Is Future Fitness A Blast From The Past?

Photo by Studio Firma

In 2013 ClassPass ushered in the age of boutique fitness. The movement world was frenzied over the small, trendy outposts offering targeted classes at upward of $40 a pop. While many devotees still flock to the Pure Barres of the world, increasingly, we're seeing a shift away from high-price, hyper-focused studios and toward something entirely more low-key. Those still boutiqueing are using ClassPass to access meditation, restorative, and recovery classes—the largest growing categories of their offerings. And some are questioning if the start-up is heading toward a bust. We're seeing a renewed desire among fitness folks to use their free time to strengthen not only their bodies but their relationships, and to do that as often as possible in the great outdoors. mindbodygreen's 2018 reader survey found that among our readers, gym memberships have declined, while yoga, meditation, and outdoor activities came in as readers' top 3 favorite form of fitness. We're calling it: In 2018 we'll see a rise in inclusive, low-maintenance movement.

Joyful, accessible, and community-oriented, it's right in line with what we're seeing in our 2018 Wellness Trends, a reordering of wellness that places others and the planet ahead of the self. Think YMCA, park basketball courts, and public pools. There's a sense of ease to this sort of movement, which requires less in the way of online sign-ups, package purchases, and cool-girl competition. 2018's workouts aren't Insta-ready; they don't come with Carrara-tiled showers and Oribe conditioner. They're about getting you moving, connecting you with your community, and unplugging. Consider the mind-clearing power of a jog through your neighborhood or the feel-good effect of getting tagged into a basketball game with strangers—those are the feelings movers are after in 2018.

And we're seeing some of our most beloved boutiques pivot along with the times. Flywheel launched an at-home bike following the meteoric popularity of the stationary bike by Peloton, which released a treadmill this month. "I think consumers are looking for optimal flexibility with their fitness—to have the experiences that they love available to them whenever and wherever they want them," Sarah Robb O'Hagan, CEO of Flywheel, told mindbodygreen. "Whether that means in a bricks-and-mortar studio with the energy of their community around them or in their homes, where they can stay connected digitally to that same community." Tess Roering, Chief Marketing Officer of Core Power Yoga, sees a growing appetite for fresh air from CPY's clients: “Our Yoga on the Rocks event that we host in Colorado every year always sells out and is one of many outdoor yoga classes we host around the country.” Athleta Chief Marking Officer Andrea Mallard, herself embodies the growing desire for accessible movement, "Half the reason I bike to work and bike home is to get mental clarity so I can be totally present when I'm home. That doesn't cost me anything—just a little bit of extra time to get home so I'm more available."

There's a lot to love about the hard-core classes we've come to crave, but this year, we're loosening up our allegiances and looking forward to moving in a new way. Dodgeball, anyone?

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