2019 Health And Fitness Trends
The realm of health and fitness over the years has successfully rebranded itself in markets as a fashionable lifestyle choice more so than a health obligation. The mass appeal of a ‘health conscious lifestyle’ across continents has opened the floodgates to a plethora of health gadgets, gizmos and gimmicks ranging from high-tech fitness trackers to overnight weight loss snake oil.
2018 was a year in which the industry lit a spotlight on wearable fitness gadgets with brands such as Fitbit leading the pack. 2019 sees the focal point of fitness tools being shifted towards a more personalised experience of the individual. Here are 12 fitness trends you should expect to hear about throughout the course of the year:
1. Sugar-Free Natural Sports Drinks
South Africa currently sits with the highest rate of obesity in Africa and such, the government introduced a sugar tax in 2017 in which tax is fixed at 2.1 cents per gram of the sugar content that exceeds four grams per 100ml.
While this tax only affects manufacturers of sugary drinks, the aim is that the tax will cause manufacturers to reduce their sugar content or look for alternative healthier sweeteners. Expect the market to give way to new energy drinks that are sugar-free and more natural.
2. Swimming pool resistance training
Swimming pool resistance training is synonymous as being an activity for the elderly and there’s a reason for that. Exercising in the pool is extremely low impact on joints, promotes core strength and a balanced build. In 2019, be on the lookout for gyms with pool facilities to start hosting pool resistance training classes.
3. Audio guided sessions
2019 will see Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant becoming personal trainers to more people via Bluetooth speakers and headsets. For those who aren’t aware, Alexa and Google Assistant are artificially intelligent software that use voice recognition to receive commands to give weather updates, order food, communicate with smart enabled products and so forth.
So this year if you’re walking in the gym and you see a gentleman talking to himself, don’t be alarmed, he could be asking Alexa what’s the next exercise.
4. Virtual reality workouts
Virtual reality will look to expand its horizons within the health and fitness industry by being commercially accessible as a tool for breaking a sweat. While VR tech is still a niche product in the market, leading gym brands will look to integrate them into their routines.
This will include immersing treadmill, bike, rowing and step machine users in virtual realities such as parks and lakes.
5. Wearable tech
Much like today's smartphones, wearable tech has plans to upsize by offering wearable gizmos outside of wrist trackers such as vests and shirts. Such advanced tech is already being used in the English Premier League with PLAYR, a vest tracker that can record up to 1,250 movements per second.
6. HIIT remix
High-intensity interval training was popularized thanks to its ability to help programme users lose fat quickly without losing muscle mass. Because its nature is extremely physically taxing and monotonous, 2019 will see a new edition of the routine being incorporated with dance and movement exercises classes.
7. Streaming live workouts
The term ‘Netflix and chill’ should be expecting a sibling this coming year. Soon enough ‘Netflix and sweat’ or ‘Netflix and lift’ will be making rounds on the internet as live streaming workouts from your home, office or hotel will be available.
8. Personalized workouts
This year if you see the Incredible Hulk in the yoga studio instead of his natural weight pounding habitat, its most probably because he needs to focus on his flexibility. This year will see workouts being tailored to the individuals' needs like never before. Now workout plans will include factors such as genes, injury analysis and much more.
Meditation has broken its stigma of just being an eastern philosophy. Now people understand that being mindful and ‘exercising the mind’ is just as important as exercising the body. With apps such as Headspace currently making waves in the market, expect meditation classes to become a regular event at your local gym.
10. You snooze you don't lose
If you ask any Mr.Olympia what’s the most important aspect of working out they’ll almost always tell you rest. Science has proven that sleep is not only essential for everyday functioning but for reparation of cells which includes losing fat and gaining muscle. Expect ice-baths and post workout plans such as ‘sleep cycle programmes’ to get a head start this year.
11. Nutrition apps
Nutrition apps in the market are now being designed by nutritionists which sort of makes the need to consult with one a futile exercise. Now, these apps offer comprehensive information on speciality diets such as Keto diets, Vegan diets and just about any trending diet you can think of at affordable rates.
With functions such as snacking alerts, calorie monitors and food comparisons, expect smartphone users around the country to keep at least one nutritional app as a staple.
12. Fitness festivals
If you’re looking for a ‘lekker jol’, then this is not what you want. Fitness festivals have already seen successful launches in the United States and some parts of Europe with workout fanatics culminating for the sole purpose of breaking a sweat. Expect these festivals to gain more traction this year.