When you think about “connected fitness,” you might picture smart watches and Pelotons, optimization and leaderboards. That aspect of fitness is not going anywhere. But the role connectedness will play in the fitness world in the near future is going to be a bit different. Namely, we’re connecting more deeply with ourselves, the needs and fluctuations of our bodies, and our communities.
That’s what’s up for discussion in this week’s installment of the Well+Good Podcast, where our fitness reporters and editors (including yours truly) give the scoop on what 2023 is going to hold for movement and exercise.
Fitness underwent massive shifts during the pandemic, including the move to at-home workouts, the closure of gyms and studios, and a shift to more sedentary lifestyles. After dozens of conversations with trainers, business owners, fitness aficionados, fitness tech industry leaders and analysts, and more, we think 2023 is going to be a turning point. We’re reaching into the pre-pandemic years for the things that we missed, and moving into the future for more movement types and tools that better serve our bodies.
The major ways this is manifesting is in our exercise habits and technology. Industry data shows that people are returning to in-person fitness, and that seeking community is a big motivator for opting to work out in the gym or the studio. As the CEO of Barry’s, Joey Gonzalez, told me when we spoke over the phone recently, “We’re back, baby!”
So the state of the in-person fitness industry is where our discussion begins. Next, we talk about how we’re getting exercise, and the “buzzword”—and very important concept—that no one will be able to ignore in 2023: mobility. Working from home has made so many of us crave some lubrication for our creaky joints and out-of-whack spines, and that’s led to an explosion in mobility-focused workouts. Finally, the way we’re tracking our fitness and health is evolving from simply counting our steps and following our heart rates on our smart watches to learning more about other factors like sleep and metabolism gathered on trackers worn on other parts of the body.
The idea driving it all: Connectedness. Whether it’s to the people we’re doing yoga next to in the studio, or to the needs and fluctuations of our own physicality, we’ll be strengthening the bonds that build strong bodies and communities in 2023.
To hear more about what the future of fitness is going to look like, you can listen to the full podcast below.