By Nathalie Lacombe, M Sc.
I created this blog series as a tool to help differentiate between quick burning fads and trends that have staying power. Don’t spend a moment of your precious time or a dollar of your hard-earned money before reading and reflecting on The Next Big Things: Top 3 Trends for 2020!
Over the past few weeks, I have shared with you my third and second place winners. Did you agree with my choices? If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, read part 2 and part 3. Today, I am sharing the first place winner of the top trend of 2020!
First Place: Active Recovery and Mindfulness
NamastYay! Mindfulness has come out of the Yoga studio and made it into other forms of group training and fitness, personal training, and the gym floors. We are breathing new life into the meaning of rest days; now assigning them active recovery activities.
Our industry has researched, understood, and embraced the impact of tapping into our parasympathetic nervous system as it has beneficial impacts on so many aspects of physical and mental health. We are peppering mindfulness and breath work into our programming as our clients see improvements in quality of movement, mental acuity, stress management, quality of sleep, and self-esteem. All of those leading to better chances of achieving health and weight loss goals.
When foam rollers became a staple to all previously deserted stretching areas in gyms, I knew we were on the road to someplace new and exciting. TriggerPoint then launched products that took active recovery to a whole other (sometimes quite uncomfortable!) level. Professional athletes, fitness professionals, and weekend warriors alike are now investing in their own products like those offered by companies such as Hyperice.
Some of the biggest brands in the world have jumped on board and launched recovery apparel not only for activity but also rest including Under Armour’s sleepwear line.
We’re also joining forces with allied health professionals and stepping closer to the edges of what we used to see as scope of practice for fitness professionals. One example is Rehab-U, education created by an athletic therapist to help trainers meet the needs of a growing number of clients hoping to train around or through pain.
I often love comparing the restaurant industry to ours and this is no exception: slow movement is just as hot a trend as slow food. The modalities that have always offered this like Yoga and Pilates are now attracting younger clients as well as more men, and we’re stepping out of the traditional box. We see slower and functional movements included in most training programs done mindfully which gives “power” a whole new meaning. Breath work is now being coached in multiple styles of movement as it unleashes incredible benefits.
We’re taking our shoes off indoors to access and maximize the health of our feet as proper grounding impacts the entire body, and we’re walking outdoors barefoot to enjoy the benefits of “earthing”.
The catchy “But do you even meditate?” is a silly yet interesting indication of how far we’ve come. Seeing mindfulness being under the umbrella of meditation has made it accessible far more people than ever before. We are realizing that we don’t have to meditate in full Lotus pose for 30 minutes without any distractions in order to feel like we’re doing it well. We are understanding that noticing distractions, and not judging ourselves for them, means we ARE being mindful and that mindfulness is a practice therefore we accept that we’re not perfect at it.
Meditation and mindfulness practices are included in special events programming as well as part of regularly scheduled classes and training sessions.
The Next Big Things For You
First, serve thyself! Coming from a place of integrity is always critical and you really can’t fake this stuff. Study breath work or Pranayama, depending on what connects with you, and then, try out the active recovery gear for yourself. Include some form of self-care in your own weekly schedule before adding it to your client programming.
Once this is part of your own personal regimen, include it as part of your current programming with 5-minutes of mindful breathing at the start of a session or class. This will set the stage for better performance and decrease the risk of injury. It also sets the stage for how your clients continue on their day beyond their time with you.
Fitness Managers & Decision Makers
This trend is an opportunity to get creative about programs and spaces. In fact, the title of a “mind body studio” is somewhat obsolete, as we start to realize that we use both the mind and the body in all forms of movement and training.
Clients are craving active recovery and mindfulness practices in all of your spaces. Consider adding comfortable flooring & active recovery equipment to some of your open spaces. Perhaps you can revisit your small rooms (i.e. tanning) to create meditation hubs with pillows or bolsters.
Fitness Education Providers
if your program is focused on active recovery or mindfulness now is the time capitalize on your offers. Turn up your communication, online awareness, and marketing. Consider partnerships with clubs, studios, and other education providers as they are seeking opportunities with this trend. The market is more primed than ever, so don’t hold back.
If it’s not part of your programming, consider connecting with a brand as a “Yin and Yang” partnership could render great success. You can also learn Pranayama to see if some simple additions can be made to your brand culture and programs.
So, What’s Next?
Rolling with the tide of trends is critical to our success as we are in the business of offering health and fitness as a service; we therefore need to meet the needs of our customers. The trick is to take a step back and identify how we can tweak our readily available content, programs, and offers.