2020 was a year of ups and downs, and we were all secretly hoping that when the clock struck midnight that we'd wake up from the nightmare that was coronavirus. While that's not quite the case, 2021 is starting out with some positives – a miracle vaccination, developed in less than 10 months, and a greater realization of the values we hold most dear – our health and well-being.

At Verv, we're choosing to look at the positive side of things, so as we head into the New Year, let's explore what's new and awesome in the world of wellness. Joining us today is Verv's very own expert Dr. Dominique Gummelt. Dominique is an international fitness and wellness speaker with a ton of health qualifications under her belt. Welcome, Dominique. Thanks for being here with us.

Dominique: Lovely to be here. Thanks for having me.

Our pleasure. So, Dominique, it's obvious that 2020 was a tough year for all of us, and more and more, we're looking for new (and more comfortable) ways to help keep ourselves healthy. What trends should we be watching out for in 2021?

Dominique: Yes, that's absolutely correct. For the majority of people, 2020 has been a life-altering experience. Across the world, there has been a renewed focus on personal health, including well-being and ways to support the immune system.

But at the same time, access to fitness centers, gyms, etc., has been decreased due to lockdowns. That's why what we're seeing is a 'back to basics' movement. What this means is people are exercising more in their own homes, with tools they have access to. And this is not just out of necessity. In fact, it's sparking some trends of its own.

So, will we see that continue into 2021? Or will it end as soon as the lockdowns do?

mindful woman

Dominique: I think that we can expect this to continue for quite some time to come. As a people, we are still dealing with the effects of coronavirus, and as programs are underway to control it, it will take some time.

Thanks, Dominique, so then, if this isn't going away any time soon. What can we expect from 2021 in terms of wellness?

Dominique: In 2021, there're seven significant trends on the horizon: they're super exciting for both newcomers and fitness pros. These are new opportunities for people to make positive changes in their lives and might prove even more cost-effective than buying a membership to a gym or center.

Sounds great! So, tell us, what are they?

Dominique: First on our list is Outdoor Wellness. After months of lockdown, it's no surprise that this is top of the list, and that's despite the cold weather that starts the year. Our bodies crave sunlight (yes, even in winter), fresh air, and nature. Outdoor workout spaces are great to make use of all the gym-style equipment, and you can always jog, bike, run, or even walk to keep healthy. That's why, this year, outdoors is definitely IN.

Next up is our second trend, and that's Dance Workouts. I mean, what could be more fun than dancing, right? After a long 2020, it's about time we felt good about ourselves and our bodies – and dancing can really help with that. A dance workout can be anything from hitting play and rocking out to some well-loved tunes to something more structured, such as online classes. There's no limits here. So whether you're a lover of Zumba or Hip Hop, there's a dance for you out there. Even if you've got two left feet (or think you do), what's important is moving your body to the beat, not how you look while doing it.

And that brings us on to our third trend of the year – Functional Fitness. Usually, when I say these words, I can see the eyes glaze over, and the person questions – what is functional fitness? But, actually, it's pretty simple, and that's what makes it so great. 2021 is all about simplicity.

Functional fitness is about movements that happen in every-day activities or real-life situations. It is composed of five different elements:

  • Mobility
  • Balance and Coordination
  • Strength
  • Range of Motion
  • Power

All of these support a person's day-to-day movements. When it comes to functional fitness, which area you focus on varies from person to person, although it usually involves all types to some degree. It's this type of training that provides an inclusive fitness experience.

Wow! That's a lot to unpack, but it's exciting. What else is happening in the world of fitness this year?Dominique

Dominique: Yes, these are inspiring trends we're seeing. It's definitely a year to reset and revaluate our well-being as a whole. And that's what's important in the next trends we'll talk about. And that brings us to number four on our list – Online Fitness. Zoom, digital personal training, or a wellness app, such as Verv, these are all ways people have been keeping fit in 2020. As we enter the new year, we can see online tools becoming more sophisticated and tailored to users' needs with personalization features just like an in-person session, which has huge potential.

Maybe we won't ever go back to in-person training, then?

Dominique: Well, I wouldn't go that far to say that it'll never happen, but right now, there is a huge debate on as to when or if things will ever go back to 'normal.' And this is what is sparking our next trend, number five, and that's Home Gyms vs. Fitness Centers. More and more, we're seeing home gyms, complete with equipment being set up. Previously, this might've been pretty costly, but as lockdowns continue and more less expensive options appear on the market, it seems pretty attractive to some.

We might need to order ourselves some barbells, then?

Dominique: Perhaps, although it's always nice to interact in the gym or before a class, what's important here is overall well-being and. That means taking care not just of your workout needs, but your immune system and psychological needs too. All of this brings us to our sixth trend – Strengthening the Immune System. Well, if you can call it a trend. Personally, I a healthy immune system has always been a must, but in 2021 there's definitely a renewed focus here.

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That's why it's so important this year to focus on adapting current behaviors and replacing them with healthier habits, such as sleeping enough, exercising, eating healthily, and good mental health. All of these have long been shown to improve the immune system response and keeping you healthier.

Now, that brings us to the final item on our list, and that's Wholistic Well-Being. This one is also one of those terms that leaves people a bit confused as to what it actually is. It's usually confused with holistic well-being. These two are just a bit different. So what is wholistic well-being? Wholistic well-being is all about the awakened soul and body. It's about combining mindfulness and living with purpose. Essentially, it's the one thing we need to take out of 2020 and into 2021.

Wholistic well-being is the next step in health and fitness. It's the realization that all elements of wellness need to work together to achieve optimal well-being. It pushes past the notion of just eating right and exercising and focuses on actively and mindfully bringing it all together for a healthier, happier you.

And, that's it, our seven trends for 2021! And I could not be more excited to dive into them.

Us too, Dominique. Thanks for joining us today, and sharing what to look out for. We can't wait to put some of these into practice.

Dominique: Thanks for having me, and I wish all our Verv readers a Happy New Year. Best of luck with your wellness journey this year, guys.

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Written by Dominique Gummelt, PhD, CPT, CWP
Dr. Dominique is an international keynote speaker, fitness and wellness expert, lecturer, coach, author, filmmaker, and musician. She is CEO at Living...
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