Getting fitter: Will you be running backwards in 2022?
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Inspired by our sporting superstars or simply hunting for your fitness mojo? We take a look at some of the latest ideas to try - or not.
Armchair yoga, backwards running, bungee dance, mini triathlons and zoom karate, there’s never been a better time to try something different to spark that move it motivation.
There’s always something new, or reinvented, in the fitness world, which helps those who give up fitness resolutions as soon as they’re bored.
With the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the 10th anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, sport and action is going to be high profile in 2022. Get involved and try some of the 2022 fitness trends in Norfolk.
Online training is a trend that's here to stay with an explosion of live and on-demand exercise classes, whether you want to feel part of a cycling peloton or you're simply not in the mood for sharing your fitness moment in the flesh.
Stream live workouts and classes from local yoga and karate instructors, try burlesque and boxercise, book online gym membership, stream workouts with a personal trainer or choose a YouTube workout.
Search Norfolk online workouts for masses of ideas. If medals help with motivation, why not try events such as virtual walks and runs, burpee challenges and even the virtual TCS London Marathon.
Mind and body training
Big news for 2022 is fitness for the whole person, not just the movement, with a focus on everything from sleep and food to relaxation. It ranges from Norwich-based health coach Ollie Matthews, of Ojay Health, giving advice on optimising running performance - and general fitness - through good living habits, to fellow personal trainers working with clients on mood, mental health and diet as well as exercise.
Coaches now aim to not only increase people's physical fitness but also help in all areas of their life. Ollie said: "I'm here to help you manage your stress, reduce inflammation, say goodbye to brain fog, feel beautiful in your body, and regain the energy to fully enjoy your life–without bizarre diets or making the gym your second home."
This trend emerges every few years with fans convinced it’s less impactful on the knees than conventional running. A new study has even suggested running downhill, backwards, is an active approach to easing Achilles tendon aches.
But Neil Featherby, athlete and owner of Sportlink in Taverham and former GB runner, isn’t keen: “Apparently running backwards can help to improve muscle tone. However, I personally feel there are much better ways to do this and get fit, particularly when you weigh up the safety factors.
“It is like anything else, if you do it for long enough and build up very carefully then our bodies will adapt to any new stresses.
“Nevertheless, for anyone I was advising, running forwards combined with good mobility and strengthening of muscles through the more tried-and-tested methods will always be the way,” he says.
He advises anyone running backwards chooses a safe environment and someone to supervise.
The great outdoors
Many of us have been heading outside for walks, runs, rides or simply fresh air for what feels like forever. Now, with many gyms and personal trainers continuing to offer outdoor sessions and launching new ones, we can say we’re part of the fitness trend.
Take a skipping rope, kettlebell, resistance band or just a plan to breathe deeply, and enjoy.
Wearing the kit
Connected devices and fitness/body scans are not just for the stat-obsessed. There are gadgets to track movement, stress and heart rates – useful for goal setting and daily wins.
Join fitness app and wearable technology groups to share results and discover Apps such as Thrive, Yogaia, Results Wellness Lifestyle and Streaks, which are ideal for life coaching, motivation and mood checking.
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Remember all those get-fit articles telling us to take the stairs not the escalator, to park further away from the shop door and to get off the bus a stop earlier?
We've known for years we need to do that, but there’s now a buzzword for slotting movement into our everyday life – flexercise.
It recognises that all movement counts, not just getting hot and sweaty and out of breath. Stretching, dancing about the house, a daily stroll and so on. There are even Pinterest sites dedicated to bed workouts.
Hulahoop, circus skills and bungee fitness
Fantastic for core, coordination and all over fitness, while brilliant for giggles too, these unusual fitness pursuits are already proving popular.
Yoga wheel at The Fitness Studios, King’s Lynn’s adds circus and acro inspired elements to yoga-based exercises. The inspiring timetable includes hula-hooping and bungee fitness plus aerial pilates, aerial yoga, pole dancing, circus fit, pole fitness and dance and aerial silks. www.poleperfectfitness.co.uk and www.fitnesskingslynn.co.uk
There are also hulahoop and aerial classes at the Oak Circus Centre in Norwich, www.theoakcircuscentre.org, plus circus classes for children and young people at Out There Arts at The Drill House in Great Yarmouth, www.outtherearts.org.uk
Try online hulahoop classes at www.hulafit.com
Gymnastics and cheer
Moving on from the handstand attempts which were spread all over social media during lockdown; flips, cartwheels, cheer stunt moves (the new name for cheerleading) and parkour are attracting adults in 2022.
Some gymnastic clubs in Norfolk will host adult classes if there’s enough demand, others have a well-established programme. Try www.spring-gymnastics.co.uk in Norwich, www.eastongymnasticsclub.com at Easton, www.tnag.co.uk near Attleborough and www.eagymnastics.co.uk with venues in Thetford, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.