Fitness has long been recognized as an important element of overall health and wellness. Which made things even more difficult during the dark days of the pandemic as many of us found ourselves starved of our usual ways of staying fit.
Peloton became a craze, home gyms sprang up even in the smallest of condos, and online yoga classes calmed entire nations.
Through that journey a collective understanding arose that being fit is not just about looking great in your clothes. Fitness is critical to overall health and wellness, and for reasons we perhaps did not expect.
According to a recent survey of over 1,000 Canadian fitness professionals, post pandemic exercise is ushering in a new age of fitness that prioritizes aging well, mental wellbeing, active recovery, and social connection.
“We’ve seen a shift in how people think about and engage with fitness. It’s no longer just about crushing your workout goals. Now more people are prioritizing fitness and active recovery to improve their physical and mental health and enjoy their lives more,” said Maureen ‘Mo’ Hagan, COO of canfitpro.
The pandemic taught us that aligning the mind and the body for overall health is real. So, let’s examine the top 5 Canadian fitness trends for 2024 to see how they will fit into our strategy.
1. Active Aging
While a growing population of older adults are carrying on as usual with their fitness regimes or favourite sports as they age, we’re also seeing younger generations prioritizing active aging early on.
More Canadians are investing in lifelong mobility, preventative healthcare, and quality of life. All generations, from Gen Z to the Silent Generation are taking charge of their health and turning to fitness to prevent degenerative aging and stay strong and mobile for their entire lives.
2. Functional Fitness
This method of fitness refers to bodyweight exercises designed to improve the stability and balance needed for everyday movements. The focus is often on core strengthening and primal movements, including motions that twist and bend the torso or propel the body forward.
Functional exercises consistently top the fitness trends list, reflecting growing awareness of how these moves can impact enjoyment of daily activities and overall quality of life. These exercises can easily be done in the comfort of the home, making them accessible to all.
3. Mental Health, Mindfulness, and Stress Reduction
More people in Canada are turning to fitness for self-care, meditative programming, and a focus on mind-body connection.
Fitness can build confidence, increase the mind-body connection, and reduce stress.
4. Active Recovery and Regeneration
For decades, fitness has been about crushing your goals and pushing your limits.
Now, fitness lovers are taking time for recovery and regeneration, looking for gyms that offer specialized equipment like foam rollers, massage guns, and cryotherapy, as well as regenerative programming like hot yoga and guided stretching.
5. Group Fitness Classes
Classes continue to be popular, but fitness professionals report more interest in unique and customized formats, like high intensity Tabata classes, myofascial stretching, tai-chi, and dance-inspired group fitness programs.
“In 2024, we expect to see more specialized classes that combine effective techniques and routines with inspiring music and atmosphere. People want to try new things, challenge themselves, and enjoy the community of a group setting,” says Jessie Thomas, founder of boutique fitness studio, Farm Girl Fitness.
Will you incorporate any of these fitness trends into your health plan for 2024? Hit us up on social media and let us know!