In truth, the future of fitness (as with the future in general) is impossible to predict with total certainty. Our ideas about health, exercise and fitness have been in constant flux ever since these terms were created. The ancient Greeks, who were one of the first societies to merge exercise and leisure, thought of it as a way for men to prove their superiority over one another and stay fit for war.
While there are still plenty of wannabe Spartans around, few of them are actually training for close-quarters combat. Today, the vast majority of us exercise and stay fit because we want to extend our lives and improve our health, rather than to chase a glorious death on the battlefield (again, Spartans excluded).
The future of fitness will be driven by technology, societal changes and ever more thrilling scientific advances. We may not be able to predict it with perfect accuracy, but there are some trends that will doubtless shape the way we view health and exercise in the years ahead.
Technology will play a lead role
We’re already seeing this trend begin to take shape in the form of wearable devices & smart clothing, performance-enhancing sneakers and virtual reality training simulations. As it does in just about every other aspect of our lives, technology is providing us with unprecedented opportunities to re-imagine the ways we can stay healthy and fit. If you’ve ever used a smart device that tracks your heart rate, daily step counts, calorie intake and even the quality of your sleep, you’ve also likely already felt the sensation of nakedness you’re left with when you take it off.
The opportunities that these new technologies provide are going to be hard to ignore. After all, who of us isn’t interested in finding ways to improve either our health, our athletic performance or both? But no worries, if tech isn’t your thing, the rest of us can wait for you at the top of the hill.
Nutrition will continue to grow in importance
The importance of having a good diet has been known to us since time immemorial, but today we understand the effects of food as never before. When used correctly, it works as both a medicine and a type of human rocket fuel that propels us to extraordinary feats of the body & mind. As we continue to learn about microbiomes, food is even being touted as the new frontier in fields as far apart as mental health and personal hygiene.
When it comes to fitness, nutrition is not only the future, it’s the present as well. Whether we’re talking about strength or endurance, the outsized role that diet plays in performance is now undeniable. This has made top athletes some of the most enthusiastic adopters of the latest trend in nutrition: plant-based diets. While doctors (and hippies) have long touted the benefits of a primarily or even totally plant-based diet, documentaries like The Game Changers and the fact that many of the world’s most successful athletes are now plant-based are driving a paradigm shift in the way we look at food.
To be clear: The science does not necessarily point towards veganism as the single best diet for athletic performance. What it does do, however, is confirm that having a healthy & balanced diet that consists predominantly of whole, plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies and legumes is key to reaching your peak.
Health & Fitness are going online
The Covid-19 pandemic has also given us another major glimpse into the future of fitness. Training online, as with working, studying & socializing, was already becoming popular before the pandemic. Now, it’s hard to envision a future in which it doesn’t dominate. The convenience of being able to train from anywhere and at any time is hard to overlook. The web also offers the chance to connect with a far larger pool of talent specializing in a greater number of activities than can be found in even the most developed cities.
Of course, there will always be a need for in-person training, especially when it comes to team sports. It will also always be possible to get fit using nothing but your own body and the surrounding environment. If that sounds like your jam, you can stop reading here. If you’re ready to hop on the express train to the future, you can start by downloading the Heck Yeah app. On it, you’ll find qualified, experienced trainers representing a wide range of activities and regions of the world. All of them are personally vetted by us and ready to help you turn your goals into reality. If not now, then when?