2015 is all about YOU. In fact I dub 2015 the “Year of You”! As a yogi, I’m personally thrilled about this. I’m big on focusing on health as an individualized concept—encompassing personalized workouts vs. intense training (which, let’s face it, not everyone can or wants to partake in); specialized diets vs. broad sweeping eating regimens (that don’t bend to food dislikes, intolerances, or allergies); and a collaboration between health care providers and patients when it comes to being honest, open, and responsible for personal health. While many embrace the self-focus, keep in mind that 2015 will put the onus back on the individual when it comes to maintaining their own health.
Here are the top eight health buzz terms on everyone’s lips in 2015. You’ll notice a big focus on the individual as well as a move towards moderate, practical exercise and wellness…
1. Functional Medicine
In a move to encourage functional medicine, top health organizations like the Cleveland Clinic have opened the doors to their Center for Functional Medicine and a new era of a cooperative-style of medicine that calls on a deeper honestly, collaboration, and understanding between patients and their health care teams.
The goal of functional medicine shifts from a Band-Aid method of simply relieving symptoms—and delves deeper by diagnosing health issues based on an understanding of the underlying cause. For instance, rather than simply prescribing drugs for chronic fatigue, functional practitioners will work with the individual patient (i.e., lifestyle, diet, stress levels) to pinpoint the underlying cause of the fatigue and work in conjunction to fix it.
2. Health Transparency
Understandably, with collaboration comes a need for honesty, transparency, and enthusiasm on part of the patient to help them take responsibility for their own health and wellness. In 2015 we’ll see a newfound desire for health transparency.
In part, this transparency is dependent on effort from both sides. First, it will come from doctors, who will be expected to provide and make health information accessible to patients. Secondly, it will come from the patient, who will be expected to share and provide doctors with honest information concerning their diet and lifestyle (i.e., family history, smoking, eating, physical activity, drinking habits, etc.).
3. Empowered Health
Gone are the days of doctor knows best. Let’s be clear—that doesn’t mean your doctor doesn’t know far more about the human body and medicine, in general, because he or she most definitely does. However, it means that you know your body better than anyone else does.
Your doctor isn’t a mind reader—which means you can’t expect a proper diagnosis without full disclosure about how much you drink, smoke, or eat sweets. Empowered health is about speaking up for your health, taking a proactive approach by being honest, asking for information and about alternative treatments, and doing the research. However, part of taking responsibility for your health means being open to criticism and feedback from healthcare professionals, becoming informed, and being willing to make positive lifestyle decisions that are best for you and your body.
4. Tuning In
Yogis have been using the term “tuning in” for ages. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ve no doubt been asked to “tune in to your breathing.” However, in 2015, you will be encouraged to tune in to your life, even off the yoga mat.
According to the Yoga International, this act of self-awareness can be best described as living in the moment—or paying close attention to your physical and mental needs. You can understand the opposite affect when you envision how easy it is to zone out while running on a treadmill for 40-minutes, or how easy it is to tune out and scarf down an entire bag of chips in front of the television. When you tune in the body and mind remain focused, engaged, and intuitive, and your risk of injuries and illnesses lessen.
5. Balanced Eating
The word “diet” has long had a nasty rap. However, when you consider that diet refers to what you eat, the word suddenly doesn’t seem so critical of that large order of fries you ate for lunch.
The term “balanced eating” aims to make a transition from negative, deprivation-style dieting to a broader, more pro-active, and positive approach to deciding what you put in your mouth. Balanced eating focuses on eating a varied, balance of nourishing foods and essential macronutrients (i.e., healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins).
6. Functional Fitness
Functional fitness, or workout moves that mimic every day movements (i.e., lunging, push ups, planks, squats, etc.), has been the focus of many fitness routines. However, in 2015, Canfitpro, Canada’s largest fitness education provider, says that functional fitness will be top of everyone’s mind.
Not only does functional fitness make everyday movements (i.e., walking, climbing stairs, picking objects up, etc.) much easier and less stressful on the body by improving core strength and posture—it also calls multiple muscle groups into play, giving you a more balanced workout that reduces the risk of injury.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), HIIT (or High Intensity Interval Training) took the number 2 spot in the 2015 fitness trends survey. For those of us who just don’t have enough time in the day, which is basically everyone, HIIT offers a great workout that demands a minimal amount of time.
HIIT incorporates body weight resistance training—with moves like planks, pushups, and squats—that incorporate multiple muscle groups with little time between, giving participants the bonus of a cardiovascular workout as well. ACE (the American Council on Exercise) cautions that new HIIT participants should first be cleared by a doctor, and work closely with a certified personal trainer to ensure a safe workout as well as adequate rest days in between to prevent injury.
8. Personalized Medicine
According to Yahoo Medicine, 2015 will see a turn from one-size-fits-all healthcare to a more personalized medical approach that tailors treatment to the specific patient in accordance with their specific genetic profile.
Recent innovations in genomics (or genetic testing that looks at individual cellular function), combination drug therapies (for diseases like lung, prostate, and breast cancers), predictive biomarker identification (to target treat patients), and immunotherapies (that target patients with cancers in early stages) will be used to guide decisions made in regard to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.