Exercise does a body good. So does sleep. Research indicates that physical activity and sleep contribute to a healthy immune system, which is critical in the ongoing battle with COVID-19. With more people turning to their smartwatch or fitness tracker to monitor exercise and sleep quality, it’s not surprising that more than 4,500 health and fitness pros surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) identified wearable tech as the new top trend in fitness for 2022.
Tech advances have made it easy for users to collect important health metrics and work with fitness professionals and health care providers to develop healthy lifestyles and increase quality of life.
The top 10 fitness trends for 2022 are:
- Wearable Technology: Devices like fitness trackers, smart watches and heart rate monitors that count steps and track heart rate, calories, sitting and sleep time, blood pressure and respiratory rate.
- Home Exercise Gyms: Uses minimal equipment or treadmills and bikes at home for solo or family events.
- Outdoor Activities: Include small group walks, group rides and organized hiking groups. Participants can meet in a park, hiking area or bike trail for short and daylong events.
- Strength Training with Free Weights: Instructors focus on teaching proper form for exercises using barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and/or medicine balls. Resistance progressively increases as correct form is accomplished.
- Exercise for Weight Loss: Using an exercise program in tandem with the daily routine of caloric restriction to lose weight.
- Personal Training: Fitness testing and goal setting with a trainer working one-on-one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to individual needs.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery in a 30-minute (or less) session.
- Body Weight Training: Uses minimal equipment. Not limited to push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
- Online Live and On-demand Exercise Classes: Uses digital streaming technology to deliver group and individual exercise programs online. Available 24/7 and can be a live or prerecorded class.
- Health/Wellness Coaching: Integrates behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs. A one-on-one and small group approach provides support, goal setting and encouragement.
The fitness world continues to feel the effects of the pandemic. The more widespread use of COVID-19 vaccinations and our need to get back to a normal lifestyle are definitely reflected in the 2022 trends.
President Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM-CEP ACSM Past President