The top workout trends for 2020 can best be described as the same, but different. Wearable technology, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and group training are the top three fitness trends according to a “Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends For 2020,” published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal in November 2019. But, that was before COVID-19 changed how people exercise in North America. Let’s take a look at those top three trends and see how they’re holding up this summer.
One in five American adults were already using wearable trackers, according to Gallup’s Health and Healthcare survey, which was conducted in November 2019.
Now, researchers are enthusiastic about the possibility of fitness trackers detecting COVID-19. Pro basketball leagues and golf tours have purchased fitness trackers for all athletes and essential staff, in hopes that the wearable technology will be able to identify potential coronavirus infections early and help limit the spread.
There’s been a 27 percent increase in social media mentions about fitness tracking in the last three months, and tracker shipments surged 20 percent in the first quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus began making its way through the United States.
Wearable technology has been the number one fitness trend since 2016, according to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, with the only exception being in 2018 when it dropped to number three.
HIIT (AND YOGA)
A recent study that analyzed exercise and dieting trends on social media found that HIIT and yoga are the most popular exercises globally, with HIIT seeing a 57 percent increase in Google searches in the last four months and a 75 percent increase in articles written about it this year. Yoga tops the list in social media popularity with over 80 million hashtags on Instagram. Experts believe that we’ll rely on yoga more as we start to incorporate mental wellness into our fitness regimes. And there’s a prediction that micro-HIIT – fitting in one, two or three minutes of HIIT, instead of the recommended 15 to 20 minutes, three times per week – will be the way of the future.
ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journaldefines group training as exercise with more than five people led by instructors who teach, lead and motivate participants through intentionally designed, larger in-person group movement classes. While these group classes are designed to be effective, motivational sessions for different fitness levels, 112 people in South Korea were infected with COVID-19 in February and March after participating in or associating with participants in Zumba classes. As gyms and fitness facilities closed due to the coronavirus, people who still wanted that group class experience turned to virtual wellness by streaming live and pre-recorded classes, with the online fitness industry seeing a major boom since the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, gyms are turning to outdoor classes for members who are craving a sense of community, but are wary about exercising indoors with others. By taking the classes outside, experts say transmission of the coronavirus is less likely than in enclosed spaces. And if you’d still rather work out alone, but want to get outside, you can always train in a public park using trees, benches and whatever else is around for your workout.