How will we be exercising this year? While 2020 and some of 2021 paved the way for at-home workouts, Peloton, walks and outdoor everything, the new year brings with it a new approach to our exercise routines that will help us reach our physical – and most importantly, mental – goals. Below, Vogue takes a look at the fitness trends set to be big in 2022.
You might be able to bend in ways that others find tricky, but are you metabolically flexible? One in four UK adults suffer from metabolic syndrome, or an unhealthy metabolism, which can cause obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Having good metabolic flexibility implies that your body can quickly and efficiently switch between using carbohydrates and fats as its fuel source, which means it is also more easy for you to gain muscle, perform better during workouts, maintain a balanced weight and stay youthful for longer, to name a few of its benefits.
Lumen is a new device that helps you to understand and stay in control of your metabolism. Cleverly, all you have to do is breathe into the handheld device (which is small enough to fit in even the smallest handbags) and it offers insight into what your body is burning, something that top athletes do as a matter of course. It then offers you a guide on what to eat during the day to shift your metabolism into healthy zones.
“Our metabolism has the key to unlock our health and wellness,” agrees NHS doctor Dr Emeka Okorocha. “If we take care of it by making it more flexible, everything else follows – higher energy, weight management and lower blood sugar.”
The whole world and his dog got a bike over lockdown – there was little else to do but cycle for miles during those long weekends – and now the craze is crescendoing with all manner of wheel-based classes. Not just the spinning of days gone by (we still love Psycle and Soulcycle for their feel-good workouts) but now Wattbikes are having a moment to shine. The new Third Space gym in Mayfair has just launched London’s first group Wattbike class for those who want the challenge of road-biking but indoors and with added statistical feedback and a fitness score. At AMP Athletic in London’s Marylebone, air bikes are a common part of most workouts because they offer a full body (and testing) workout that amps up calorie burn. And then, of course, Peloton: those who haven’t yet tried the brand’s spin classes can now trial the Peloton app (which also features other workouts, such as cardio, yoga and strength) for two months, free of charge, in the new year.
Mental health training
Yes, we work out to keep our bodies healthy and strong, but increasingly there is a movement towards ensuring we exercise to boost our mental wellbeing, whether that’s via walking or a more intense HIIT class. Experts have long said that exercise is the best medicine, and now it’s being put into action as GPs are set to start prescribing “judgement-free” exercise classes for women seeking help with depression and diabetes. Boxing is one of the disciplines mentioned (the programme has been designed by Sports England – This Girl Can) which makes sense given it works many of the body’s muscle groups but also helps improve coordination, posture and mood; crucially, it is also a great skill to work on for confidence and many who swear by it attest that it’s the most empowering workout there is – you can expect to feel strong and capable after just one session. Learn the art of professional boxing at JAB, an authentic (yet chic) gym – classes teach you to be your own champion, regardless of what level you’re at.
Quick fixers are out, long-term health is in
What we learned from 18 months (and counting) of a pandemic is that health really is everything. So faddy intense 10-day bootcamps are out in favour of consistent and regular exercise, working with the body’s natural rhythms rather than pounding it into the ground – many of us are suffering chronic stress (and sky high cortisol levels) and working out too intensely or often can exacerbate this. The newly-opened health and wellbeing club, Coach London, in Mayfair is spearheading compound conditioning to help clients achieve their goals at the right pace and focus on body, mindset and lifestyle in their sessions. After a workout at Buddha Box (where you can do everything from yoga to martial arts) head to its recovery room to enjoy a holistic treatment that helps the body and mind to calm, as well as a herb-laden beverage for mental health benefits. Meanwhile, trainers like Luke Worthington and George Veness are also worth a follow for fitness and wellbeing advice that spans from how we think to how we work out.