The best fitness trends this year will focus on body, mind, and soul. With mental and physical wellness on everyone’s mind, wearable tech to track body, heart rate and sleep, and fun workouts involving innovative trends and techniques,your fitness goals are all set to be more achievable in 2023.
Interesting findings from global professional services company Accenture suggest that despite financial uncertainty, people are not willing to reduce the amount they spend on health and well-being. The latest in a series of consumer surveys that Accenture has conducted to test the pulse of consumer outlook and sentiments since the start of the pandemic, the survey — of more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries including India — found that even in the face of widespread uncertainty and personal financial strains, consumers are considering health and fitness to be an ‘essential’, alongside groceries and household cleaning products. Though two-thirds (66%) of survey respondents said they feel squeezed financially, 80% also said they intend to maintain or increase their spend on areas related to health and fitness — such as exercise classes or vitamins and supplements—in 2023.
“While the mind share for health and wellness as a category in India is growing at a rapid pace, the market size is relatively lower. There is a huge opportunity for consumer goods companies in India to listen to evolving consumer needs, and accordingly reimagine their product strategy and portfolio, explore adjacencies in their business models and focus on building more trust and credibility with consumers,” says Anurag Gupta, MD and lead — strategy and consulting, Accenture in India.
Another observation shows growing consumer focus on preventive healthcare and holistic well-being will be crucial for companies to use data and analytics to better understand consumption patterns, innovate to come up with new products, services and collaborations. “We are already witnessing cross-industry partnerships across consumer electronics, wearable devices, healthcare, insurance, consumer goods, auto, among others. Consumer-facing companies need to assess their existing offerings, push the boundaries in terms of ecosystem partnerships and make bold moves to grow their business,” says Manish Gupta, MD and lead — products, Accenture in India said. Here’s a look at what the industry experts suggest this year:
Focus on ‘you’
Fitness for most people is about morning walks and eating well. In 2023, instead of making resolutions, think of some fun moments to change the way you look at fitness goals. Experts predict the year will see a change in the behaviour and perception as most people realise the value of health and fitness in daily lives more than ever in all aspects of mental, emotional, physical, and overall well-being. This positive change is reflected across the business in the fitness industry.
Cult.fit, a health and fitness platform, in its data insights across 50 cities saw India was 124% fitter in 2022, burning a total of 2486219657 kCalories.
Bengaluru had the highest active fitness followers, followed by Hyderabad,
Gurugram and Mumbai, dance fitness is a popular format.
“What is important to do over getting a six pack and size zero figure is to heal yourself… Fresh air, plenty of sunshine, hydration with coconut water, fruit juices, vegetable juices, and herbal teas helps remain focused, eat healthy, wholesome, and healing foods. Exercise, yoga, meditation, prayers, focus on breath that is slow, calm, and rhythmic, and take good rest. These healers influence mind, body and spirit and trigger transformation with a healing touch to energise, the more you get immunised, it works better for longevity, stability and holistic wellness to achieve mental equilibrium, emotional wellness, better digestion and overall immunity,” says Dr Mickey Mehta, global leading holistic health guru and corporate life coach.
Digitisation drives the fit-tech industry to another level and will continue to lead in 2023. “We expect personal, accessible, affordable, and integrated platforms to emerge. New-age technologies are playing a critical role in the sector, especially with the roll out of 5G services in India. With increased penetration of technology and IoT in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities along with rural regions, we have started building offline communities and accountability groups through our apps, promoting the concept of scientifically backed fitness and nutrition. Accelerated adoption of smart wearables is expected. Behavioural and psychological understanding will play a pivotal role in motivating and helping people stay consistent in fitness journeys,” says Jitendra Chouksey, Founder and CEO, Fittr.
More people are inclined towards working on overall fitness rather than a good body alone. According to celebrity fitness trainer Nupur Shikhare, who is also the brand ambassador of Scott Sports India, finds short but high intensity workouts (HIIT), boxing and MMA (mixed martial arts) will grow.
