In this series of articles we are going to take a look at the top ten fitness trends for 2023 as created for the annual ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) Health & Fitness Journal worldwide survey 
The survey list actually covers 20 fitness trends as collated as part of the survey, but we’re just going to focus on the Top 10 and dive specifically into some background information about the trend, how it can benefit you as a fitness consumer, as a fitness professional and also add some general guidance and / or recommendations.
So here we go… It is Number 6 on the List: Outdoor Activities
In recent years, a remarkable fitness trend has emerged, redefining the way health and fitness professionals engage with their clients. The rise of outdoor activities, such as group walks, bike rides, and organised hiking, has become a game-changer for fitness enthusiasts. This trend extends beyond mere workouts, encompassing an array of outdoor experiences, from brief outings to day-long excursions, even multi-day adventures. It’s no longer just about exercise; it’s about embracing the natural world.
Intriguingly, this surge in outdoor activities found its roots in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The year 2021 witnessed outdoor activities soaring to the fourth spot on the popularity charts, and by 2022, it had climbed to an impressive third place. These activities have become a refreshing escape from the confines of indoor spaces, offering a safe and invigorating option for fitness seekers.
Participants gather in local parks, hiking areas, or bike trails, often under the guidance of dedicated leaders who orchestrate memorable adventures. This trend, which started to take shape in 2010 when outdoor activities languished at the 25th spot in annual surveys, has blossomed. In 2011, it inched up to 27th place, demonstrating the gradual but steady ascent of outdoor fitness experiences in the hearts and routines of health-conscious individuals. As nature beckons, fitness professionals continue to find innovative ways to connect with their clients through exhilarating outdoor escapades, making fitness more exciting and inspiring than ever before.
The rise of outdoor activities in the fitness industry has been nothing short of a revolution. What was once a niche pursuit has now become a mainstream trend, captivating fitness enthusiasts around the globe. This transformation can be attributed to a confluence of factors that have reshaped the way people approach physical well-being.
One of the key drivers of this trend is a growing awareness of the numerous benefits that outdoor activities offer. Outdoor workouts provide a refreshing break from the monotony of indoor gym routines. They expose individuals to natural elements, promoting mental well-being and reducing stress. The connection with nature, the fresh air, and the changing terrain challenge the body in ways that indoor workouts cannot replicate.
Social media and technology have played an instrumental role in promoting outdoor fitness activities. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube have popularised outdoor workouts and adventures, with fitness influencers showcasing their experiences. This has not only inspired individuals to try new activities but also created a supportive community for those looking to get involved.
The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the surge in outdoor fitness. Lockdowns and gym closures forced people to adapt to new exercise routines. In response, many turned to outdoor activities as a safe and accessible alternative.
Moreover, the outdoor fitness industry has evolved to cater to a wider audience. There are now outdoor boot camps, group runs, hiking clubs, and yoga classes that cater to people of all fitness levels and backgrounds.
In a world dominated by sedentary lifestyles and screen time, outdoor fitness activities offer a refreshing change, delivering a myriad of benefits to both physical and mental well-being. From hiking through lush forests to cycling along scenic trails or practising yoga in the park, these outdoor activities provide a holistic approach to fitness that can significantly improve cardiovascular health and overall wellness.
Here’s a list of the 10 outdoor fitness activities suitable for all fitness levels:
Remember to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new fitness routine, especially if you have any underlying health concerns.
Duration: 50 minutes
Intensity: 5 out of 10
|Warm-Up (6 minutes)
– Jog in place or around the grassed area (3 minutes)
– Jumping jacks (1 minute)
– Arm circles (1 minute)
– Leg swings (1 minute)
Workout (40 minutes)
3 x 10-minute A.M.R.A.P (as many rounds as possible) Circuits with rest periods
Circuit 1: Stairway to Fitness (10-minute A.M.R.A.P)
– Stair Climb x 3 laps: Run or briskly walk up and down the stairs.
– Push-Ups x 10: Perform push-ups on the bottom step.
– Squat Jumps x 10: Explosive squats on the grass.
– Up down Plank x 10: Use the mat or grass.
– Step-Ups: Using the bottom step, alternate step-ups, 10 on each leg.
Rest (3 minutes): Take a breather and hydrate.
Circuit 2: Strength (10 minute A.M.R.A.P)
– TRX Rows x 10: Use the TRX straps attached to a pole or tree.
– Bodyweight Lunges: Perform 10 lunges on each leg.
– Dumbbell Squats x 10: Hold dumbbells.
– Mountain Climbers: On the grass, perform 10 mountain climbers on each leg.
Rest (3 minutes): Catch your breath and have a sip of water.
Circuit 3: Kettlebells (10 minute A.M.R.A.P)
– Kettlebell Swings x 10: Swing the kettlebell with both hands.
– Kettlebell Halos x 10: Hold the kettlebell and move it around your head in a circular motion.
– KB Goblet Squats x 10: Hold the kettlebell close to your chest and squat.
– Kettlebell Russian Twists x 10: Sit on the grass and twist with the kettlebell.
– Kettlebell Lunges: Alternate 10 lunges on each leg with the kettlebell.
Rest (3 minutes): Rehydrate and recover.
Cool Down (4 minutes):
– Perform static stretches for major muscle groups.
Please Note: The information provided in this article are the opinions and professional experience of the author and not all activities are recommended for the beginner or participants with underlying health conditions. Before following any advice or starting any fitness, health and wellbeing journey please consult with an Allied Health Professional and / or General Practitioner.
Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.