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What you should know about fitness and surviving gym closure

Fitness trends: what you should know about fitness and surviving gym closure. Picture: Unsplash / Derick Mckinney

Fitness trends: what you should know about fitness and surviving gym closure. Picture: Unsplash / Derick Mckinney

Published Jun 28, 2021


The pandemic and lockdown restrictions has changed many things, from how we socialise to how we eat and work. It has also affected how we exercise.

Claire Bowen, of Shower to Shower, said that this year has brought about a real need for humanity to boost their feel-good hormones and take every opportunity to be as fit and healthy as possible.

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She encouraged people to use exercise as a mood booster, just as they use retail therapy or specific scents.

“In the same way that a fragrance can positively improve your mood, so too can exercise dramatically improve your health.

“With everything going on around us, it’s imperative to find a fun, active endeavour that suits your personality, your budget and the time you have available,” she said.

Whether you are continuing to exercise at home or choosing to go to a fitness centre, the World Health Organization's recommendations are that adults aged 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity.

To keep up with the ever-changing fitness trends, here are the things to look out for:

Virtual and augmented reality

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Late last year, Oculus quietly rolled out a fitness tracker called Oculus Move, that lives inside its Quest headsets.

Users who download the software can watch the calories they burn in virtual reality, along with their physically active minutes, and climb on a ticker floating above or below their field of view.

This trend has been growing globally, with many choosing this option for even ticking off their bucket list across the world in the comfort of their home.

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Whether it is a full-body set-up or just your headset and some controllers, there is plenty of VR tech that can get you moving and give you a workout.

Eye yoga

Eye yoga, the new wellness trend on the block, promises brighter, better rested peepers in under five minutes.

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“Similar to regular yoga, each time you practise eye yoga the muscles involved will become stronger and find more length,” says Chatty Dobson, a yoga teacher and the founder of Flex Chelsea, speaking to Vogue UK.

The trend has not picked up in South Africa, but globally many people are choosing it to help with the increased screen time that come with lockdown.

Exercise app

Fitness industry trends reflect global trends in society.

Technologies are seamlessly integrated into our lives.

They are finding their place in people’s fitness and health routines.

The convenience that technology brings to life is beyond compare, and the fitness industry is no exception.

With Covid on the rise, many people are not going to the gym, making this trend popular among the fitness community.

Digital training

Mapule Ndhlovu, a personal trainer and health advocate, says many trainers are offering online personal training, which is convenient for those who may not be ready to return to the gym.

They can get a personalised training programme in the comfort of their own homes, and will save time by not sitting in traffic or having to use changing rooms.

Live group training

Online live group training high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions will suit people who don’t like to work out alone.

Ndhlovu says the option gives people the chance to belong to a community but in the comfort of their home, where they can have fun and feed off other people's energy.

HIIT allows people to stay active and be part of an event while staying safe at home.

Outdoor fitness

Lockdown has seen a rise in outdoor fitness boot camps in parks across the country, and interest in open-air workouts look set to continue even after gyms have r-opened.

In a new RunRepeat study, only 15.18% of gym members think a gym membership is the best way to achieve their fitness goals in 2021.

Fifty percent think outdoor activities are the future.

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