The fitness and wellness trends to keep everyone fit in 2023

Despite significantly lower caseloads and high rates of vaccination, Covid-19 will continue to shape how we exercise and live our lives, pushing us to increase our focus on self-care and inspire a healthier lifestyle in order to make positive changes for the benefits of our health. And when it comes to working out, 2023 will bring a more personal and functional approach, says one health and fitness expert.

Chonlachai Arnamnart, deputy dean for Corporate Image and Communication at Mahidol University’s College of Sports Science and Technology, shared his predictions for the fitness and wellness trends that will take the center stage in the coming year to help us stay in shape and physically fit. He also offered some training tips to avoid injuries.

Gyms will never be the same after Covid-19

Even though gyms and fitness centers are now permitted to be fully operational now that the coronavirus crisis has started to subside, albeit with several safety measures in place, some fitness enthusiasts have been reluctant to return because the gym can be a hotspot in the spread of Covid-19.

“Plenty of people have been freaked out by Covid and are uncomfortable hitting the gym. They don’t want to get sick from the virus and pass the infection on to their family. Next year, we will see these people continuing to exercise at home in a bid to reduce the risk of transmission,” Chonlachai said.

However, many others will return to gyms to join classes and socialize as they have missed the sense of community,” the expert added.

“But the class sizes will be much smaller to allow for social distancing. I think a lot of people will opt for using hotel’s gyms or smaller fitness studios instead of chain fitness centerswhich are packed with users as they prefer personalized services and have safety concerns,” he said.

On the bright side, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of exercise and changed exercise habits for the better, Chonlachai noted.

“Since the pandemic began, people have moved around less. But, on the plus side, they have become physically active and exercised more during the pandemic as it helps boost their immune systems and help them fight infections,” he said.

Working from home during the lockdown has also changed people’s lifestyle including what they wear, he noted.

“Women are ditching their heels for sneakers. They even wear sneakers to work as they are more casual and comfortable. They are also good for the health,” he said.

Technology has affected how people exercise

Technology has changed the fitness industry and how people exercise at home, with smart gym equipment and workout wearables set to increase in popularity in 2023, Chonlachai noted.

“We expect to see more personal trainers and fitness coaches use technology to reach their customers and grow their business in the coming years. Technology can also make a workout more effective, comfortable and enjoyable,” he said.

Multi-function smart home gym tools keep sport enthusiasts motivated as they give real-time information, for examplewhat’s happening with the bodies and how much closer they are to reaching their goals, he explained.

But he suggested matching your fitness goals with the right fitness equipment and technology.

“If you are new to running and looking for a pair of shoes for 5K races, for example, you may not need expensive, high-tech running shoes or marathon shoes. You should choose your running shoes based on what kind of running you want to do and always pick trainers with the right fit,” he said, adding that the higher prices of running shoes are usually related to technology and comfort features.

Jogging, running and cycling will never go out of style

Chonlachai predicts that classic forms of exercise like jogging, running and cycling will continue to trend next yearas the activities are effective and can be performed anywhere.

“I believe that running will be more popular in Thailand partially because people copy fitness trends from celebrities,” he said, referring to a rock star’s charity run initiatives.

A keen runner, Artiwara Kongmalai, aka Toon Bodyslam, has launched several charity runs across the country over the pastyears to raise funds for his Kaokonlakao Foundation, which helps hospitals and students in need. His initiatives have inspired Thais to get physically fit and maintain their health. The activities have been successful, drawing the attention of Thais who have joined the singer’s projects and helped raise several million baht.

Chonlachai advised setting a smart goal and trying to reach it safely for better health and fitness, saying a goal that is too big or improving your goals too quickly would do more harm than good.

“If you are a beginner, you would not able to run a marathonrun easily. And, you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone else when working out. You may injure yourself trying to perform a workout that exceeds your current level. Fitness is personal as everyone has unique capabilities and a starting point. So, you should focus on your fitness journey and your goals,” he said.

The health and fitness expert urged people to keep exercising to maintain health and choose the types of exercise that fit their lifestyle and that they actually enjoy. For those who don’t have time for a daily 30-minute gym session, he suggests splitting the workouts.

“Doing some physical activity is better than doing nothing. In a day, you can do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes during lunch and 10 minutes after work. That would be enough to stay healthy for many,” he said.

For beginners, Chonlachai suggested starting with small amounts of physical activity and then gradually increasing the frequency, intensity and duration over time.

Pain is not gain, he noted, saying exercise should not cause pain.

“You should listen to your body when it’s tired; otherwise, you could end up injuring yourself,” he said.

In fact, not only is regular exercise important to your health and well-being, a healthy balanced diet and a good night’s sleep are also crucial, he added.


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