The silly season is officially over. The decorations are down, the kids are back at school, and all the ham has (finally) been eaten. But what about those New Year’s resolutions you made to kick off 2020? Have they stuck around, or become a distant memory along with the Christmas lights and leftovers?
Whether you’ve committed to your new healthy habits or are in need of a helping hand to make them stick, this month’s 2020 Health & Wellbeing Special Feature is here to help. We’re kicking things off by taking a look at some of the health trends predicted to shake up the industry this year, both locally and around the globe.
As with most other areas of life, technology is at the forefront when it comes to the future of health and wellness. General advances in technology will undoubtedly contribute to plenty of the trends that come into play this year. And as specific areas like artificial intelligence become more highly developed, we’ll see more and more changes in the way healthcare is accessed and delivered.
The fitness industry is particularly rife with technological innovations. In 2020, we can expect to see a focus on fitness in the home. The range of home workout equipment on offer is more impressive than ever, with popularity growing for items like the Peloton (an exercise bike with in-built live-streaming fitness classes) and the MIRROR (a ‘nearly invisible interactive home gym’, which looks like an ordinary full-length mirror until it’s switched on to display workouts from an instructor).
But not all the top fitness gadgets are that big (or expensive)! An annual global survey by the American College of Sports Medicine put wearable technology at the top of its 2020 fitness trends list. From smartwatches and activity trackers to heart rate monitors and sleep tracking apps, wearable tech is one of the biggest industries in the wellbeing world – and the popularity of keeping your fitness and health close at hand is surely set to keep rising in 2020. Keep an eye out as more devices and apps hit the market this year, with greater functionality, accuracy and accessibility than ever before.
You’re going to need fuel for all that exercise, and in 2020, plant-based diets, in particular, are predicted to become more widespread than ever. It’s safe to say we could all strive to eat more vegetables – but a plant-based (or at least ‘plant-forward’) diet is about more than just eating your greens. It’s part of a larger societal movement towards more sustainable, socially conscious eating habits. Expect to see a wider range of plant-based meat alternatives hitting the shelves of supermarkets and health food shops – but be cautious about how much of your plant-based food swaps are highly processed. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional faux-beef burger, but for the most part, dietitians recommend sticking to the old faithful approach: plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
So apart from eating well and exercising, what can we do to benefit our health and wellbeing in 2020? As we move into a new year (and a new decade), it can feel like the pace of life is picking up faster than ever, and that we have to move faster along with it. But many industry experts are actually espousing the benefits of slowing down. Offering an alternative to the go-hard-or-go-home mindset of popular movements like no-carb diets and high-intensity interval training, this approach focuses on the slower side of life: mindfulness and meditation, recovery training, healthy sleep habits, the prioritisation of mental health, and so on. There’s never been a better time to make a concerted effort to rest and recalibrate amongst the chaos of life.
So now you know what’s on the horizon for health and wellness in 2020, be sure to check out the rest of our Health & Wellbeing Special Feature and get ready for a healthy year ahead!