Many of us kick off the new year with new fitness goals. However, many of us are already bored with said fitness goals and scrolling through #FitTok for ideas and inspiration.
Luckily, there are some fun, new workout ideas and trends out there. And research shows that trying something new can have significant mental and physical benefits.
Here are four fun fitness trends to consider this year.
1. Say “yes” to a smart ring
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It’s the year to put a ring on it. The smart ring industry is expanding with shiny new models and eye-catching features to track your fitness goals. Smart rings do pretty much everything a smartwatch does but from a band around your finger.
The latest models in the fit-bling ring include the YogiFi Ring, which can help gauge mindfulness and monitor breathing throughout the day. For women and people assigned female at birth, the Evie Ring helps track periods, menstrual symptoms, ovulation and fertility in addition to standard fitness data.
Serious athletes looking to track training loads may want to consider the Amazfit Helio smart ring set to debut this year. And wearable tech fans can say yes to the smart ring from Samsung — although details are hush, hush right now so it may be a surprise proposal, er, launch.
2. Pickleball for everybody
If you’re not familiar with pickleball, the popular sport is a combination of tennis, ping-pong and badminton played on a court with a net (Spoiler: No actual pickles are consumed during the game).
Pickleball was the fastest-growing sport in the country in 2023, and now many cities are adding pickleball courts to their community plans — even Central Park in Manhattan has added pickleball courts. There’s also a push to include pickleball in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Overall, pickleball is easy to play and affordable (if you don’t have to rent a court). It’s also a good way to get a group of family or friends together, which can help keep you accountable. And winning against your pickleball friend forever (PFF) is always fun.
3. Cozy cardio for self-care
Step one: Roll out of bed. Step two: Grab a beverage and the remote. Step three: Start a low-impact workout while watching or listening to something that makes you feel good while you’re still rocking your pajamas.
The “cozy cardio” workout became a TikTok sensation at the end of 2023 when influencer Hope Zuckerbrow posted videos of herself on her walking pad at home in a comfortable environment (think: wearing a bathrobe and drinking coffee). Bottom line: A self-care twist like comfortable clothing, watching a fun movie, dim lighting and aromatherapy can help make exercise more enjoyable and less intimidating.
Zuckerbrow’s cozy cardio content has more than 2 million views on TikTok and the term has become a catchall for low-intensity exercise you can do at home. Fuzzy bathrobes are encouraged.
4. Forest bathing for mental and physical fitness
Run, Forest. Run! Wait, just kidding. You don’t have to run through the forest to get the benefits of forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of forest therapy. Forest bathing means immersing yourself in the forest and being mindful of the nature around you. The traditional practice (and by tradition, it’s only been around since the ’80s) includes the help of a guide, but you can soak up all the goodness of Mother Nature on your own too.
Research shows the process can help relieve stress and anxiety and promote a more positive sense of well-being. And there are physical benefits, too. One recent study found walking through a forest had a greater effect on cardiovascular health compared to walking in a park in a city. Just save the bathing part for when you get home.
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