Wellness as a lifestyle choice really took off in 2014 but I suspect it to gain momentum in 2015 as this lifestyle becomes the new norm. Here are 9 health and wellness trends to watch this coming year.
1. Mindful Eating
This ancient practice is now a modern trend according to Jackie Middleton. “Mindful eating means choosing foods with deliberate intention, being aware of taste and texture and chewing your food until it’s a paste,” says Joy McCarthy, a Toronto-based certified holistic nutritionist and the bestselling author of Joyous Health. Your enjoyment of meals will increase, and you’ll be more likely to maintain a healthy weight due to slower eating and the consumption of fewer calories. Your digestion will thank you, too. “Mindful eating allows digestive juices to properly break down food,” says McCarthy. This improved digestion will result in increased energy and optimum nutrient absorption(http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/wellness/top-health-fitness-and-wellness-trends-for-2015)
2. The Decline Of Dieting
“In 2013, the NDP Group – an American market research organization – disclosed that fewer people were dieting. Instead of food deprivation, individuals were turning to more balanced, realistic approaches to losing weight and maintaining good health. This trend continues to grow. “People are stopping the endless cycle of dieting because they realize it doesn’t make them feel joyous,” says McCarthy. “Diets don’t work.” People are getting the message that nourishing foods, daily physical activity, positive thinking and smart lifestyle choices lead to a happy, healthy body. “As a result more people are eating and living well without dieting,” she says (http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/wellness/top-health-fitness-and-wellness-trends-for-2015)
This is a fantastic trend as I believe it’s detrimental to long term physical and mental health to be defined by a ‘diet’. Imagine being able nourish your body with all foods. To use ingredients from all cultures and prepare meals that nurture you and your family’s mind, body and spirit.
3. Wearable Technology
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) believes that the popularity of wearable technology (calorie trackers, step counters, sleep monitors) will soar in 2015 with the release of Apple’s highly anticipated iWatch. With wearable tech, healthier life choices are at your fingertips. “Tracking your activities illuminates how much or how little activity you have in a day. A tracker provides actual stats from which you can build on,” says Vogel. This information can provide motivation to move more, consume fewer calories or get additional sleep. “The more attention you pay to healthy behaviours, the more likely you’ll improve on them,” she says (http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/wellness/top-health-fitness-and-wellness-trends-for-2015)
I must admit I have succumbed to this trend with my fitbit and I find it fantastic to keep me informed, motivated and on-track with my daily movement.
4. Avoiding Artificial Sweeteners
An Israeli study published in September 2014 found a potential link between artificial sweeteners and obesity. These preliminary findings echo McCarthy’s belief that artificial sweeteners aren’t the healthiest option. “My philosophy is ‘eat real food’. Foods made in a lab are not meant for our bodies,” she says. “I recommend that people focus on what their food is made of by reading the ingredients label, and to eat food that comes from nature.” Natural alternatives to artificial sweeteners include honey, maple syrup and date sugar (http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/wellness/top-health-fitness-and-wellness-trends-for-2015)
5. A Return To Full-Fat Foods
Low fat foods, your days are numbered. 2015 sees the return of good fats, an essential part of a healthy diet. When you skip good fats or choose low fat foods, you may suffer from dry skin, sore joints and inflammation. And forget that notion that low fat products are better for you than their full fat counterparts. “Low fat products are usually full of sugar, artificial sweeteners or other chemicals to make them taste better,” says McCarthy. “I always recommend full-fat food products because you feel fuller faster and you need less to feel satisfied. A little goes a long way,” she says
This trend is just a given really… eat real food in its natural, whole state – something I’ve been advocating for years!
6. A Daily Dose Of Green Space
McCarthy recommends a 2015 wellness trend that’s free, and good for the soul – a daily dose of green space. “Research shows that nature lights up areas of the brain associated with love, empathy and pleasure,” she says. “Most people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, so get outside for a brisk walk every day. You’ll feel joyous when you adopt this health habit.”
This shift is gaining momentum as it was a hot topic at the conference I attended in Turkey recently in October. A widening circle of researchers believes that the loss of natural habitat, or the disconnection from nature even when it is available, has enormous implications for human health. According to Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, ‘nature is often overlooked as a healing balm for the emotional hardships’ in one’s life. Which leads us to the next trend.
7. The Hottest Gym Is The Great Outdoors
So many people have desk jobs now that the oldest gym on earth — the great outdoors — is becoming its most popular. Whether it’s running, hiking, playing sports, goofing around on a fire hydrant or a HIIT workout at the park, more and more people are taking their fitness outside, with 92% of our readers believing that exercising outdoors is the best option. Bad news for gym memberships (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16463/10-wellness-trends-to-watch-in-2015.html)
8. It’s About Wellth, Not Wealth
That’s right: balance is the new achievement. Working 80 hours a week in a soulless job that brings home a pot of gold is losing its lustre. We’ve gone from “profit to purpose.”
A whopping 98% of our readers want to live with purpose, and 97% say that finding happiness is one of their most important goals in life. The original English word for “wealth” was actually “welthe” derived from the words “wealth” and “health.” (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16463/10-wellness-trends-to-watch-in-2015.html)
9. It’s Time To Take Note Of Telomeres
Pronounced tell-em-eers, these little “buffers at the end of chromosomes” are the keys to aging or reversing aging. In late 2013 Dr. Dean Ornish got lots of attention for a study that suggested that lifestyle and dietary changes such as practicing meditation, yoga, and eating more plants could help lengthen telomeres, which effectively had the power to reverse the aging process. Telomeres will continue to gain momentum as a hot topic, having already been a focus of the 2014 documentary film, The Connection, and playing a central role in Cameron Diaz’s next book, a follow-up to her bestselling The Body Book.
I’ve talked a lot about telomeres in the past and their role in the ageing process and so I’m glad the spotlight is back on these tiny little structures. I’ll talk more about these and reversing the ageing process next week so stay tuned!
“Because It’s Not A Rehearsal”
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