Five fitness trends for 2023


Aspria experts share the top trends for the year ahead.

It’s that time of year when we think about our new year’s resolutions and eye up the latest fitness trends as inspiration for our new healthy habits. And what’s clear as we move into 2023 is that things haven’t simply gone back to their pre-pandemic ways. Our expectations have changed and our habits with them.

This new approach is clear from the latest health and fitness trends we’re reading about, as new priorities continue to embed themselves and evolve in the ‘new normal’ of health, fitness and wellbeing.

1 – Fitness is dead. Long live wellness. 

If we were to pick just one trend to talk about this year, it would be wellness – now a US$1.5trn market globally according to McKinsey research, and growing by 5–10 per cent a year. 

Identifying “multiple dimensions of wellness” – health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness – McKinsey says wellness is now a top everyday priority for 50 per cent of all consumers, while 81 per cent agree it’s important. 

We’re delighted this thinking has become mainstream, because holistic wellbeing – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – is what we’re all about at Aspria. From spa to fitness, sport to nutrition, social to family time, we’ve always focused on how you feel, not simply how fit you are.

We’ll see an even greater shift towards holistic wellness and wellness coaching”

As wellness now hits the mainstream, the way people think about exercise will change for good. Where a few years ago it was all about HIIT workouts – high intensity interval training – in 2023 it’s about balanced workout routines. This has its roots in the COVID-19 pandemic, when movement was the closest thing to self-care that many of us managed; when life felt hard, we found ourselves turning to gentler forms of exercise like stretching, breathing, mindfulness, meditation and mind-body workouts – yoga, pilates, t’ai chi. 

And now these habits have stuck. That isn’t to say a boxing or HIIT workout is off the cards; we all need cardio exercise and sometimes there’s nothing quite like it for stress relief. But in 2023, the gym isn’t a place where we always have to go hard, then harder still. 

As this understanding continues to embed itself, we’ll see an even greater shift towards holistic wellness and wellness coaching.

2 – Mental health matters

The reasons why we exercise are changing, too, and once again our new habits have their roots in the pandemic – specifically, the 25 per cent increase in anxiety and depression it triggered around the world.

Set against this, a huge body of evidence that shows how physical activity can help mental health. There has been a widespread change in our long-term understanding of what exercise is for. Previously centred on weight loss and physical fitness, for many people exercise is now about mental health and happiness. Cue the continued growth of apps such as Calm and Headspace, the popularity of meditation classes on health club timetables – Aspria’s included – and the continued high demand for the fun social interaction of group fitness classes generally. 

This is one trend that’s set to dramatically shape the agenda in 2023.

3 – Time to get personal

Across every facet of our lives, we now expect personalisation: think Netflix, Amazon and all those other businesses that remember you and your preferences on every visit.

Fitness is no different, and the good news is that – courtesy of the fitness apps, smartphones, smart watches and other wearable technology we carry around with us 24/7 – there’s plenty of data to draw on. Whether we’re in the gym, enjoying a home workout or taking part in outdoor activities, the devices we carry are now able to track a dizzying array of markers and measures.

Opportunities for personalisation will continue to proliferate”

At Aspria, we’ve taken it a step further still with our AspriaPro health check: a 360° wellbeing assessment that forms the basis of personalised, health-optimising recommendations for our members. Assessments are conducted and monitored by our in-house experts, meaning members receive guidance and insight throughout, while programmes are able to tap in to an unparalleled range of wellbeing services in our clubs. 

As we move into 2023, the opportunities for personalisation will continue to proliferate. Indeed, it’s no longer futuristic to expect our individual wellness needs to be analysed round the clock, with tailored daily routines prescribed accordingly. 

4 – Fitness is functional

The only one of our five fitness trends that hasn’t really changed over the last few years is the continued dominance of functional training. That is, highly effective workouts that use small tools, free weights and bodyweight training to move and strengthen our bodies for everyday life. 

Every Aspria gym has a huge functional training floor, and the fun and variety of these workouts ensure they’re as popular as they’ve ever been for personal training, independent exercise and strength and conditioning classes alike. 

But of course, the fact that the smaller, more affordable pieces of fitness equipment – the ones we all now have in our living rooms and home gyms since the pandemic – are all you really need for a great functional training session adds further fuel to this trend.

The long and short of it: wherever you are in 2023, functional training is a great, go-to form of exercise. 

5 – A flexible future

It’s that element of ‘wherever you are’ that brings us to our final fitness trend for 2023 – one that’s backed up by Accenture research which found that brands are now expected to operate “in the digital world, the physical world, and through a blend of the two”. 

Aspria doesn’t only offer world-class wellness facilities, but also on-demand video content”

Put simply, this trend is about flexibility and convenience – a hybrid approach to fitness in which it’s equally possible to get a great workout at home or in the gym. 

This isn’t about home workouts replacing fitness facilities. It’s about empowering you, the exerciser, with options that allow you to squeeze in a workout whatever else is going on in your life or your work on any given day. It’s why Aspria doesn’t only offer world-class wellness facilities, but also on-demand video content and workout inspiration to support our members beyond our four walls.

Our hope and belief for 2023? That this mixing and matching will lead to even more workouts being completed, driving improved health and wellbeing for everyone.