Outdoor workouts, holistic health and functional fitness set to feature, along with evolving fit-tech to boot

With record-breaking sales in 2021, David Lloyd Clubs, the UK’s leading health and fitness groups, is expecting a strong start to 2022 as the nation continues to prioritise its health and wellbeing.   

With 70% of new members who joined David Lloyd Clubs in 2021 citing a desire to improve their overall wellbeing and health as their primary driver, it’s clear that lifestyle changes brought on by the past 18 months have been far reaching. Attitudes, trends and priorities in the fitness space continue to shift and according to the experts at David Lloyd Clubs, 2022 will be no exception. 

From embracing the great outdoors in new ways to more holistic, considered workouts, here’s what to expect in the new year. 

For all the challenges the past year has presented, one of the big positives many of us have discovered is a reconnection with the outdoors, a knock-on from the earliest days of lockdown when a walk outside was for a while a real daily treat.  We’re walking, we’re hiking, we’re running, we’re cycling, we’re swimming and we’re reaping all the physical and mental benefits that come with welcoming more fresh air into our daily lives. In fact, almost half of the population (46%) say that they are spending more time outside than before COVID, while 42% of adults report that nature and wildlife is more important than ever to their wellbeing . In 2022 Brits are expected to keep this passion for fresh air, with outdoor classes, open swimming and sports such as tennis set to rise in popularity. 

Meeting the demand for outdoor exercise classes, David Lloyd Clubs has accelerated the rollout of Battlebox, its signature outdoor training offer set in a custom-built rig, to an additional 26 Clubs.  A 45-minute Battlebox class offers a mixture of cardio and weights, utilising monkey bars and ropes, plus kettlebells, slam bags and bodyweight exercises. Suitable for all fitness levels, with a family option for kids aged 8+ classes run whatever the weather. 

Make no mistake, sometimes nothing beats hitting the gym and lifting your way to a new strength PB. But in the new year, Brits will be looking to adopt a more rounded approach to their health and wellbeing, beyond the weight and cardio rooms. Indeed, in a new member survey in 2021, 70% of respondents cited “for my mental health and wellbeing” as the primary driver to joining David Lloyd Clubs.
It’s no surprise to David Lloyd Clubs Head of Spa and Lifestyle, Steph Holland, who has led the roll-out of three further Spa Retreats this year, curating the spaces for an overall wellness offer. 

“More than ever people are considering not just a work-life balance, but also a work-out balance.  A workout doesn’t just need to be a 45-minute HIIT class, or a 5k run; a mindful session that soothes the mind and soul is equally important when it comes to our all-round health and mental wellbeing. 

“Our members use our Spa Retreats as they would gym or a class. Some of the most popular spaces are our hot and cold areas, with ice caves and saunas, plunge pools and experience showers. Studies have shown these sudden changes in temperatures¹ do wonders for the mind and body, reducing stress and levels of cortisol.” 


After nearly two years of makeshift desks and laptops on sofas, the added time in front screens we’ll be paying more attention to our posture and optimising our health for everyday through Mobility and strength & functional workouts. Functional movements are the things we do as we go about our everyday lives and 2022 is set to bring an uptake in group training sessions and workouts specifically focused on mobilizing, strengthening and improving the overall condition the body, with a strong core being key. Get ready to be pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, twisting and lunging whilst enjoying fun and variety!
Lucy Day, Head of Gym and Sports commented: “Mobility and functional strength training is a really smart way to train, focusing on quality over quantity and key movement patterns that we all use throughout our daily life. It might sound a little daunting and this is really where an expert coach can really add value.  They’ll create a bespoke plan which incorporates these movements, factoring in an individual’s goals, current fitness levels and any existing injuries.

Correct form is essential, and a Personal Trainer will ensure exercises are performed correctly and safely, as well as ensuring a participant is progressing.” 

Fans of tennis, badminton and ping-pong are guaranteed to get hooked in by new hybrid sensation Pickleball in 2022. Pickleball is one of America’s fastest growing sports and it is now set to take off in the UK too. In the US, Pickleball participation grew by 21.3% between 2019 and 2020, with more than 4.2 million Americans now playing at least once a year . In the UK, interest in the sport is also clearly growing with a 76.2% increase in overall Pickleball search interest between 2020 and 2021, 37% increase in social media conversation around the sport between 2020 and 2021, and an average of 12.1k monthly google searches throughout 2021.

Played indoors or outdoors, as singles or doubles, Pickleball is super accessible as it involves less running around than tennis, the skills are easier to master, and its high energy and fun for all abilities. Two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated ball over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports. The dimensions and layout of and a net and rules similar to tennis, with a few modifications. Pickleball launched at David Lloyd Clubs in late 2021, with the UK Championship set to take place in David Lloyd Southampton in the summer.   

But there’s not just one new racquet sport on the block, with Padel, a form of tennis, played mainly in a doubles format on an enclosed court, also gaining in popularity. Padel is easy to learn so its more accessible than tennis and the rules are broadly the same, although you serve underhand, and the walls are used as part of the game with the ball allowed to bounce off them. Officially recognised by Sport England, Sport Wales and Sport Scotland as a discipline of tennis in Britain in late 2020, Padel is hugely popular across continental Europe. 

We’re also expecting our love affair with tennis to continue, hot on the heels of Brit’s Raducanu and Norrie’s recent successes.  With classes for children aged 3+, plus options for adults returning to the sport, there’s never been a better time to pick up a racquet. 

Predictions suggest that there will be 14.1 million fitness app users in the UK in 2022, up from 13.2 million in 2021 . With this rise in fitness apps, comes the ability to train in your familiar gym environment following a workout of your choice on your own device. 
Lucy Day, Head of Gym and Sports commented: “There’s been an explosion of online content over the past two years and whilst it’s brilliant to have such choice, the flip side is not knowing where to start. I’d advise caution around who is delivering the training, technique shown and suitability for individuals who may be new to training or injured. At present there is no regulation of ’fitness trainers’ in the online space, anyone can do it.    
“My advice would always be to check the credentials of the instructor you’re following, all the team on the David Lloyd @home app are CIMSPA registered so look out for those with industry approved accreditation.  As for where to start, if you’re already exercising, look at how you can complement your training, for example some guided stretching before and after a lift session, or a programme to develop your core strength to improve a personal best for runners.   For those new to exercise, have a think about what you really enjoy: if you’re not a fan of high-impact cardio, then look at some bodyweight strength programmes.”    

Discover what classes and experiences David Lloyd Clubs offer at 

[1] Statista (2020), Researched on 8th December 2021

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Notes to editors:
1. Cold water benefits
2. Pickleball
3. Padel
4. Outdoor leisure


About David Lloyd Leisure Group
David Lloyd Leisure is Europe’s largest health and fitness group (by revenue according to Deloitte’s health & fitness market report 2019). It operates 125 clubs - 99 clubs in the UK and a further 23 clubs across mainland Europe, comprising its three brands David Lloyd Clubs, Harbour Clubs (of which there are three in London) and Meridian Spa and Fitness in Germany.  
For the last four years, David Lloyd Leisure has been voted into the Top 25 of The Sunday Times’ Best Large Companies to Work For.  
It has over 700,000 members and employs nearly 10,000 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 while it contracts the services of more than 680 tennis professionals. David Lloyd Club’s racquets facilities are unparalleled with over 1080 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts. 
Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, Clubrooms with free Wi-Fi and business lounges, kids club facilities, crèches, and specialist sports shops. 


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