A Deep Dive into South Africa's Top Fitness Trends

Getting adequate exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle, and keeping up with the ever-changing trends can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, especially since some trends only last a short while, leaving people eager for new challenges. Here, according to fitness expert Lisa Raleigh, we will discuss four fitness and wellness trends in South Africa for 2023. (Goodall, 2023). 

Medical Advancements

Personalised Fitness Experiences

Personal Trainers provide a curated diet plan and schedule based on one’s DNA, goals, lifestyle, and interests. A personal trainer is great because they help you stay motivated and positive while working towards your fitness goals. When you see changes in your body and learn more about staying healthy, it boosts your confidence. 

The main reason why people prefer training with a personal trainer is they make a difference by assisting clients in: 

  • losing weight,  
  • building muscle,  
  • getting ready for a particular sport, and  
  • recovering post accidents or surgeries.  

 With a supportive personal trainer encouraging them to improve during workouts, clients stay motivated and positive. (Miller, 2023). 

How much do personal trainers charge? 

In South Africa, the cost of a personal trainer usually ranges from R200 to R1000 per session. Personal trainers with more experience might charge higher rates, with some also providing group sessions. (Virgin Active South Africa, 2023). 

Biophilia Exercises

“Defined as the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings, it’s a trend that rose to notoriety during the lockdowns and has gathered a relentless pace since.” (Franks, 2023). 

Why choose biophilia as the weather warms up? 

It’s a chance to break free from indoor gyms and enjoy the beauty of nature with the arrival of warmer weather. As this is not a new trend, it has grown significantly since the term was coined in a book by German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, titledThe Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”, in 1973. 

Eleven years after that, in 1984, the late American biologist E. O. Wilson affirmed in his book ‘Biophilia’ that biophilia has a biological foundation and is essential for fostering positive connections between humans and the natural world. 

Since its inception, numerous studies consistently found a common thread: 

  • Participants experienced enhanced mental and spiritual well-being and a deeper understanding of and connection with the natural world. 
  • A study from 2019 discovered that it also demonstrated evident stress-reducing effects, highlighting one of the many advantages of breaking a sweat in the great outdoors. 
  • You might notice a boost in your mood, which could be partly attributed to increased exposure to Vitamin D.  
  • Additionally, studies indicate that even just five minutes of outdoor exercise can enhance self-esteem. 
  • Apart from the mental benefits, it is also a low-cost alternative as there is no need for a gym membership or personal trainers. 

Free Movement

The idea of free movement means moving without worrying about strict rules. Natural movement is something everyone can gain from, no matter your age, ability, or fitness level. The fact is, Natural Movement is innate for all humans, and there are enjoyable, challenging, and adaptable movement workouts for all ability levels. So you can start feeling and moving better right away.  

With free movement, you enjoy unrestricted freedom of motion, gaining a holistic awareness of your entire body, emotions, and physicality.   

Here are additional benefits of free movement: 

  • Reduces chronic pain and stress. 
  • Facilitates the healing of past injuries and helps prevent future ones. 
  • Boosts confidence to engage in activities you love. 
  • Offers effective fitness through bodyweight training with minimal equipment. 
  • Provides mindful movement routines for stress and anxiety relief. 
  • Serves as a valuable practice for enhancing strength and mobility, leading to remarkable benefits. 

(The Wellness Corner, 2023). 

Corporate Wellness

Corporate wellness has evolved significantly in the past six months. With the economic landscape changing, many employees now experience anxiety about job security. (LinkedIn, 2023). 

Corporate wellness programs are strategies crafted by companies to support and enhance the health and well-being of their employees. These programs provide a range of activities, resources, and incentives to motivate employees to: 

• embrace healthy lifestyles,  
• encompassing regular exercise,  
• nutritious eating habits, and  
• stress reduction techniques. 

 In summary, staying healthy involves navigating evolving fitness trends. In 2023, South Africa sees a rise in personalised fitness experiences with personal trainers, emphasising tailored support for diverse goals. Biophilia exercises are enjoyed due to their ability to connect with nature and have gained popularity for mental and physical well-being. Free movement promotes holistic health, reducing pain and stress while enhancing confidence, and, ultimately, Corporate Wellness programs adapt to economic changes, fostering healthy lifestyles among employees. Embracing these trends provides diverse and effective approaches to increasing your overall well-being. 

This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. 


Core Direction. (2023). The Future of Corporate Wellness: Trends and Predictions. Retrieved from Core Direction:

Franks, J. (2023). BIOPHILIA EXERCISE: WHY YOU SHOULD JUMP ON THE TREND THIS SPRING. Retrieved from Muscle and Health:

Goodall, K. (2023, July 11). Health and Wellness: These are 4 of the biggest fitness trends of 2023 so far. Retrieved from 702.:

LinkedIn. (2023, January 16). Top employee wellness trends for 2023. Retrieved from LinkedIn:

Miller, D. (2023, June 5). Personal Trainer: Definition, Types, Qualifications, and Benefits. Retrieved from GYMDESK:

The Wellness Corner. (2023, March). Free Movement: The Buzzing Fitness Trend. Retrieved from The Wellness Corner:

Virgin Active South Africa. (2023, October 5). Personal Trainers in South Africa – Everything you need to know. Retrieved from Virgin Active South Africa:



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