2018 Fitness Trends to Watch

The global wellness industry was worth $3.7 trillion in 2015, according to research from the Global Wellness Institute. It’s an absolutely booming market that keeps growing, and new offerings pop up daily — from that anti-aging skincare your friend is hawking on Facebook to gadgets to track your everything, you can spend a lot of money on “wellness.” (Whatever that means, exactly.) But running is above all that, right? Just a pair of shoes and you’re ready to go!

A pair of shoes! HA! Those cost you at least $120. Plus wicking socks, shorts, a sports bra that does its job, wicking shirt. Compression socks, sunglasses, foam rollers, strength and cross training classes, massage therapy, wireless headphones, streaming music subscriptions…

Okay, never mind. Running is as bad as the rest. Heck, you could do yoga without even having a mat — and you don’t need shoes.

But we love running and all the miscellany that comes with it. Here’s some trends we’re following for 2018:

  • Wearables adding payment options — Fitbit and Garmin both have a payment feature on new devices, but both are “fitness” wearables, not from their running lines.
  • Continued growth in virtual and online training programs, like Jasyoga and Aaptiv, plus brick-and-mortar gyms adding their own streaming services (like FlyWheel).
  • Boutique studios continuing to grow into ever-increasing niche markets — but also banding together through gym passes that allow you to go to multiple studios on one pass.
  • A focus on mindfulness and other cognitive training.
  • High intensity workouts start to fade, including HIIT and Crossfit, being replaced by LIIT (Google this and you get a lot of Long Island Iced Tea recipes; we’re cool with that) and functional training.
  • Digital burnout. While metrics and wearables remain popular, a subset of athletes just can’t even with Strava any more. Remember when running was the one time you could be without your phone?

Now, tell us! What trends are you watching this year? What do you love, and what do you hate?

Started running in my early 20s and ended up running my first marathon 15 months later. Managed to break 3 hours in my 12th marathon. Pilates instructor passionate about the importance of your powerhouse in running and the mind/body connection. One husband, zero kids, mama to one Australian Shepherd.

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  1. I really want the Rest Day Brags trend to stay (and get bigger). I love seeing those posts on Instagram and Twitter for that hashtag. I work out hard on my “on” days but I think it’s good to take a day off each week. I like that even elite runners are posting about rest and recovery.

    As far as going away- wrong turns in races and cheating! I think Marathon Investigation’s blog is doing a good job to discourage that. If you’ve ever considered just giving away your bib at a race that doesn’t allow deferrals, or resale… read that blog and you will have second thoughts. At our (formerly local) marathon on Saturday, a lot of runners took a wrong turn in two races. A bunch ended up with a short course, which is unacceptable in a marathon when you’re going for a BQ (those faster runners were). MOST people told the race staff and got taken out of the results but not everyone. The race needed to do a better job but it says a lot about a runner’s character when he/she is honest too. So dishonesty in the racing community has gotta go.

    1. YES! I love seeing runners, and pros/those with more influence posting about their downtime and not just the hard workouts!

      The dishonesty, I’m definitely over that as well. It’s not victimless.

      1. I agree. Some races are hiring Derek as some sort of consultant now to prevent people from bib swapping or trying to cheat their way into Boston. I think dishonestly should stop in general. It is just running and in the end, you are the only person who really cares about your time. At the end of the day, your friends and family love you regardless.

  2. I’d really like to see a shift from the whole 30/60/80 day program mindset. I know that those programs and things can be a good way to jumpstart but I really dislike the notion that you have to constantly restart or switch plans. That doesn’t help you make a lifestyle that is long lasting, it helps you create a lifestyle for 30 days. How about stop making so many lifestyle changes at once so you don’t need to constantly fall off the wagon and restart. Pick something you want to work on, and make a consistent habit out of it without an end date.

    As Amy Lauren said I really like seeing people being more open and vocal not just about their workouts but their rest and recovery as well. It’s so often people only show them in go go go mode and it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to do that too to get to a certain level. Yet behind the scenes there is so much more to it than that. Speed workouts and strength stuff are only a portion of your training, what about the recovery and easy miles which make up the bulk of it (or should).

    1. My favorite are the social media complaints about how terrible day 8 or 12 or 27 is on these whole 30 or whatever programs. You did this to yourself! No complaining!