Tapping into fitness: The science behind tailored workouts for every body

Work out this winter. Picture: George Pagan III /Unsplash

Work out this winter. Picture: George Pagan III /Unsplash

Published Jun 1, 2023


From fitness for mental health to workouts designed for seniors, there seem to be endless options for different types of fitness routines.

But why is this the case? And how do you choose the right workout to suit your body and lifestyle?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. Everyone’s body is different, and our individual lifestyle and health factors also play a significant role in determining what type of exercise will be most effective for us.

For example, research has shown that exercise can have a profound impact on mental health, helping to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Similarly, as we age, our bodies require different types of exercise to maintain mobility and strength, which is why tailored workouts for seniors are popular.

How can we tap into these different types of fitness regimes? One trend that’s been gaining popularity is “in-gym, at home” fitness, which combines traditional gym workouts with digital tools and virtual coaching.

Tapping into fitness on a device is helping people to get back into the gym. It’s winter, and we know we should be exercising, but the call on the couch is overwhelming. Trends in 2023 show a growing taste for hybrid “in-gym, at-home” fitness.

Calm routine. Picture: Marcus Aurelius /Pexels

People are being inspired by technological advancements to visit the gym with goals, diets, and coaches to get over the winter blues.

Mike Hewan, director of marketing at planet fitness says: “These are exciting times and are great ways to beat the winter blues both mentally and physically during these colder months when the urge to hibernate becomes an instinct.”

According to a global McKinsey report, while gyms and health clubs are growing in popularity, fitness consumers have embraced new digital habits as part of their wellness routines.

Locally, health club brands like Planet Fitness have been piloting and tracking these “best of both” experiences and are finding South Africans are on trend.

Hybrid fitness

Following the pandemic, hybrid working became the norm. It’s the place where you alternate work from home and the workplace.

Hybrid is where you combine exercise, which is done outside the home, either outdoors or at an external venue, with training at home. It's an explosive shift that is helping to create balanced fitness.

“Our data showed a broad range of people aged 17 to 71 participated in the app-based fitness challenges, and 70% of them were women,” Hewan said.

Community fitness

Building a feeling of community where people feel like they’re a part of something bigger is another major trend for 2023.

The creation of virtual challenges includes a motivating real-time interactive component where users may message a coach and nutritionist directly and share photographs and comments about their progress or if they nailed the workout.

Mental fitness

There is also a very important holistic wellness element to fitness challenges, which ticks another box when it comes to emerging trends in 2023.

Consumers in a hybrid world are more broadly focused on stress management, nutrition coaching and emotional health, not just the fitness of traditional workouts.

Fitness as you get older

There is a global trend towards older individuals preferring to be fit and active past the age of 60.

Because they are personalised, fast-paced, and motivational, and they keep individuals of all ages in touch with a vibrant and supportive community, these online events are personal interactive experiences that are far from being static or one-dimensional. People are welcome to participate regardless of club membership, according to Hewan.

Anyone can join an online challenge and complete it, setting their own fitness-related goals. We’ve also discovered that the freedom to practise whenever and wherever you wish encourages a greater dedication to completing a predetermined challenge like this.

So, whether you are young or old, fit or not; challenge your fitness and beat the couch this winter! Lose weight, condition, and tone, or push to new levels of fitness while staying motivated.

Read the latest issue of HEALTH digital magazine here.