Get healthier in the new year with fun exercise formats, nifty home gadgets and easy-to-implement wellness habits.
The pandemic has resulted in several worrying health trends, particularly in terms of weight gain and sedentary lifestyle habits. According to Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia Pacific Personal Habits Survey, many respondents reported putting on excess weight. About half of these individuals gained 3kg to 5kg, while a fifth added 6kg to 10kg. The main culprit was not exercising or being less active, as reported by 61 per cent of those who gained surplus weight.
The survey also found that poorer stamina or fitness levels, excess weight gain and a weaker immune system are among the most common negative consequences resulting from unhealthy lifestyle habits developed over the past two years.
If you need a little push to get that exercise routine back on track and reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, consider some of these fitness trends recommended by Ms Samantha Clayton, vice president of Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness at Herbalife Nutrition.
The simplest exercises may also be the most efficient. Walking and running – which are free, effective and can be done just about anywhere – will continue to be popular in 2023.
According to Ms Clayton, walking may play a key role in maintaining mobility and physical independence, especially among the older population. “Being a low-impact exercise, it is less taxing on the joints,” she said. “When performed at an incline, such as on a treadmill, walking can also be a weight-bearing workout as your bones and muscles have to work harder against gravity. This helps your body build and maintain bone density, which is important as we age.”
The Health Promotion Board recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week, inclusive of the activities that one carries out in daily life, such as taking the stairs.
FUN AND FUSION FITNESS
It is often much easier to commit to a workout routine when it includes an element of fun. One of the exciting exercise trends to watch this year is step aerobics, which is making a comeback. This high-intensity, low-impact cardio workout appeals especially to the musically motivated.
“Step aerobics improves balance, coordination and agility over time,” said Ms Clayton. She added that aerobic exercise – which involves repetitive and rhythmic movements and activates large muscle groups such as the glutes, legs, shoulders and arms – is an ideal activity to address high blood pressure.
You can also expect to see more short-duration, high-intensity exercises being paired with thoughtful stretching routines, as well as hybrid training and fusion classes combining two or more sports for a total body workout. Mixing up types and genres not only challenges your muscles in new ways, but also helps stave off boredom while working out.
THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION
Exercise is not purely physical, and holistic workouts that include mental engagement will remain popular this year. These include yoga, workouts that incorporate positive affirmations, and routines that focus on building self-awareness and reducing stress.
These comprehensive approaches ensure that individuals pay as much attention to their mental health as their physical health. Another aspect of this is recovery. “Ensure that you obtain sufficient rest and fuel your body with nourishing foods and plenty of water after sweating it out,” said Ms Clayton.
HOME FITNESS GADGETS TAKE OFF
Sales of home fitness gear boomed during the pandemic, and the industry has seen plenty of innovation in recent years. Looking ahead, consumers will continue to incorporate home workouts into their exercise regimes by stocking their home gyms with high-tech, digitally connected equipment, be it stationary bikes featuring built-in touchscreens for streaming workout classes or boxing gear that tracks your metrics and progress in real time.
Ms Clayton said that the virtual reality (VR) fitness market will expand, especially among the younger demographic, and that gaming and cutting-edge VR fitness experiences will get even more people moving in 2023.
SOCIAL SUPPORT MATTERS
Most mask-off, in-person fitness classes have resumed at full capacity. People have been quick to flock back to studios or engage in group fitness activities to take advantage of the positive social effects these can provide in helping them achieve their fitness goals.
“There is a wealth of data linking the benefits of social support to improved health and well-being,” Ms Clayton revealed. “It influences physical activity behaviour through performance improvements, self-efficacy, enjoyment and motivation.”
Research shows that working out with friends makes you more accountable in showing up, encourages the learning of new moves and promotes harder work. It also has a greater calming effect compared to exercising alone.
Whether you are looking to overhaul your workout regime or implement incremental changes to your daily activity level, consider incorporating these fun and engaging fitness trends into your routine for a healthier you in 2023.