As a fitness, wellness blogger and a group fitness instructor, I try to stay on top of the trends. I love making predictions for what may trend in the coming year, and was just laughing at my predictions for 2020 – even though most of them were accurate!

To develop this list, I track trends that I see online and in person, what researchers are saying, and I also look at predictions from other fitness and wellness websites. I’ll be going a bit more in-depth in an upcoming podcast episode on the topic, but these are my initial predictions for fitness and wellness trends in 2023. 

More In-Person Group Fitness

I have seen the uptick in group fitness classes firsthand (I teach indoor cycling and yoga classes at OneLife in Pike and Rose and Olney). As I talk to members attending my classes—especially the people I haven’t seen since before the pandemic—they mostly share how different it is taking classes in person with other people, and how they missed it. 

Some find themselves more motivated when there are others around, others like the feeling of community, and some like that there’s a live instructor in person to provide instant guidance and feedback. 

Women in Power [Lifting]

Check out the lifting platforms at your gym and your social media feeds—have you noticed more women executing Olympic lifts and/or the powerlifting trio? Resistance training – which includes weightlifting – has so many positive health benefits! Fortunately, a lot of the stereotypes around women lifting weights are seen as dated, and have been debunked. As we move into one of the busiest times of the year for gyms, make a mental note of how many more women you see lifting weights now versus previous years. 

Mental Wellness

One of the positive things that have come from the COVID-19 global pandemic has been an increased focus on mental health and wellness. There are countless apps and services to this effect—including platforms that are offered through health insurance providers and employers. In 2023, I think we’ll continue to see people beginning to make mental health and wellness more of a priority, and that the usage of such apps and services will continue to increase.

Senior Fitness

When some people think of senior fitness, the first thing that comes to mind is chair-based workouts. These are great and can make workouts more accessible; however, many seniors are wanting workouts that get their heart rate up, help with bone strength, and improve mobility. I teach seniors in all of the formats I teach, and many push themselves just as hard – if not harder – than people half their age. In the coming year, I predict that we’ll see more variety for senior fitness classes and more marketing around seniors in fitness. 

Low Impact ≠ No Impact

Where we had the HIIT craze for a few years, now, many people have started to focus on low-impact exercises, such as walking, flexibility, and mobility workouts. Many have found that the work-from-home life comes with the challenges of sitting all day, including the development of pains and/or mobility issues. Many clubs and studios are beginning to offer more variety as far as low-impact classes on their schedules. I get questions from students of mine who ask for videos and classes that can help them with their mobility and flexibility without having to get their heart rate up, and most of the time it’s because they say that they sit all day—and many of them are sitting longer than they ever did before 2020. 

More Focus on Posture

This connects with the previous prediction about low-impact exercise. From my experience, more people are coming to pilates and yoga classes for the first time – not only to improve their mobility and flexibility but also to improve their posture. Sitting can wreak havoc on your posture, especially if you don’t take posture breaks during the day. I would not be surprised if pilates offerings – and people certified to teach pilates – expanded over the course of 2023.

Creative Recovery

There is a ton of research on hot/cold, compression and light therapies, and people are becoming more aware of how supplementation might help them address certain deficiencies and expedite the recovery process. More recovery facilities are popping up across the DC Metro Area, and I’ve tried a lot of the different services myself! Cryotherapy and the infrared sauna are my favorite – and probably the most popular at the facilities I’ve visited – but IV drips, floatation therapy, salt rooms, and other types of light therapy are also becoming more popular. In 2023, I predict that more people will explore more ways to recover, beyond the typical “rest day” that may consist of just sitting at home and relaxing, maybe stretching out a bit.

Pro tip: I love Restore Hyperwellness for my recovery needs, and will sometimes combine services, such as the infrared sauna and cryotherapy, on the same trip.

Big Data

With all of the current research around health and wellness and the growth of the biotech industry, bio trackers, genetic testing, and other types of biohacking are expected to continue to increase in popularity. Several years ago, I did some genetic testing around fitness and wellness indicators, and I continue to receive updates on various genes and what they represent. I’ve been exploring some bio tracking companies to see if this is something I want to try out, but some of my fellow fitness professional friends are very into it! 

Wearable Tech

At this point, wearable fitness tech is beyond counting daily steps. There are so many brands with specializations in different types of lifestyles and the data associated with them. In 2023, I think we’ll see more companies and tech styles emerge, and we may even see an emphasis on different metrics altogether. Who knows? Instead of seeing how many steps you’ve taken in a day, maybe you’ll compete with your friends over who meditated the longest that week! Pro tip: Check out CNET for their reviews of fitness trackers this year. 

Sweat Snacks and Trainer Apps

When I teach 30-minute fitness classes during the lunch-ish hour, I like to call them “sweat snacks,” and that’s something that people are often seeking for at-home workouts. For people short on time, short workout videos are the way to go! Videos that are under 30 minutes are ideal, and even 10-minute workout videos are in high demand! “Can you post this workout online?” This is easily the most popular request I receive; in fact, it’s the entire reason I started posting YouTube videos on my channel. As a group fitness instructor and yoga teacher, I’ve found that sometimes my students like to take my classes when they can’t come in person, due to a vacation, work or family commitments, etc., so having a YouTube channel is a must-have. Many Certified Personal Trainers take this up a notch, developing their own apps for one-on-one clients and for people who purchase some of their workout programs. I don’t see this trend going anywhere, even as more people are checking into their gyms in-person. 

By day, Alexis Reed (she/her) is a marketing professional in the DC Metro Area. By night, she is a group fitness instructor, yoga teacher, youth volleyball coach, and healthy lifestyle blogger on Flecks of Lex. She hosts The Sweat Fearlessly Podcast and is Co-Founder of DMV Fitness Fam, a local group that promotes diversity in fitness and the great outdoors. Her philosophy is to “Sweat Fearlessly” – having fun and enjoying fitness without worrying about how you look or what other people may think about you. You can follow Alexis’ daily adventures on her Instagram @flecksoflex.