Dubbed the Netflix of fitness, this is a network of fitness classes accessed through an app that connects to your TV. It includes the likes of HIIT and yoga, and even ‘breath classes’ to get you to use your diaphragm better. You can follow your favourite instructors or try ones recommended by others. You wear a heart-rate strap so you can see how hard you’re working and you can connect to other users and ‘like’ or comment on their workouts.
Where: Download at fiit.tv. Some packages free; ‘premium’ upgrade from £10/month.
Mental resilience training takes many forms, from neuro-linguistic-based programmes (NLP) set by life coaches in which you learn to ‘see’ situations objectively without emotion, to the more wayward, such as a ‘conflict resolution’ workshop through rapping. Yep, a therapist and a rapper have collaborated on RAP, aimed at helping office workers build confidence and confront tricky conversations. ‘Think about it,’ say leadership expert Janet Taras and rapper Lady Lykez, ‘have you ever met an insecure rapper?’ The pair claim their classes are based on research, saying ‘repressed anger can cause psychological stress and music can change moods’.
This free-form style aims to get people to connect to themselves and others through music and movement. There’s strictly no talking because you’re supposed to communicate via, yes, the medium of dance. Shoes are banned, as are phones and booze (obvs). Different takes on the practice have emerged — there are some decidedly hippie versions, while others are more mainstream. Ecstatic Dance in Hackney Wick has monthly Sunday meet-ups and describes the layout as ‘a sacred space’.
Where: The Old Baths, London, ecstatic-dance.co.uk, sessions from £12.50.
Now that millennials hit the gym with alarming regularity and quinoa and beetroot are everyone’s lunch staples, the wellbeing industry has turned its attention to improving our minds. So-called nootropics are geared towards boosting focus and memory — legally. Most work by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain and protecting neurons. There are now a host of over-the-counter cognitive enhancers containing ingredients such as ginkgo biloba, turmeric, antioxidant resveratrol and creatine.
Thermopure, formulated with green tea, black pepper and caffeine, is one such tablet. There are also the much-hyped cannabidiol (CBD) supplements, derived from cannabis oil, said to improve everything from lethargy to anxiety to depression.
Nap bars and intelligent resting
Any personal trainer will tell you that fitness = training + recovery because it’s during rest that your body makes the fitness gains. With that in mind, watch out for the emergence of ‘nap bars’ — dark rooms where stressed office workers can take some downtime in the day.
Where: Nap at Pop & Rest, London (popnrest.com) £8 for half an hour.
This year gadgets are also set to help us optimise our recovery. The new-generation fitness watches now monitor your sleep and heart rate variability (which is different to your actual heart rate and indicates stress levels) and even more besides.Garmin’s latest Fēnix 5 even monitors hydration levels. For accurate results, though, it’s probably best to avoid such gadgets during the Christmas drinking season.