2023 – A Year in Review


Personal reflections

2023 has been a challenging one for all of us, with the cost of living continuing to rise, however, for the most part my clients have been able to prioritise their movement for their mental and physical wellbeing.

The focus this year for me has not only been on one to one personal training, but also been about the launch of my small group running classes; and I could not be prouder of what they have achieved.   Last year I completed my leadership in running fitness qualification with England athletics. In January I started my first 12 week beginner running course of beginner, helping them to run to 5K and after Easter I introduced a second class. With the successful completion of the January group to 5k, we increased their goal to be able to run the Windsor 10k in September. Which they did!  It was a fantastic event; the weather was perfect, and everyone completed a personal best time. I am very proud of them all.

My current Wednesday class is a fitness running class where we use interval runs to maintain and increase our fitness levels. I have really enjoyed helping my runners to a achieve level of running they didn’t think they would be able to. They have overcome the mental barriers of running and learnt that it can be fun, not every run has to be a personal best, it can just be a good way to get some fresh air, have a chat and de-stress from work or home life.

My personal training continues to be a blend of online and in person. I love the mix that this gives me, enabling me to work with clients across the UK and even internationally as well. Online has also allowed me to continue working one of my clients, who did live in Windsor and has now moved to Hampshire.  I love that this is possible and one of the few positive outcome from the COVID years.

Reflecting on 2023 Fitness Trends

I am pleased to say that there are some positive trends I have seen emerging this year in the fitness industry, which include:

  1. Ice/plunge pool therapy. This approach uses cold therapy to aid recovery and boost the immune system. I have to say this is not a trend I have been involved with, I’m more of a hot water bottle girl. However, the science behind this approach does stack up.  I did have chat with one of my clients about them getting a plunge pool. We discussed the benefits and I suggested that they may get the same benefits from running a cold bath, without the need to invest.
  2. Mobility and Flexibility.  I have seen there also be more focus on this to sustain a good quality of life, as we age and to help reduce injuries while we are exercising. I try to incorporate Pilates and yoga moves into my classes to help my clients recover from injury, reduce tension and shortened muscles, from sedate working styles. 
  3. New language. I’m very pleased to see that this year the language around fitness has been less of the tough love mentality and more around self-talk and movement. The ‘something is better than nothing’ approach is a much healthier view vs the ‘all or nothing’ approach, on us both mentally and physically.  The better we are at listening to our bodies the more we can reduce the chances of injury, over exercising and getting ill.
  4. Recognition of rest. This messaging is more prominent with social media influencers, which is great to see.  Giving our body healing time between workouts is really important especially if they are intense sessions. Listening to your body and doing a different style of workout can also count as recovery.
  5. The perimenopause.  Over the last few years there has been more discussion about the peri menopause and how it impacts women. There is also much more awareness and discussion around men’s mental health in the mainstream media.
  6. Make movement fun.  As more people continue to work from home, making movement a fun social activity has continued as a trend in 2023, which has been brilliant to see.  Interestingly online personal training and ‘in app’ classes by brands such as Peleton and Les Mills are still popular.
  7. Smart technology continues to develop and give you indications of your wellbeing, such as stress levels, body battery and energy levels.  These tools will continue to allow the many who like data to check in on their strep count and heart rate zones, enjoying the encouragement that this provides.

As 2023 draws to a close, I’d like to thank all my clients and supporters who are joining me for the ride.  I wish you all a happy, fun and relaxing festive break.

Do get in touch if you would like to see how I can help support you achieve your 2024 fitness goals and keep an eye out for our emails and articles next month, we have some exciting things planned. 

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Sara McDonnell

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