We’re officially amid the golden age of fitness. According to a 2017 report, one in every seven people in the UK is a member of a gym, and that doesn’t take into account how many of us are logging on to home workouts being streamed through YouTube or downloaded in app form. Our new healthy mindset doesn’t just relate to busting a gut in the weight room either. Wellness and well-being are becoming far more intrinsic in our daily habits, which is why sleep pods, post-workout stretch classes and community-based workouts are predicted to fly in 2018.
Want to know what else you should get on board with? Keep scrolling to find out what we’ll be signing up to this year.
Spin and climbing were both big hitters in 2017, but this year, expect to see a hybrid class that combines cardio and incline training methods. Performed on a VersaClimber (those step machines you might have noticed in the gym), the 45-minute classes performed to music use speed, interval training and incline to mix up the workout. Bonus: There’s less impact on the body than on a spin bike, as there’s no pounding on the knees; the upright standing position also does wonders for your posture. BXR London is Europe’s first studio to host Climb to the Beat classes, but it definitely won’t be the last.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WORKOUTS TAKE THE LEAD
Like personal trainers in your pocket, artificial intelligence is beginning to infiltrate the fitness world in 2018. From audio workouts to killer playlists, as well as becoming your in-ear guide, the apps will learn from your preferences, progress and stamina so they can tailor make a training plan specifically to suit your goals and needs. Check out the Aaptiv and Freeletics apps and keep your eyes on Amazon—they’ve just invested in body-mapping technology to monitor exactly how you move when you exercise.
Food intolerance testing has been on our radar for a while, but with sleep deprivation, depression, IBS and inflammation constantly cropping up in conversation, advanced home health-testing kits will become more widespread. Verisana has just launched a candida overgrowth syndrome testing kit that simply requires a stool sample and some data that’s then assessed by their experts to diagnose your gut health. Omega-3 kits are also available.
Foam rollering, stretches and regular massages to soothe our muscles used to be an after thought but in 2018 there will be more focus on the fascia—the connective tissue made from collagen that keeps us mobile and supple. Australia is leading the way with their super physio’s but it’s about to start trending in the UK according to Zanna Van Dijk, Balance Festival ambassador. And it makes sense now that we’re all training more and swotting up on self-care.
“We will definitely see a rise in recovery-based classes and workouts in gyms that use advanced recovery techniques usually reserved for athletes,” says Van Dijk. It means those changing-room saunas might come back into play as well, along with infrared spaces and cryotherapy pods that use heat and ice to speed up recovery time and reduce muscle strain. KXU in London has both and suggests a 25-minute session three times a week if you want to reap the optimum health and wellness results.
Boxing has paved the way for combat sports to make it onto class timetables and Muay Thai and kickboxing are expected to see resurgence in 2018. “Combat exercises are a brilliant way to increase stamina, build muscle and improve agility but by occupying the mind they provide a total release from the stresses of our everyday chaotic lives,” explains PT Jamie Ray.
It’s true—if you can’t get on board with mindfulness, a class of dodging punches will force you to switch off or else face a fat lip. Running in parallel with the punches is the return of tai chi with searches on Pinterest up by a whopping 189%. An alternative to yoga and Pilates, but with similar benefits, it makes a nice change to be looking to the east for inspiration rather than the Lycra-clad capital of L.A.
BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON
Gong therapy made it big last year, but this year, it’s all about full-moon sound baths, new-moon ceremonies and guided moon rituals—or it is in Hollywood and NYC, anyway. Moon reports are set to take over horoscopes, and people are looking to consult the planet as a guide for everything from health to well-being. Especially when it comes to women’s health, as the moon cycle is prophesised to be heavily linked to the menstrual cycle. There’s even a monthly online membership programme, Moon Club, founded by Ruby Warrington, that mentors you around the cycles of the moon. It’s catching on over here too, add moon ceremony into Eventbrite and it won’t just be Stonehenge that pops up.
Who doesn’t know someone with IBS? Gut health has been gaining traction for the past 12 months, and probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha are no longer just reserved for the aisles of Planet Organic and Whole Foods—you can bag them in your local supermarket too.
Based on the premise that inflammation in the body is the root cause of most illnesses, 2018 will see targeted cookbooks and programmes designed to reset and nourish the gut. Juice brand Plenish launches its seven-day Healthy Gut cleanse in January that combines probiotic waters with pre- and probiotic recipes, while new cookbook Reset Your Gut by Robyn Youkilis follows hot on the heels of Eve Kalinik’s Be Good to Your Gut.
Get ready for an influx of collagen supplements too. Perfect for when you don’t have time to muster up a cauldron of bone broth, collagen powders are being heralded the next-best thing. Containing glycine— known to sooth and regulate stomach acid, the collagen also builds and protects the tissue lining between colon and gastrointestinal tract—which basically means any inflammation is reduced. We’re holding out for the new Ancient + Brave range and its two blends, Coffee + Collagen and Cacao + Collagen.
Opening Image: Lululemon