Here is my take on what I notice and predict to be health and wellness trends you’ll hear about or should know about in 2017.
- Gut – quite literally, everything about your mid-section (stomach, colon, intestines). It’s funny how we talk about ‘trusting your gut’ when you make those decisions based on your ‘feels’.
But the wellness industry is looking at the connection between mind and body via your gut. I recently picked up a book on this to dabble in understanding a little more on your innards.
Gut health is a personal one for me as I recently had some issues in my gut area. Just this ricocheting pain emanating from my mid-section. Was it stress? Anxiety? An ulcer? (This is where I cued “Dr Google” to find the answers, get more worried as you read up on all sorts of potential diseases, and exacerbate my pain!)
I ended up buying gobs of probiotic yogurt. I had read about how people are usually deficient in ‘good bacteria’ (i.e. probiotics) which aid in digestion and eliminating waste from your system.
All this to say that you’ll likely be hearing more about gut-related syndromes, like leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The probiotics didn’t seem to work. I then cut out coffee…which seemed to do the trick.
For you see…coffee, being acidic, can inflame…which leads to the second trend, anti-inflammation.
You’ll hear about a way of living and eating a diet that is anti-inflammatory. The basics on this are that we abuse are bodies by loading it with inflammatory foods and environments. This includes acidic drinks like coffee.
So the trend here is about balancing this out with anti-inflammatory practices. You’ll be reading about supplements and herbs and foods that are naturally inflammatory, such as turmeric.
I’m trying out recipes from this Meals that Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk, a book with anti-inflammation meal plans.
Similar to anti-inflammation dieting is the concept of ‘detoxing’.
Ever have friends or colleagues talking about they are on a detox? Usually precipitated from partying it up after the holidays…or some life calamity (like looking at yourself in the mirror!).
There are tons of detoxes out there, it’s mind-boggling. Sugar detox? Caffeine detox? Juice cleanse? These are the kinds of ‘detox’ ideas available for you. You’ll even see pills in your natural health store.
I recently went through Joy McCarthy’s Joyous Detox. As you can see, she sorta looks like that Gilmore mom from Gilmore Girls. But the title is quite short and catchy. A detox that can be joyful? Indeed, the recipes and shots are quite accessible. I think a detox is a decent trend for us to jump on. But attention needs to be made that we don’t fall prey to those marketing hacks promoting all sorts of snake oil crap. While having a detox program (i.e. eating more properly) can lead you to cleansing yourself and inducing a more anti-inflammatory lifestyle, I am not sold on those weird pills that claim to “clean” up your liver. I think basic water can do that!
I’ve gone off and on with a pushup regime. This is something I def need to follow-through on! One problem is that I am impatient and don’t see results right away. Then I procrastinate away by looking up “going to gym” versus “doing bodyweights”. I think that doing machines or freeweights, in the long run will help you bulk up better over bodyweights.
But if you are a ‘skinny-fat’ noob who needs to shape up, I am also a proponent of bodyweights. I think this is a trend we see, especially for the time-crunched crowd (e.g. you work 60+ hour weeks, got kids, and have no time to commute to the gym). So you see catchy titles like desk-ercise or office yoga.
So a challenge for you and me: let’s do some dips on our desk chair or…desk…and some pushups. No excuses.
5. HIIT me baby (High Intensity Interval Training)
OK, if you’re super lazy, there’s this book I stumbled upon at the library that sounds too damn good to be true. It’s called the One Minute Workout by Martin Gibala.
I think the title is a bit hokey but the book is loaded with research and sample workout programs. Basically, the premise is that you can accomplish a fitness regime in about a fraction of the time. The key is to really amp up the intensity of that workout.
Hence, ‘high intensity interval training’. So instead of going for a jog or run that lasts an hour…you throw in a few intervals where you rev up the intensity (i.e. 8 or 9 out of 10 on the intensity scale). You keep up that intensity for a minute or a few minutes. Et voila, you’re fitter, faster (and more productive).
How powerful is smell? I mean, the perfume industry is pretty huge … not to mention all the fragrances (and testing that goes with that) to create various hygiene products.
So aromatherapy is something I am seeing starting to gain ground as a therapeutic way to de-stress, combat insomnia and induce tranquility.
Typically, you use essential oils and get the smells dispersed through a diffuser. I am not in the mood for yet another item to buy and clean. Although these glass-blown Taiwanese-made (I love Taiwan!) diffusers seem pretty awesome and different from the ones you see peddled.
7. Hygge – embodying this Danish way of life
I’ve heard about how Danes are the happiest people (er, one of the happiest countries) if you believe Dan Buettner in his book Thrive. Danes are, I think, known for their design style (or was that Swedes?).
Anyways, you should be hearing about “hygge”, which I believe is pronounced “hoo-gah” (no, not hookah, that’s Middle Eastern!). There are different translations but I like this translation of hygge: “cozy”. Especially for us winter dwellers with dark snowy windy days and nights, it’s nice to find ways to be cosy.
Hygge, then, is about finding the simple pleasures in life. What’s cool is that it’s custom and personal to you. Is it curling by the fireplace on a couch, reading a book under a warm blanket? Playing with your dog? Having a dinner get-together and then, instead of watching netflix, you pull out backgammon and play a non-tech round?
So those are my views on what I see as the 7 wellness trends for 2017 (and beyond, perhaps). I truly believe that we should all pursue wellness as that leads to healthier and wealthier lives for us all.