Health and Wellness is arguably our Number One priority in 2021, especially as we are now well into the second quarter of the year and we still aren’t sure how the pandemic will play out.
As the weather cools down and flu season sets in, it’s essential we safeguard our health and immunity. Remember to always seek medical advice if you’re feeling unwell, but in the meantime, you may wish to embrace some of these health and wellness trends.
Calm is a (Health And Wellness) Superpower
This has long been my mantra, so I was stoked when Celebrity Trainer and Director of Flow Athletic in Sydney, Ben Lucas, recently reinforced it.
“2020 taught us that curve balls can be thrown when we least expect it. Making sure you are fit to handle unexpected situations is not only a good idea, it’s imperative.”
This doesn’t just mean physical fitness. It also means having a strong mind and healthy thought control, which when in balance, leads to better health and wellness.
“Meditation is one habit that I picked up last year, “says Ben. “I can see that others are too, with even businesses working to get their staff involved in mindfulness and meditation programs to help them stay mentally healthy despite the stresses of the year.
“Meditation is a practice that some of the people the world’s most respected people have sworn by, including Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant, Muhammad Ali and Steve Jobs. It has been around for centuries and thousands of studies have shown that it may positively improve focus, mental and physical health, sleep and stress.”
Tom Cronin, transformational coach, meditation teacher and co-author of the best-selling book The Portal, agrees. In the early chapters of his book, he says, “we have the capacity as humans to retrain our minds and reconnect to our hearts. We also have the ability to redesign our own and our collective future – if we chose to.” Tom also stresses you can meditate anywhere and at any time.
The Infrared Suana Blanket
Like a sleeping bag with benefits, the MiHigh Infrared Sauna Blanket is said to help flush toxins, boost metabolism and circulation, improve skin tone, and relax stressed muscles. It is literally a blanket that works as an infrared sauna. It’s super convenient for those who don’t like stripping off in front of strangers at the gym, or anyone who likes to relax at home while boosting their health and wellness.
You wrap the sauna blanket around you and tuck your feet in, then secure it with the long strips. Once you turn the heat on, it does get warm inside and you will sweat – a lot. That’s because the infrared light inside the blanket is warming your body from the inside.
It’s also a great way to pause for an hour and just ‘be’. You can listen to your favourite podcast, meditate, or simply play your favourite music.
Active Wear As Everyday Wear
OK, this isn’t really a trend, it’s more a way of life, and has been for a while. However since Covid-19 turned our lives upside down and daily routines inside out, increasing numbers of people are embracing a love of Lycra.
A recent survey by Chobani showed that more than half of people (64 percent) don active wear outside of exercise because they think they look attractive in it. The survey also found that approximately 45 percent of men believe active wear makes women look more attractive when they wear active wear as casual wear, and that 75 percent of women under 40 stating looking good in their active wear is an extremely or very important factor when deciding what to buy.
Interestingly, around 30 percent of people also reported they are more inclined to eat healthier foods when wearing active wear.
“Exercise is well researched at having many benefits to our physical and mental health- particularly regarding positive mood and increased energy levels,” says Sarah McMahon, Psychologist and Director at BodyMatters Australasia. “By simply wearing active wear we vicariously experience some of the benefits of exercise by association. People report feeling fitter, healthier and even more active when wearing active wear, regardless of their actual behaviour.
Fitness Streaming Platforms
“Rather than replacing the gym, fitness streaming platforms have become somewhat of a ‘Gym On Demand’,” says co-founder of exercise streaming platform VARLAH, Lexy Meyerson. “Fitness streaming platforms allow us to exercise when we want, where we want and how we want, rather than having to stick to a set timetable. They’re perfect for those who aren’t comfortable exercising in public, too, as well as travellers.”
Fitness streaming platforms like Varlah, allow you to choose how you maintain your health and wellness. With varying programs for a specified duration, like a six week HIIT program, a seven day mindfulness and meditation program, an eight week post-natal transformation, yoga series and so on, they’re like a multi-tasking personal trainer in your pocket.
Connecting To Nature
According to the Global Wellness Institute, one of 2021’s biggest health and wellness trends is getting outside. A panel of US media experts agreed that in an era of lockdown and social distancing, we are looking towards nature to heal and protect.
The panel explained that it’s about connection, that we are seeking the connection we have lost from social distancing in nature. Slow, human-powered travel such as cycling, hiking, walking, paddling and so on, is growing fast, as they tick both the wellness and social distancing boxes.”
Nootropics is the theory that certain substances, for instance; plants or herbs, can help improve cognitive function, in particular memory, creativity, or motivation. Self-confessed science nerd, Angus Brown, teamed up with Neuroscienistist, Prof Scholey, and began exploring the relationship between nature, neuroscience and nutrition, to better understand the brain and how to create the conditions for optimum cognitive performance. He identified certain plant-base substances, such as Enzogenol, an ultra-pure extract from the bark of New Zealand grown pine trees, and antioxidant-rich New Zealand Blackcurrant as having particularly high positive benefits on our health and wellness.
Brown took his research and founded Arepa, a company that provides a range of ingestibles, based around Nootropics, aimed at improving health and wellness. The range includes two drink varities, a powder for your smoothies or breakfast bowl, capsules and freeze-dried NZ Blackcurrant, which is said to have 30 perfect more antioxidants than the US or UK varieties.
Mocktails With Benefits
2021 is shaping up to be the year when ‘Sober became the new black’. And while we all love a mocktail, it’s no longer good enough to simply muddle some fruit into soda water. Health and Wellness shouldn’t be boring!
Soberistas are now demanding a bit more bang for their booze-free buck, with sugary mixers moving away in favour of healthier alternatives. Kombucha takes place over tonic, elderflower brings antibacterial and antiviral properties to your virgin punch while nootropics can be added to your daiquiri or rose.