The great thing about starting a new year is the endless opportunities that come with starting fresh. The beginning of a new year is a time for us to let go of the past, embrace change, and let that change be a source of inspiration for what we can accomplish in the months ahead.
A healthy diet and fitness routine are consistently among the most popular resolutions people make every new year, and for good reason. Studies have shown that prioritising health and wellness positively blends into every aspect of one’s life, including improvements for concentration, memory, and more. Taking care of these interconnected areas is necessary for holistic wellness.
Fitness goals don’t need to be epic feats of outstanding athleticism, like winning triathlons or breaking world records. Even a little shift in how you move throughout your day can produce health benefits and will set you on the right track.
As you embark on your wellness journey for 2023, here are some fitness trends to consider to make this your healthiest year yet.
The Little Black Dress of Fitness
Walking and running will continue to trend in 2023. These activities are free, effective, and can be done just about anywhere, from your neighborhood parks to the various recreational and urban parks has to offer. Simply put, these can be quick and simple strategies to begin your fitness journey.
Studies have shown that walking plays a key role in maintaining mobility and physical independence, especially among the older population. Being a low-impact exercise, it is less taxing on your joints. When performed at an incline, like when walking or running on a treadmill, it can also be a weight-bearing workout, which forces your bones and muscles to work harder against gravity. This helps your body build or maintain bone density, which is critically important as we age. The Ministry of Health Malaysia recommends that the average Malaysian should walk up to 10,000 steps a day.
The fundamentals of walking and running—and frankly for any workout—is to finish what you start.
As a bonus, running or walking outdoors offers a dose of Vitamin D from sunlight exposure, which is essential for calcium absorption needed for bone health.
Community runs are also making a post-pandemic comeback, and treadmill classes at home and online remain popular. If you’re able to work your way up to participating in one of these, you’ll be on the right track.
Many pop culture trends have returned over the past year, and this fitness trend is no exception.
Step aerobics, which took the 80’s and 90’s by storm, both in-studio and at home, is back for musically motivated cardio lovers.
In Malaysia, this mode of fitness is widely available in gyms. Even in 2022, many popular fitness apps and platforms have begun to reintroduce this beat-based choreographed exercise back to clients.
Step aerobics is popular for high intensity but low impact cardio, and over time has proven to improve balance, coordination, and agility.
Like walking, aerobic exercise is a fantastic activity to address high blood pressure. It involves repetitive and rhythmic movements and uses large muscle groups, like your glutes, legs, shoulders, and arms.
In reference to a movement that includes mental engagement, mind-body fitness is here to stay. Yoga, positive affirmations, and routines focused on building self-awareness and reducing stress are becoming increasingly popular.
These holistic approaches to wellness ensure we are paying as much attention to our mental health as our physical health. Mind-body fitness is integral to pushing your body to adapt and become stronger and more efficient, and a big part of this includes recovery. After engaging in exercise, we need to ensure that we get enough rest and put nourishing food into our bodies.
At home fitness technology
Consumers are jumping back on the garage gym trend, particularly high-tech home gyms. The home fitness equipment industry has seen plenty of innovation in recent years. VR (virtual reality) fitness will continue to expand, especially among younger populations. Using gaming and innovative VR fitness experiences will help get more people moving in 2023.
In the new year, expect to see more short duration, high intensity workouts being paired with thoughtful stretching routines. Hybrid workouts and fusion classes combining two or more sports or classes create an even more powerful concept and provide total body workouts in a short amount of time with big results. Mixing up your workouts not only challenges your muscles in new ways, but also offers a fresh way to get all the pros of working out without getting bored.
While plenty of examples have already been shared as to why exercise is already known to have many benefits for mental health, joining a group to work out can also have a positive influence on reaching your goals. There is a wealth of data linking the benefits of social support to improved health and well-being. Social support influences physical activity behavior through performance improvements, self-efficacy, enjoyment, motivation and enabling physical activity.
Research shows that working out with friends makes you more accountable to show up, encourages learning new moves and promotes harder work. It also has a greater calming effect than when done alone. Regardless of how you choose to move, remember that exercise strengthens our heart, lungs, and muscles, as well as our mind, and exercising with friends can also reap healthy relationships.
With the evolution of the fitness industry comes all kinds of opportunities. The best way to get started is to simply start moving, try new things, find what you love and stick with it!
This article is written by Samantha Clayton, OLY, M.S., ISSA-CPT, Vice President of Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness at Herbalife Nutrition.