In Blog / Sport

Sport and Pandemic: what are the fitness trends to watch in 2021?

19 April 2021
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The sporting industry is one of the most affected sectors by the pandemic but is doing the best to react. As a result, with gyms and sports facilities closed for months, it was necessary to adapt and to respond effectively to the moment’s needs. 

 A lot of people during lockdown had to change their habits and physical activity has been revealed essential both for body and mental health. Many have ventured into outdoor workouts finding in this option also the only chance to escape off the walls of their home. Cities and parks have suddenly been populated by runners and bikers of any age. Walks, bike rides, runs and outdoor training have taken over even among those who would never considered physical activity as an option in their everyday life. 

In connection with this, the well-known bond between sport and wellness has been consolidated and has taken on a renewed value reminding us how physical exercise is an essential ally of our body in reinforcing our immune system. Many of us have changed their point of view: fitness is not only a means to a fit body but is also a powerful tool to safeguard mental health and to take care of ourselves. Things we particularly need in today’s time.

How the training has changed 

As mentioned, the outdoor world has been one of the favourites but at the same time, the internet was full of live events on Zoom, Skype or Instagram in which the best fitness coaches, experts and influencer glued to the screen an army of sportsmen from home. 

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There is a boom of apps and online platforms where to train, following virtual classes recorded by personal trainers and fitness professionals. In some cases, the gyms themselves to keep in touch with their clients, waiting for the re-opening of the fitness clubs, have implemented the offer on their applications with lots of different training classes to meet the needs both of beginners and experienced.

Cyberobics and MyVirgineActive are among the most popular and complete solutions, to name a few, offered respectively by the big companies Mcfit and Virgin Active. Also, the new platform Buddyfit is revealing very attractive. Like a real gym, you can book and join over 100 live classes per week. It ranges between yoga, pilates, cardio, strength and many more. Quickly has become very popular thanks to special ambassadors like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the showgirl Diletta Leotta. 

The extraordinary feature of these new digital platforms is the opportunity to have training available 24/7, responding to any user need and accessible from anywhere. Also, there are several kinds of workouts, floor exercises with the help of simple but functional equipment like mats, bands, kettlebells or ropes. In short, no excuses not to start training.  

Expected trends for 2021

Every year in the past 15 years the ACSM - American College of Sports Medicine carries out a survey on a global scale to identify and rank the fitness trend of the moment. 

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The results of their study have confirmed in the first place the online training, made by digital classes broadcasted live or on-demand. This absolute trend of 2021 carries along consequently the increased demand of all the gym-like equipment related to the fitness industry. Indeed, let us remind that since the first months in lockdown most of the fitness e-commerce websites were bombed with purchase requests that were often difficult to satisfy. Thus, it will be necessary to keep up with the evolutions of scenarios given that, as expected, the market of gym accessories (mats, bands, ankle weights, trx etc.) will see a sensible growth in the coming months. 

At number two stands out the wearable technology, represented by smartwatches, fitness trackers, GPS and all that devices specially studied for monitoring performance and health. These smart tools can record heartbeat, body temperature, the number of steps, burnt calories, sleep quality and much more. As stated by ACSM, the value of this industry on the market is around 100 billion dollars and is constantly evolving. Among the most sophisticated innovations is coming soon the blood pressure measurement, oxygen saturation and even electrocardiogram. 

In third place, we find the body weight training that is all about using body weight as the training modality, followed in fourth place by outdoor activities always very popular. As a consequence, in response to the growing trend of walking and run open-air, the sneakers market is expected to grow as well, with ultra-performing, cutting edge, light and eco-sustainable models.

Then, we find the HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training. These exercise programs typically involve short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest. A session of HIIT can last only 20 minutes which means that is a very appreciated kind of workout by the busiest people. 

For the first time in 2021, virtual training has appeared separately from online training. Indeed, virtual workouts typically are played in gyms on the big screen attracting a small number of clients. This training option allows people to go at their own pace, which makes it ideal for a novice looking to learn the moves. 

Holistic disciplines: the mind-body connection 

The last months of alert and isolation put a strain on everyone, no doubt. Each of us feels somehow depressed, restless, impatient and desperately searching for peace and balance. Our escape from these feelings has attested among the psycho-physical well-being trends, yoga, pilates and mindfulness. These activities prove to be a good response to post-traumatic stress situations, anxiety and burnout caused by the pandemic, several lockdowns, working from home and the general unpredictability that surrounds us. Numerous studies have shown how those kinds of slow physical exercise and meditation help to relax the body and calm our mind. Therefore, they represent successful remedies to states of anxiety, depression as well as insomnia, all sicknesses more common lately.

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Undoubtedly, we can’t wait to move and travel again. We are looking forward to coming back to the gym and we hope to be able to do it soon. In the meantime, don’t forget to take care of yourself. 

Trends are clear, sports and fitness will remain at the heart of our daily life in 2021. The most important aspects will be the variety, thanks to the wide range of training sessions available like never before, and the self-care that we can reach by reconciling physical exercise to well-being.