“A lot of outdoor gyms, workout places are opening up; so, bodyweight workouts and ‘calisthenics’ are picking up. Triathlon is picking up as a sport; so, a lot of people are taking up cycling, especially indoor cycling (on a trainer),” adds Shikhare.
Eve resting is the latest challenge to take cycling – and the running world – by storm. “Inspired by the highest mountain in the world, the premise of the challenge is simple: find a hill and ascend and descend it as quickly as you can, climbing a total of 8,848 metres (the elevation of Mount Everest). What began as a cycling challenge, also has a running equivalent now called Eve resting run, which is growing in popularity,” says Dr Siddhant Bhargava, fitness and nutritional scientist, co-founder of Food Darzee, a health and nutrition company that prepares customised meals based on individual dietary requirements coupled with fitness goals.
Bhargava feels postural and spine workouts work best. Because one body part that has suffered the most during and post pandemic is the spine. “More people are experiencing the side effects of weak postural muscles like tech neck and dowager’s hump and hence there is a growing demand for exercises to improve posture for a functional, pain-free daily life. New innovative niche fitness modules of exercise include weighted hula hoop, stroller fitness, reverse running, trapeze classes.”
Also read: Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant: Here’s how their love story started
An interesting trend that Bhargava shares is exercise snacking which grew out of the concept of HIIT and sprint interval training (SIT), where one exerts for a short period, then rests and repeats. “These workouts are time efficient and usually done in bouts of about 10 to 25 minutes. They have well-established physiological benefits,” he says.
Muscle strength will be an important aspect. But contrary to popular belief, fat loss is not the primary benefit of exercising and is merely a by-product. “Fat loss is a combination of multiple factors like caloric expenditure, caloric intake and lifestyle choices and exercise is merely a part of the equation. If building muscle is the primary goal, then resistance training is the most efficient form of activity. All resistance exercises like squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, bicep curls etc build muscle but the thing to keep in mind is that they have to be executed in a balanced structure to avoid imbalances,” says Gauthaman Ramesh, a fitness expert at Cult.fit.
Ramesh suggests an easy way to start this would be to train three-five times a week with five-six exercises or three sets each a day at a rep range of seven to 12 while picking a weight that is challenging. “Ensure that you involve an equal amount of lower body and upper body exercises. For example,if you train for four days a week, it would be a good idea to do two days of upper body workouts and two days of lower body workouts to ensure balanced progress,” he says.
“Foundational movements to strengthen muscles, to strengthen two engines: core and glutes is important.
Also read: Here’s how you can decode a bottle of Gin and know if it’s not fake
Perform exercises such as glute bridges, single-leg glute bridges, elbow planks, and high planks. You can build up muscles from pushups, kneeling push-ups, straight leg push-ups, shoulder taps, plank jacks, jump squats, regular squats, wall sits, reverse lunges, and split lunges. For a beginner, focus on the foundational movements. Get the posture right and then proceed and load these movements to add progression and complexity to your life,” says Robin Behl, Co-founder at The Tribe, health and fitness club.
VR: Virtual reality will pick up. Most people across the globe are comfortable with specific training, people who want to continue with the trainers being in different parts of the world, and other people who have found comfort training in their homes will continue with the virtual setups
Exercise snacking: Exercise snacking will continue as it will give people the liberty to find small pockets of time and work on their weaknesses and train whenever instead of putting hours at a stretch
Free movement: Movement mobility and not just traditional weight lifting or strength training works well for mind-body connection
HIIT: High-intensity interval training is a strength training is short workouts, high efficiency, high results, and multiple benefits
— Robin Behl,co-founder, The Tribe, health and fitness club
- Integration of wearables with workouts is cost effective for crucial data on overall health
- Primal movements resemble what we do on a day-to-day basis and hence carry more importance to be functional and improve daily performance. These are non-complex, not so fancy exercises but are rewarding like the deadlift, squats, lateral lunges, farmers carry, etc.
- Mobility and posture building workouts cut the screen time and fix postural imbalances. Mobility is different from flexibility to avoid injuries
- Group and outdoor training with a social groups
— Gauthaman Ramesh, fitness expert, Cult.fit