When we look at the landscape of health and wellness, it becomes evident that the industry goes through waves and trends. Over the last decade the industry has leaned towards more elite/extreme trends (think Tough Mudder, CrossFit, bootcamps, etc.). As a result, fitness and wellness have been pushed towards familiar terms of “faster, harder, stronger, heavier” – this movement has undoubtedly been responsible for engaging millions of people nationwide, and to that end I applaud the effort. However, as a result, sports and training-related injuries have also been on the rise, and the need to approach wellness from a more rounded stance is needed.
As we approach the end of 2017, the pendulum has been swinging in the opposite direction, and the term “wellness” is gaining ground on “fitness”. Indeed, in some areas of the industry, it has surpassed it. While training studios and high-intensity circuit training are still alive and well, the market is showing huge growth in nutritional awareness, meditation, rest and recovery. An easily identifiable sign of this shift is the foam roller; making appearances in gyms and training studios nationwide, this recovery tool has likely come across your table. Another example is Whoop, a newcomer to the wearable scene, which tracks the exertion and recovery of athletes through wearable technology. As people understand the value and benefit of proper recovery, self-treatment tools like this and others will continue to become a staple in people’s wellness routines.
“In a world full of digital advertisements, rushed schedules, bustling work spaces, and noise, the amount of latent stress we carry around often goes without recognition, let alone any attempts to properly address their effects.”
Continuing that line of thought, we can see other things aimed at recovery and mental wellness. Yoga has stood the test of time, with its popularity coming in waves. The practice continues to expand, between both developing practices and blossoming franchises (think CorePower Yoga and YogaWorks). It would appear that franchised relaxation and recovery will be the hot businesses to watch in 2018! Other niche examples include practicing with animals, babies, food, and drinks. While one could debate the actual effectiveness of these add-ons, it does help to engage the population in wellness, and at the end of the day that is a win. Another growing sector is sauna treatments, both traditional and infrared saunas. The idea being that the heat, relaxation, and infusion of infrared waves can help alleviate soreness, decrease inflammation, and boost circulation.
Medical testing for health and fitness will likely see a boost in popularity, as people increasingly look inward for data to see how they can maximize their wellness experience. It would be safe to say that blood testing for food allergies, metabolic activity, and tracking nutritional deficiencies will all see a boost in the coming year. The advent of 23andMe showed that people are investing in learning about themselves through medical analysis, and it would be an easy bet that this sort of screening process will gain popularity in the coming years.
One more interesting trend that seems to be gaining global traction is silence. Yes, silence. In a world full of digital advertisements, rushed schedules, bustling work spaces, and noise, the amount of latent stress we carry around often goes without recognition, let alone any attempts to properly address their effects. Enter the trend of silence; be it in the workplace with designated quiet areas or isolation pods, or mediation on your own time, the power to disconnect from the daily cacophony and reset holds more power than people realize. Business trips are starting to feature more “unplugged” time, encouraging a work/life balance that allows time to not be glued to screens and emails – which really, we all could benefit from. And on that note, let’s take 5…
Next Article: Insurance and Prevention: What we’re Doing Wrong