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Well, we can officially say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 (thank goodness). I think we can all agree the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented wasn’t what anybody expected—and we certainly weren’t prepared for it. I know I wasn’t the only one leaping from Target to Target to stock up on boxes of pasta and toilet paper. (Okay, and maybe a little bit of wine, don’t at me.)
On top of that, our go-to second homes (AKA: fitness studios) were forced to go through multiple openings and closings to help keep our communities safe and healthy. When that happened, us fitness-minded folks also needed to pivot the way we get our daily workouts in— routines abruptly changed overnight. One day we’re toweling off after our favorite spin class, the next day we were looking for an at-home spin bike—and finding a decent one was like winning the lottery.
But amid all this chaos, fitness studios near and far worked fast to make sure all of us fitness junkies didn’t turn into Netflix-binging couch potatoes by providing us with virtual fitness classes. From sweating it out in a virtual HIIT class to getting our asana at-home in virtual yoga, people all over the country were able to get a healthy dose of fitness whenever they needed it. This just goes to show, that even though we’re going through a pandemic, our wellness routines will always be there for us no matter what.
So, as we shut the door on the dumpster fire that was 2020, these are the fitness trends you can expect to see in 2021:
Even though fitness studios in some states are currently allowed to host in-studio classes, the convenience of working out from home is something that most folks can’t pass up. Not to mention, virtual options are typically cheaper and require zero commute time. So, for those of you who hit the snooze button at least twice before getting up, you can still get the morning workout in before the workday starts—or if that late afternoon meeting runs a little late, you can still make that yoga class.
Another advantage? You can also get a taste of new types of fitness classes that might not be offered in your area. I certainly jumped on the bandwagon ASAP and figured it was the perfect time to switch up my regular workout routine. Check out my articles on the virtual classes I tried:
And you can check out these articles from some of my esteemed colleagues here:
The COVID-19 pandemic turned our day-to-day routines upside down—even our work schedules changed with loads of people now working from home instead of going into an office. However, with the slew of lockdowns triggered by coronavirus, this means childcare, work, and our fitness routines are all now happening in the same place. With so much going on at home at any given time, we're forced to get a sweat sesh in whatever little free time we have.
That’s where bite-size fitness classes come into play. In fact, nearly four in ten Americans say their workouts are now a half-hour or less. Shorter fitness classes are also helping folks stay motivated while working out at home. I don’t know about you, but I find myself getting distracted or suffering from screen fatigue once that Pilates class hits that 30-minute marker. Instead of focusing on my abs, I start wondering what’s for dinner or tapping out early to enjoy a glass of rosé.
But with more and more fitness studios adding shorter workout classes to their schedules, we can all stay on top of our fitness goals and still have time to juggle the many responsibilities that come with sheltering-in-place.
Hey, we’ve all been there—trying out a new type of fitness class can be a scary thing. I’ll be honest, gymtimidation (gym intimidation, get it?) is the main reason I haven’t tried an in-person HIIT class yet. But one I can do by myself in the comfort of my own home? Now you’re speaking my language. If you also feel this way, please know you’re not alone. In fact, 56% of Americans are right there with you. So, if getting in better shape or the fear of the unknown have been what’s holding you back from trying that spin class or starting your yoga practice, virtual classes can help ease you into your fitness journey until you’re ready to strut your stuff in an actual studio.
Change is tough, but the way the fitness industry changed to help us all stay on-track with our wellness goals was nothing short of inspiring. Now, missing a fitness class because it didn’t fit into our schedules or because we were stuck in traffic are things of the past.
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Want an even more in-depth look into the fitness trends you can expect to see in 2021? Check out this blog.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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