On a trip to Los Angeles back in 2016, I took a tour of all the newest gyms the city had to offer. It was the tail-end of the ridiculous fitness innovation era that started with the invention of those power band bracelet things that were meant to harness your 'holographic' energy. One of the many gyms I visited, called Sand Box, was essentially a HIIT workout in a giant sand pit. Inside a studio.
I understood their logic; working out on an unstable surface will force you to engage your core more than you would on solid gym floor. However, the practicalities were few and far between. Sand Box couldn't run back-to-back classes because staff needed an hour to sweep up the sand that was tracked through the non-pit portion of the studio, sweat, spit and any other number of bodily fluids inevitably landed on the sand, remaining there for...ever? And as anyone who's been to a beach will tell you, sweat (aka water) causes sand to stick; to you, to your clothes, and to anything in your orbit. Strutting down Santa Monica Blvd with a sandy tuchus ain't it.
I admire their ambition, but ultimately Sand Box didn't work, most likely succumbing to the business of Big Beach, the free, outdoor alternative. However innovative, it was a sign of the times and no doubt meant to be one of the biggest fitness trends of that summer.
The moral of the story, most of these trends are nothing more than seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-times and should be taken with a grain of salt. Or grain of sand. But it's fun to peek into the crystal medicine-ball for a look at what our workout overlords have planned, the oft-exciting innovations that are headed our way and new training methods that could potentially stick, like sand on sweat.
From the whimsical to the wacky, these predictions serve as a light-hearted reminder that staying active doesn't always mean sweating in a grim gym - a grym? Whether you're plogging with purpose, conferencing with calisthenics, or dancing your way through downward dog, the fitness landscape of 2024 promises a delightful blend of the unexpected and the utterly amusing. After all, in the world of exercise, a hearty laugh might just be the best medicine.
Aerobic Yoga or "AeroGaga" Takes Centre Stage
Picture this: Downward dog with a disco twist, sun salutations set to the rhythm of '80s power ballads. Enter "AeroGaga," a mashup of aerobics and yoga that promises to make your chakras dance while your heart pumps. Ditch the serene soundtrack; it's time to stretch and shimmy to the beats of Beyoncé. Who said yoga couldn't be a party?
Extreme Office Fitness: Conference Call Calisthenics
In a world where virtual meetings have become the norm, why not turn them into a workout opportunity? Say hello to Conference Call Calisthenics, where muted microphones and unseen video feeds provide the perfect cover for discreet desk squats, seated leg lifts, and stealthy chair dips. Productivity meets planks, and emails pair well with lunges—working hard has never felt so literal.
Plogging Parties: Eco-Friendly Jogging with a Purpose
It's time to lace up your running shoes and grab a trash bag because "plogging" is about to sweep the fitness scene. To be fair to the internet, "plogging" was set to be a hit in 2020, coming into the fitness lexicon in late-2019, however COVID delayed its release. This eco-conscious trend involves picking up litter while jogging, turning your run into a noble pursuit of environmental stewardship. Who knew that saving the planet could be a calorie-burning endeavour? Plogging parties might just become the new weekend soirée, and given its soft-launch in 2019 it may be one that sticks.
Holographic Fitness Gurus: Sweat with the Stars
Move over, Jane Fonda workout tapes. In 2024, there is a predicted rise of holographic fitness gurus who beam into your living room for personalised workout sessions. Picture a shimmering, three-dimensional Steven Kelly cheering you on as you sweat to the oldies, all from the comfort of your own space-age sweat palace. It's like having a fitness fairy godparent without the questionable wardrobe choices.
VR Wellness Retreats: Zen in the Virtual Wilderness
Can't escape to a secluded spa in the mountains? No problem. VR wellness retreats are set to transport you to tranquil landscapes without leaving your living room. Picture yourself doing tai chi on a pixelated beach or practicing mindfulness in a serene digital forest. It's the ultimate in escapism—a wellness journey that doesn't require packing a suitcase or leaving Wi-Fi range.