Explore London

Four Ways to Kickstart Your 2020 Fitness Plans

2020 is the start of a new decade: which means new fitness trends are just around the corner! In the last ten years, the fitness industry has boomed in the UK (by some estimates, it’s worth over £21 bn a year), with London fitness fanatics trying their hand at everything from animal yoga to aerial fitness. If you’re looking for a new way to stay in shape this year, here’s a guide to the workouts that will be taking the capital by storm.

Walk it Off

Walk it Off

Fitness sessions have become increasingly high-octane in recent years, with fierce regimens like HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Crossfit (challenging military-inspired workouts) dominating the market. If that sounds a little too scary, never fear: trend forecasters LSN Global predict that ‘a more measured, long-term approach’ to exercise (which they dub ‘Conscious Deceleration’) is set to be the next big thing in fitness. They anticipate that people will eschew ‘fast-paced and demanding approaches to fitness’, opting for lower-impact activities like walking instead.

This means that the somewhat Californian, laid-back notion of ‘taking a hike’ might finally be making its way to the UK: hurrah! If you’d rather step your way into wellness, London’s Frame gyms are launching a new walking club in January. With Frame of Mind you can get outside, get moving, and meet like-minded people – for free!

Put On Your Dancing Shoes
A class at Dan's dance studio.

Put On Your Dancing Shoes

Strictly Come Dancing might be over for another year, but there’s no reason to stop tapping your toes – particularly if you are hoping to get in shape! Whilst in recent years slower-moving forms of dance (like ballet) have been popular with fitness fans, in 2020 we can expect to see a spike in more energetic dance-inspired workouts: everything from samba to jive.

Forget Zumba, the dance class that was popular in the ‘90s - instead, try salsa at DW Fitness First or an exciting fusion class at Dan’s, a new boutique dance studio that aims to bring ‘the fun, exuberance and colour of Latin America to Central London’. Not only are dance classes a great social activity that release plenty of feel-good endorphins, they’re also great for sculpting your body – working your abs, hips, buttocks and legs, all at the same time.

Workouts for the Mind and Soul
A 'Rejuvenate' class at Hero Training Clubs.

Workouts for the Mind and Soul

Fitness platform ClassPass predict an increase in workouts that prioritise mental health and mindfulness in 2020 – and things are already moving in that direction. The UK’s first ‘mental health gym’, Hero Training Clubs, opened in Manchester in October 2019 to mark World Mental Health Day. The gym offers a series of classes that cover every single aspect of a person’s health and wellbeing, mingling sleep workshops and resilience classes alongside traditional training activities like cardio and strength.

In London, Manor gyms are now offering a class called ‘MCP’ which aims to build mental resilience as well as improve fitness levels. With their unconventional boot-camp style exercises and team challenges, they promise to ‘beast your body’ and ‘exorcise your mind’. Gulp. Or there’s Rowbots – the rowing studio founded by Olympic champion rower Will Satch and footballer Gareth Bale – whose classes have been specially designed to strengthen body and mind. Mental strength has always been a big part of the rowing studio’s approach, but they’ve recently teamed up with Beeja Meditation to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their classes, too.

Bite-Sized Exercise

Bite-Sized Exercise

If the idea of signing up to a 45-minute rowing or bootcamp class fills you with dread, we hear you. Fortunately, fitness experts are predicting that workouts are going to get shorter in 2020 – with amazing benefits. That’s right: ‘micro-HIIT’ is now a thing. But how does it work?

Well, it basically means that you find any opportunity to practice short bursts of exercise. Instead of following the conventional pattern of 20-minutes of HIIT, three times a week, you’ll perform high-intensity moves throughout the day in small chunks – for just one to three minutes at a time.

It might sound too good to be true, but science supports this new movement: studies have shown that just one minute of intense exercise results in significant health benefits. So, what are you waiting for? Next time you’re waiting for your tea to brew, set a timer and do some jumping jacks, star jumps or burpees!