Top 10 predicted fitness trends for 2022: Home gyms are up and running, online classes are out

We have been sprinting for the last two years with the Covid-19 pandemic, but the race to the finish line is still a long way off.

Oh, how our lives have changed in so many ways, and that includes the way we train.

While attending virtual fitness classes was captivating for a while (it was the top trend for 2021), they do not have the same appeal as training in a physical, live environment.

The excitement of training in large groups, being motivated and nurturing the energy of the people around you is lacking to the extent that the thought of Covid-19 always hangs in the back of your mind.

All sports facilities, fitness centers and wellness centers are currently operating with reduced capacity and it is unlikely that we will soon be able to train in the same way as we used to.

This means that we must be content with what is available, but not necessarily less.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus affects how we do everything, and with this in mind, the annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends has come up with its 2022 prediction.

For the past 16 years, the editors of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal has circulated an electronic survey to thousands of professionals around the world to see if they can come up with the health and fitness trends for the following year.

Here are the top 10 expected trends for this year.

1. Portable technology

This has taken number one space again, as it did in 2019 and 2020.

These devices, including fitness or activity meters, smartwatches, heart rate monitors, and GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices, can be used to calculate steps and track heart rate, body temperature, calories, idle time, and sleep time.

New innovations include measuring blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate as well as making an electrocardiogram (ECG).

It gives you the best possible measurements, even though they may not be as accurate.

2. Home fitness centers

This is the first year that fitness centers in the home are emerging as a fitness beach.

Temporary gyms are sprouting up in many homes as an alternative to going to the gym in these uncertain times.

It is safer and you have more flexibility to plan your workout.

Gym rabbits are expected to continue to isolate themselves by staying home and taking advantage of the abundant equipment that can be purchased online, especially treadmills, stationary bikes, step machines, dumbbells and exercise balls / mats.

These were some of the best-selling products on e-commerce platforms in 2020.

3. Outdoor activities

All over the world, people have taken to outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, hiking and cycling to take advantage of the fresh air and better ventilation.

You are also less likely to be exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, even without the use of face masks, as long as you stay six feet (1.8 m) apart outdoors.

Last year (2021), outdoor activities were number four.

Even personal trainers take their clients outside to local parks and fields to whip them into shape.

The only downside is if it rains as you will have to go indoors again.

Fitness trackers can now measure blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate, in addition to calculating steps and tracking heart rate, body temperature, calories, inactive time and sleep time.  - AFPFitness trackers can now measure blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate, in addition to calculating steps and tracking heart rate, body temperature, calories, inactive time and sleep time. – AFP

4. Strength training with free weights

The importance of strength training is slowly becoming aware as muscle building helps maintain the ability to perform daily tasks and slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss associated with aging.

A higher muscle mass also means a higher metabolism and burning of more calories, even at rest.

Free weights, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and medicine ball classes are incorporated into a functional class or activity.

Instructors start by learning the correct form for each exercise and then gradually increase the resistance once the correct form is achieved.

5. Exercise for weight loss

Everyone wants to lose weight!

It’s always someone’s New Year’s resolution, whether it’s male or female.

This trend may be due to all the overeating during the lockdown and movement restriction periods, which resulted in more homemade meals (plus baking and takeaways) and weight gain.

Most diets recommend that one include some form of exercise program in the daily routine of calorie restriction, and add the calorie consumption of physical activity to the equation.

Not surprisingly, training in weight loss programs has been a top 20 trend since the study started 16 years ago.

6. Personal training

One-on-one training continues to be a strong trend as the profession of personal training becomes more accessible online, in health clubs, at home and outdoors.

Many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic, and some have changed careers to become personal trainers.

Just search the web and you will find them.

Personal training includes fitness testing and goal setting, where the trainer works one-on-one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to their individual needs and goals.

7. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Once upon a time, HIIT was excited about the fastest way to get in shape, and HIIT has been out of the top five since 2014.

This form of exercise involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery.

They are popular with those who want to lose weight, as HIIT forces the body to use energy from fat, as opposed to carbohydrates, making it possible to lose fat more efficiently.

However, despite warnings from some fitness professionals about potentially increased injury rates using HIIT, these 30-minute or shorter sessions have been popular in gyms around the world.

There are many styles of HIIT available, ranging from yoga to weights and more.

Some people swear by it, while others shy away because of its intensity.

8. Bodyweight training

This has dropped a notch to number eight this year (2022).Bodyweight training uses your own body as resistance and can be performed anywhere, anytime.  - FilepicBodyweight training uses your own body as resistance and can be performed anywhere, anytime. – Filepic

By using a combination of bodyweight training and neuromotor movements using multiple movement plans, this is a form of resistance training to build muscle.

Body weight uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable and can be performed anywhere, anytime.

It is not limited to just push-ups, planks, squats and pull-ups, but allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

9. Online live and on-demand training classes

Virtual online training was first introduced in the 2019 survey and debuted as number three before dropping to number 26 in 2020, when the word “virtual” was dropped from the title in favor of the more specific online training.

From its top spot last year, when everyone trained online, it has dropped to number nine in 2022.

One of the major changes in the health fitness industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic was the temporary closure of gyms around the world, as well as public parks and hiking trails.

In Malaysia, the enforcement of the motion control order in the early stages forbade anyone to be out after a certain period of time, apart from grocery shopping, medical emergencies and essential work.

This forced the innovation of fitness classes, and online training was developed for the training experience at home.

This trend uses digital streaming technology to deliver group, individual or instructional training programs online, which are available 24/7.

They can be in the form of a live-time (livestreaming training) or pre-recorded.

10. Health / wellness coaching

This is a trend that integrates behavioral science into health-promoting and lifestyle medicine programs.

Health / wellness coaching uses a one-to-one approach (and sometimes a small group) approach, where the coach provides support, goals, guidance and encouragement.

The coach focuses on the client’s values, needs and vision and provides strategies to achieve their goals.

Revathi Murugappan is a certified fitness trainer who tries to fight gravity and continues to dance to express himself artistically and nourish his soul. For more information, email The information in this column is for general educational purposes only. None of them The star the author also makes no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness, functionality, usability or other assurances regarding such information. The star and the author disclaims any responsibility for any loss, damage to property or personal injury that directly or indirectly suffers from reliance on such information.


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