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The Playbook

What’s new in workouts and wellness?

That past decade was huge for the world of health and wellness. From activity trackers and the explosion of athleisure to meditation apps and specialty classes, the fitness industry has exploded into a nearly $100 billion global business. And it’s only getting bigger and better. Whether you’re hoping to stick to your new year's resolution or are a regular at the gym and want to be on top of what’s coming, these are the trends to watch for this year.

 

Running is back

One of the world’s oldest exercises is feeling fresh again. Not only are more people signing up for road races, running clubs and classes are popping up across the country. Think rows of treadmills accented with motivational music and mood lighting. Fitness app ClassPass noted there was an 82% increase in reservations made for running classes. Where are these classes? Check out dedicated studios like Mile High Run Club and RacePace. And late last year, Equinox turned their most popular class, Precision Run, into a standalone studio in New York City that will soon expand into other cities.

 

Groups classes get even bigger

Workouts are better with a buddy right? After all, if social media is pushing us all more towards real life isolation, then the rise in group fitness classes may just help bring us back together. Available in a range of styles and intensities (from boxing and bootcamps to yoga flows), there’s a specialty class to suit any taste or budget. They combine your commitment to working out and staying active with social engagement. And because so many of them are scheduled around standard office hours, they’re ideal for folks with a busy lifestyle.

 

High-intensity goes low

You know about high-intensity interval training: it’s intense (obviously), it’s challenging, and it delivers results. And now, it’s got a slightly gentler younger brother. Known as high-intensity, low-impact interval training (HILIT), it’s gaining in popularity because it offers much of the same results and benefits in a low-impact environment that reduces stress on the joints. Which means you get an efficient calorie burn, increased metabolic rates, improved oxygen consumption, and reduced heart rate/blood pressure, without all the wear and tear or risk of injury.

 

Wellness at work

“I expect that people will become increasingly focused on trying to move more throughout the day,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. “Not working out or even going for a walk, but just taking time throughout the day to stand up from a chair and move around for a few minutes.” And forward-thinking companies are introducing meditation at work due to its proven ability to boost concentration and reduce anxiety.

 

More home workouts

This year we’ll see a big boost in the number of people working out from home, training via connected machines like Peloton and Hydrow. Virtual training programs like All Out Studio by Men’s Health joins digital home gyms such as Mirror and Tonal that bring personal trainers and customized workouts right into your living room.

 

Nutrition will be customized

Companies like Gainful, Infinit and Kyoku are now offering personalized protein powders along with pre-and post-workout shakes tailored to your individual needs. And fitness-focused meal delivery services as Territory let you choose based on diets like keto, paleo and Whole30.

 

FYI:

Last year, more than 1 in 5 Americans were members of at least one health club or fitness studio, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association.

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