapidly across 2021, so what can we expect from 2022?
Well, according to the Australian Institute of Fitness, a fair bit.
The Aussie training institution released a list of its top fitness trend predictions for 2022, and while some of them are consistent with what was predicted for last year, some new terms have popped up this time around.
Check them out below:
AIF’s top fitness trends for 2022
- Wearable Technology
- Exercise is Medicine
- Online Training
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Health and Wellness Coaching
- Hybrid Gym Offerings
- Functional Fitness Training
- Mobile Exercise Apps
- Outdoor Activities
- Mind and Body Training
- Lifestyle Medicine
- Virtual Fitness (including Augmented Reality)
- High Hygiene Standards for Gyms
- Mindfulness in Training
- Group Training
- Personal Training
- High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT)
- Exercise for Weight Loss
- Micro Workouts
- Bodyweight Training
Can you explain some of these trends to me?
A list of popular terms is all well and good, but let’s look a little more closely at some of these trends and what they offer, shall we?
Wearable Technology and Exercise is Medicine were the top two trends for 2021 also, and according to the AIF, interest in these spaces will not slow down anytime soon. Folks appear more in tune with their health and fitness than ever before and they want the tech to help them to monitor it.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) also retained a high position on the list of trends, as did Health and Wellness Coaching and Outdoor Activities.
Australian Institute of Fitness CEO, Steve Pettit offered some insight into a handful of the more popular trends to emerge.
“Health and fitness wearables continue to experience rapid growth,” he said in a statement.
“The personalised data that these devices provide allows for people of all ages and fitness levels to take control and improve their health, fitness and general well-being like never before. Their ability to not only track our bodily responses to energy expenditure, but also discover what is going on inside the body, is quite incredible.
“In 2022, we expect to see brands like Apple and Garmin continue to dominate all segments of the market – appealing to everyday fitness and leisure consumers, as well as gym junkies and fitness professionals in areas of programming, training and recovery.”
AIF’s Head of Compliance and Training, Kate Kraschnefski also shared a statement on the trends, explaining that Exercise is Medicine has once again topped the list because of the link between the global pandemic, lockdown and mental health.
“There will also likely be collaboration between medical industry, health care providers and fitness professionals to start serious and consequential work [in 2022] as Australia tries to recover and ‘live with’ the virus. This work will arguably be most effective by targeting both general health and mental health,” she said.
Hybrid Gym Offerings came in at number six on the list, highlighting a desire for folks to blend their former gym routine with home workouts. Just like flexible work arrangements have grown in popularity, the AIF predicts 2022 will see a boost in hybrid gym training memberships.
Leaning into the interest around mindfulness and mental wellbeing again, Mind and Body Training came in at number 10 on the list for 2022, something that Kraschnefski explained is connected to the growing number of Aussies “opting to work out for not only physical exercise but also mental relaxation and reflection”.
We’ve all heard of HIIT before, but what’s HIRT (number 17)? Well, according to Kraschnefski, it’s a slower, strength-based take on HIIT that she expects to grow in popularity in 2022.
“HIRT brings strength training into HIIT, slowing things down and giving participants the ability to put more intention behind their movement. Form and strength become the focus while still achieving a solid calorie burn,” she shared.
And finally, let’s chat about Micro Workouts. At number 19, this trend appears to be picking up steam. So, what is it?
AIF General Manager of Training, Brodie Hicks shared in a statement that:
“Micro workouts exploded onto the scene over the past year, as many of us battled increased inactivity due to lockdowns, shifting schedules and sedentary lifestyles. These short, high-intensity workouts are a great way to disrupt your regular routine and combat the health hazard of prolonged stillness.”
So, in short, more people are going to be looking at fitness as a means to achieve both physical and mental health, and they’re likely to be looking to do that in a way that suits their lifestyles best.
How do you expect your approach to fitness to shift in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.
This article has been updated to reflect the AIF’s fitness trend predictions for 2022.