Photo Credit: Globalwellness.org
Wellness is not just having a moment, it’s become a movement, and one that is set to explode and change everything we eat, do, buy and try in the coming years.
At a press event at the Hearst building in New York City, the ultimate authority on all things wellness, the Global Wellness Institute and the Global Wellness Summit with Chairman and CEO Susie Ellis and a group of consummate experts, highlighted eight future trends in wellness, some of which are already here and thriving. They also debuted their Wellness Moonshot initiative – a bold call to action to eradicate chronic, preventable disease worldwide by uniting the health and wellness industries.
Wellness fashion…It’s a thing
Lululemons have nothing on this “new era of sustainable, ethical, intelligent, healing, more inclusive and meaningful clothing.” Social consciousness has hit the fashion world big time. As a result, we can say good bye to the ‘buy-and-trash’ culture and hello to new ways of upcycling used clothes. Expect brands to offer programs and discounts for returning used clothes. This is far from the only way that wellness and fashion will intersect in 2019 and beyond. Trendcasters predict more cruelty-free and vegan clothing as well as smart clothes that actually boost your wellbeing with self-regulating materials that adapt to cold, heat, UV conditions and movement; kill bacteria; control air flow; moisturize skin; and even broadcast your mood.
Reinventing the road less travelled
As the poet Robert Frost famously wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”Unfortunately, many tourists choose the opposite approach and have sired an epidemic of ‘overtourism’ aka a mad rush on certain uber- popular destinations. Roughly half of all travelers go to just 100 global destinations, and hosts or guests, locals or visitors feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life is negatively affected. Wellness tourism may be the antidote. To that end, Dubrovnik, Croatia is developing a Wellness & Spa Tourism Zone in Varaždinske Toplice, an area with centuries of hot springs bathing and other wellness traditions. Expect more countries, states and cities to get in on this game. Pack your bags…
Everyone is saying ohm
Just a few years ago, meditation was considered fringe, but it’s now clocking the same meteoric growth that yoga did 20 years ago, experts point out. There are many iterations of mediation, apps and brick and mortar studios that make it all the more accessible and mainstream.
Rx for nature
Your doctor tells you that your blood pressure and cholesterol are higher than they should be, but instead of a script for one, two or more medications, you may get one suggesting you take a hike…literally. More and more physicians are prescribing nature to stressed-out patients. Spending time in nature is known to reduce stress and enhance creativity, but in today’s 24-7 world, too few people are taking time to smell the fir, pine, honey suckle or other aromas found in nature. There’s even a name for this condition – “Nature-Deficit Disorder.” Experts allege that the disconnect between nature and children has resulted in an increase in childhood obesity, attention deficits, anxiety, and more. To treat these symptoms, more schools are introducing programs to get kids out and about.
Scents make sense
Our sense of smell is getting an image makeover due to a new understanding of scent’s role in our physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s more than just candles to evoke romance or lavender to create a sense of calm. Scent will be used to ‘bio hack’ our brains and bodies to perform better. For example, the scent of coffee has been shown to help people perform analytical tasks better, which means that work spaces may soon be piping it in to improve output. Just because you smell coffee doesn’t mean there is a fresh pot in the break room.
As goes China…
With a population of 1.4 billion and counting, China is set to become the world’s wellness trendsetter. Fully 70 percent of China’s middle-class exercises regularly and buys organic food, 104 million Chinese have at least one fitness app on their phones, and China accounts for 41 percent of all global cosmetic procedures. What’s happening in China will soon be happening elsewhere, experts predict.
Nutrition gets personal
Fueled by advances in genomics, low-cost medical testing and apps that make this information easy to digest, personalized nutrition is mainstream.Estimates say the market will reach upwards of $11.5 billion by 2025. Companies such as Habit, Nutrigenomix and Arivale rely on blood and DNA analyses to specify what foods are right for you and can help you meet weight and health goals. TVs are already smarter than us, and in the future, refrigerators may also be going to the head of the class. Smart refrigerators may soon be alerting us to the foods we need to buy to keep our personalized diet in check.
Death is a growth industry. Sounds morbid, but it’s true, experts state. Expect to see more death doulas, eco-friendly “burial” options and wellness solutions for the ill and dying from the right nutrition and the right touch therapies to the right sleep and stress-reduction approaches.