Forget gruelling workouts and exercise that, if you’re honest, you really don’t enjoy. This year’s key fitness trends champion working with (not against) your body. Meaningful exercise doesn’t have to be intense to help us move through the world with greater ease and promote good physical and mental health – both now and in the long term. Whether it’s a high-intensity boxing session to ramp up focus, or simply a walk in nature, give yourself permission to make your movement fun in the new year. Below, Vogue charts some of the biggest fitness trends for 2023.
The boxing revolution
A 360-degree workout for mind and body, boxing is the activity to try this year. Ruth Raper, a senior coach at London’s Jab, says she’s seen an uptick in female participation in the sport over the last few years. Female boxing was made an official Olympic sport at the 2012 games – and this is one of many positive outcomes. “Representation matters,” she says. “Plus, people are wising up to the fact that boxing is so good for you mentally. It gets your mind working, hormones pumping and because it’s a skill-based sport, you have to clear whatever you’ve been preoccupied with and focus.”
Jab now offers 30-minute lunchtime boxing sessions and will be opening at The Mondrian in February for a one-month residency. For beginners and more experienced boxers alike, Boxx Ldn’s new Punch Pods allow you to see your boxing metrics in real time, whether you’re in the studio or doing some shadow boxing at home (try one of their virtual at-home sessions if you’re nervous), and Bhout just launched an AI-powered boxing bag for true fanatics. Peloton offers a boxing programme, and there are excellent local clubs up and down the country, easily found on Google.
The days in which we exercised just to achieve honed abs or a taut behind are long gone. Workouts are a great way to boost mental health – we produce happy hormones when we work out, not to mention that being stronger in body often means stronger in mind, too. “Exercise is like a full body shake out, and that includes a shake out for your mind,” says Liv D, a trainer at SoulCycle, possibly the most uplifting studio in town. “Allowing yourself to focus on getting into your body and out of your head can be so powerful, even for 20 minutes. On days when it feels like a struggle to do anything, making that commitment to yourself and your body can be an important step.”
In 2023, we’ll see a shift towards exercising for longevity. “Consumers are prioritising prevention and protection when it comes to both health and beauty routines,” say Aiste Kriauciniate and Amrutha Shridhar, co-authors of Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer beauty survey. “They will focus on balanced diets and active lifestyles to achieve this.” A 2022 study showed that those who followed the minimum guidelines for physical activity – 150-300 minutes of moderate activity, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous activity, per week – reduced their risk of early death by 21 per cent.
With a surge in online fitness platforms post-pandemic, workout stacking is on the rise. A concept which refers to “stacking” different kinds of workouts to create an experience that works for you, now we are logging on, doing a 15-minute HIIT class, then adding an 8 minute Pilates workout on the end. Apple Fitness+, which offer a variety of classes at different lengths, is perfect for this. No more hour-long cardio: instead, mix it up and dip into whatever you (and your body) needs each day.
The app to try
After more than 20 years spent working with some of the world’s best-known names (Dakota Johnson included), personal trainer Luke Worthington has channelled his expertise into an app: 3 x 52. Named for the “sweet spot” for an effective exercise routine – three times a week, every week of the year – the app (which launches next week) promises science-based workouts that Worthington says are the most “efficient way to improve body composition, strength, cardio fitness and mobility”. Shunning the bootcamps, detoxes and challenges (as well as quick fixes and fads) that are so popular at this time of the year, the app delivers three 45-minute full body workouts a week that progress in difficulty over time, alongside a library of easy-to-follow recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Access to the very best in training via your phone? It’s a yes from us.
Walk yourself fit
Hiking may be a popular activity in Hollywood, but it’s also an easy (and free) activity to fold into your day to day here in the UK. It has some serious health advantages, which is why Worthington has long been an advocate: “There are studies that have correlated higher step count with lower mortality,” he says. “It’s a good form of cardio and can assist with healthy digestion, improve gut health, help breathing patterns (and therefore emotional health), reduce back pain and drive lymphatic drainage.” It’s also cumulative, he says, so you don’t have to get all of your steps in at once.
This article was originally published on Vogue UK.