The Paceline 2023 Trends Preview

2023 Trends

2023 is certain to bring with it a slew of new fitness and wellness trends. To get you a preview of what they could look like, we talked to the experts who are at the forefront of positive change in the industry. Below, their trend predictions for the coming year—and beyond: 

On the focus of fitness…

Goals and points of focus for fitness are shifting from [being] aesthetic-driven to more wellness-oriented. [I think] there will be an increased focus on mental well being, stress management, nutrition, and sleep. In short, why people work out and what they are looking to accomplish will expand beyond what has been, historically, heavily biased toward weight loss, performance, and appearance.

Matt Berenc, CSCS, a Los Angeles-based personal trainer and VP, Live 1:1 Coach Development & Technology at FORME 

On personal trainers…

The role a trainer will play in supporting those [broader] goals will expand as well. There could be a larger focus on [obtaining] more certifications [and] credentials, in areas like sleep, nutrition, and stress management, to support the trainer in meeting client needs. (Trainers have always played a role in many of these areas but there could be a more overt focus on them driven by the shifting interests of the client.) Beyond trainers taking it all on, there could [also] be more of a team approach to client management, where the trainer [would] be the conduit for communication [without] providing all of the services. This is taking a performance center mentality (where an athlete can see their coach, trainer, PT, and nutritionist all in the same place).

—Berenc

On your new favorite gear…

Bandit is my new favorite running brand! They started making socks that became popular in the NYC running community and this year they have expanded into all kinds of apparel. [They’ve also] put on events for the running community in NYC and all over the world. They are exploding right now in New York City—everyone has it. This is the gear you’ve got to have in 2023. I love their long sleeves and their race weight socks.

Kara Dudley, a running coach based in New York City

On supporting Gen Z…

Emerging statistics suggest that Gen Z-ers possibly took the biggest hit emotionally and psychologically over the last few years. As such, we’re going to need to fortify this foundation. Investing in the health and well being of our youth is always our best and most practical insurance policy for the future. More and more emphasis will be on meeting the Gen Z-ers where they are at, which will include an ongoing hybrid world where mental health and tech merge. 

Sarah Sarkis, Psy.D, a licensed psychologist, certified executive coach and Senior Director of Performance Psychology at Exos based in Boston, Massachusetts

On wellness while traveling…

One thing I see is higher end hotels positioning themselves in the sleep [space] with programming, food options, amenities, and features [like workshops, classes to wake people up or help them settle down, bedding, high-tech mattresses, and lighting] designed to elevate their clients’ experiences.

W. Christopher Winter, MD, a sleep specialist based in Charlottesville, Virginia

On taking time for yourself…

The pandemic brought with it an onslaught of change and uncertainty—and boy did we adapt. [Blurred] boundaries between work and life are just one of the areas [where] this has shown up in our post-pandemic lifestyle. [But] as a psychologist and executive coach, I see more and more people starting to say no to demands on their well being. People have reevaluated what they value, how they want to spend their time, and what they are willing to sacrifice for “success.” The person emerging post-pandemic is not the same animal from 2020—not by a long shot. I see [many] people [who are] committed to re-working work-life boundaries that no longer serve their mental and emotional well being. I’m encouraged by this trend and I hope it continues into 2023 and beyond.

—Sarkis

On how you approach fitness…

I believe fitness enthusiasts will continue to embrace a hybrid model of working out—some combination of in-club, with a trainer (live or virtually), [and] on their own at home/outside. Many people have built more autonomy with their workouts. Having the option to work out where they want reduced the barrier to entry in being consistent. I think people will continue down this path and likely look for ways to receive live guidance part of the time and more asynchronous guidance (on-demand content or custom workouts) the rest of the time.

—Berenc

On tech and nature coexisting…

I see people using a lot more technology (tracking apps, AI, interactive gaming software) for their at-home workouts and then simultaneously getting back into nature more. I [also] think that walking and meditation is going to have a resurgence, especially for women seeking to balance their hormones.

Sarah Girard, a meditation and yoga instructor based in Santa Monica, California

On employers prioritizing your mental health…

More and more organizations and employers are starting to welcome conversation around mental health and psychological well-being. And they should: Our mental and emotional well being is the cornerstone of high performance. You cannot have a high performing team or org without psychologically and emotionally robust individuals. 

In my role as Senior Director of Performance Psychology at Exos, I see this trend unfolding live. More and more leaders are talking about the mental health of their employees and placing emphasis and resources on how best to provide support(s) and services. I hope this trend catches like wildfire. We have to rethink how we talk about, address, and support the well being of our team members. 

—Sarkis

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