By Shavon LeBlanc, First Mile Care DPP Coach

Ask ten people about their new year’s resolutions, and you’ll hear “exercise more” or “eat healthier” or “get in shape” from nine of them. The new year is an opportunity to evaluate how you can make improvements. Taking care of these interconnected areas of nutrition, exercising, sleeping, mental stimulation, and mood are necessary for holistic wellness.

Our coaches help participants in the First Mile Care Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to implement lifestyle change goal-setting and adjust their action plans throughout the year. Your fitness goals don’t need to be epic feats of Olympic caliber. Even a little shift in how you move throughout your day — as little as five minutes every half-hour —  can produce health benefits, according to a recent Columbia University Medical Center study.

Here are six fitness-promoting trends that will continue to grow in popularity in 2023.

1. Wearable technology

Wearable technology will be more affordable, smaller in size, and further linked to more online applications. They’ll include more real-time biometric measurements such as heart rate monitoring, pulse oximetry (blood oxygen reading), stress level monitoring, counting of steps, and monitoring sleep quality

2. Outdoor workouts

As a result of the pandemic, exercising outside has become an even more popular fitness option. More communities will continue investing in the health of their residents by expanding or building parks and outdoor fitness areas to encourage walking, playing, and living.  

Exercising outside is accessible to everyone, improves social interaction, and offers a natural antidepressant as social interactions are built through the camaraderie that occurs in group outdoor activities. Running teams, group walks, fun runs, and obstacle courses are increasing in popularity.

It’s also important to note that the more we encourage outdoor activities and movement, we’ll also reduce a population that sits too much. Sitting is now considered as dangerous to our heart health as smoking! Walking can be a great way to overcome a sedentary lifestyle. 

3. Online virtual workouts

Prior to 2020, home workouts like Peloton and The Mirror were beginning to gain popularity due to their “anytime” accessibility. Since the pandemic, the sales of home workout machines have skyrocketed as well as their online application and programming. Virtual reality workouts take exercise to another level of fun as someone can literally jump into the action, making fitness engaging and reducing boredom. 

Preventing a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major benefits of home/virtual/online workouts. If you work from home, you can always take a break throughout your day to participate in a fitness activity. You can also partner with friends (or soon make new friends) via online communities that promote accountability

4. Functional fitness

Older adults should make movement a priority to improve their mental and physical health as well as promote healthy aging. The effects of many chronic illnesses such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease can be reduced with consistent moderate physical activity on most days of the week. First Mile Care coaches follow the CDC’s guidelines for the DPP, and recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

More baby boomers are investing in physical fitness to increase their independence. Functional fitness emphasizes building strength in major muscle groups. It’s about building strength and flexibility so that activities of daily living are completed with ease. The focus is on cardiovascular exercise to lower risk of heart disease and stimulate mental health; strength training to lower risk of arthritis and to build bone strength to reduce hip/knee fractures; and flexibility to stimulate and improve mental health and to improve mobility. 

5. Nutrition

People are spending more time learning how to prepare healthy meals at home and are trying to eat less processed food. They are considering plant-based and alternative meat options and are investing into growing their own foods. 

As we seek to lower the risk of chronic illness and disease, there has been a growing interest in the last few years in integrating nutrition education into fitness facilities. In the past, fitness and nutrition operated independently, but now facilities are partnering with dieticians and nutritionists to share their knowledge with their members. 

In 2023, we’ll also continue to see increased adoption of online applications like MyFitnessPal and Noom, which highlight the connection between eating habits, weight loss, behavioral influences, and health. 

6. Medicine and fitness

Collaborative care of physical fitness, rest, mindfulness, nutrition, and prevention as lifestyle modifications will continue to be  important in improving the health of our society and lowering the risk of diseases . Many chronic conditions, which place an economic burden on our society, can be remedied with lifestyle changes rather than requiring medication. The physicians of the future will better integrate fitness, wellness, and nutrition as a staple in their practices, emphasizing lifestyle modifications before drug therapies.

The best way to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health is to simply start moving, try new things, find what you love, and keep at it. Here’s a list of 15 suggestions that only take a few minutes each. Your First Mile Care coach and classmates are here to help you stay on track, along with your family, friends, and co-workers.

To learn more about how you can benefit from the First Mile Care Diabetes Prevention Program, take the prediabetes risk test and get started today!