There’s more to being healthy than just eating right and working out. Wellness is about being in good physical and mental health. And many people are gravitating to all different types of wellness trends with the goal to improve just that. From meditation and sound healing to gua sha and better sleep hygiene, there are a lot of trends out there. But are they all worth trying?
Follow along as we take a look at some of the top health and wellness trends. We’ll look into what they are and why they may actually be worth trying!
Working out in a gym can be intimidating, especially for beginners. Not to mention, it’s a financial commitment that isn’t feasible for everyone. Luckily, virtual fitness has become more popular than ever!
The biggest perk of enjoying an online fitness class is that you feel like you’re in a class with an instructor but you’re in the comfort of your own home. Better yet, many classes can be found online for free. Additionally, many personal trainers have moved online too. Now you don’t have to go to a gym to receive 1:1 coaching.
While self-care might mean something different to everyone, the root of the meaning is putting your health first. Self-care isn’t necessarily new, but if you feel like you hear about it more now than ever, you’re right. According to Google Trends, searches for “self-care” have been soaring since 2015 and have reached an all-time high in 2022. And for good reason!
Self-care really should be a priority because it benefits your mental, physical, and emotional health. Everyday Health explains that self-care may promote “positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.”
So what are some examples of self-care? Self-care can include prioritizing your diet by eating healthy, spending time with nature, practicing gratitude, setting time aside to enjoy a hobby, prioritizing sleep and so much more. Self-care looks different for everyone, but the important thing is that the “behavior should promote health and happiness for you,” explains the source.
Breathwork is another interesting wellness trend on the rise and for good reason. Healthline explains that breathwork refers to “any type of breathing exercises or techniques.” So why is it so popular?
Many individuals are turning to breathwork to help improve their mental and physical health and well-being. Breathwork forces you to intentionally change your breathing pattern to improve your emotional state, explains the source. Some people use it to help reduce stress and relieve anxiety or anger. Others use it to help with chronic pain, depression, trauma, or grief. Whatever the reason, breathwork has some promising benefits and it’s easy to do too. Many mindfulness apps offer breathwork exercises or you can find beginner videos for free online.
Meditation is far from new, in fact, it’s been practiced in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. But with more people investing in self-care, wellness trends like meditation are also becoming more popular than ever.
Healthline defines meditation as “the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.” It turns out, meditation may offer tons of benefits too from reducing stress to improving concentration, mood, and self-discipline. Some even think meditation can improve sleep, memory, and immunity. Getting started is easy too. There are tons of meditation apps available that can teach you how to practice mindfulness.
Many people listen to music to relax or focus but a new wellness trend, called sound baths is gaining interest too. This form of therapy, called sound healing, may help decrease stress, alleviate tension in the body, calm the mind, and more. No wonder it’s becoming so popular. So how does it work?
Healthline says a sound bath involves lying in a reclining position after partaking in meditation exercises or yoga. A provider trained in sound bath musical techniques then uses several instruments to create soothing, overlapping vibrations. Theoretically, it’s these vibrations that “lead you deeper into a state of contemplation or relaxation, shutting off your body’s fight-or-flight reflex,” explains the source. At the end of the session, the provider will guide you back to a feeling of awareness.
Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing technique that has been practiced for hundreds of years. But in recent years, its popularity has risen rapidly, especially in the beauty and wellness space.
Gua sha, also known as skin scraping therapy, involves scraping/stroking the skin with a massage tool (typically made of stone). While it’s certainly a popular spa treatment, many are trying it as an at-home skin treatment.
It turns out, gua sha may have many benefits to offer. When used on the face it may relieve tension and reduce puffiness and inflammation. But when used on other areas of the body it may offer other benefits too such as reducing aches and pains and improving perimenopausal symptoms.
People are becoming more and more health-conscious, especially about the foods they eat. One way to ensure you know exactly where your food is sourced is by growing it at home. But this growing trend of homegrown food has other benefits too. For one, you can save money with fewer trips to the grocery store.
Due to rising food prices, it’s no wonder more people are turning to homegrown crops. But gardening may offer other benefits aside from eating good food and saving money. Some have turned gardening into a new hobby and research shows that hobbies can benefit your mental health.
A common misconception is that you need a lot of space to start a garden but the reality is you can grow herbs and veggies vertically. David Henard, the senior director and GM of Global Tower Garden tells Martha Stewart that vertical gardens “can save both the space, water, time and energy that traditional garden growing requires.
With more people slowing down and spending time at home, at-home cooking has become increasingly popular. Cooking for yourself has a host of benefits too. For starters, you control every last ingredient that goes into your meal and you have better control over portions.
More people are also realizing that you don’t have to be a master chef to make good food. Another benefit is cost. Restaurant meals may be convenient, but they are certainly more expensive than cooking at home.
Spending Time in Nature
It’s easy to be consumed by a screen, from the television to your work computer and even your personal cell phone. In fact, many Americans are spending upwards of 10-hours a day on a screen. Luckily more people are choosing to spend time in nature which offers a host of benefits.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), exposure to nature may improve attention, lower stress, improve mood, reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders, and improve empathy and cooperation. There are tons of ways to enjoy the outdoors too, such as going for a nature walk or starting an outdoor hobby like gardening, golfing, or cycling.
Telehealth, which allows you to have an appointment with a health care practitioner via phone or video, has become increasingly popular over the last few years. This is another trend worth trying because it offers many benefits.
For starters, virtual healthcare is convenient. You don’t have to drive to a doctor’s office or wait in a waiting room when you’re sick. You can have an appointment in the comfort of your own home. Virtual appointments also help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Doctor appointments aren’t the only virtual care you can receive either. Nutritionists, physical therapists, and mental health professionals are all offering online appointments too.
While fad diets come and go, intermittent fasting seems to be sticking around and it’s likely due to the numerous studies that suggest it has many benefits for your body and brain.
One of the benefits that draw a lot of people to intermittent fasting is weight loss. This eating pattern generally means you’re eating fewer meals and calories. But Healthline says it also increases your metabolic rate which can help you burn more calories.
The source notes there are other evidence-based health benefits, such as lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, and cellular repair. It may also benefit your heart and brain.
Better Sleep Hygiene
It’s no secret that sleep is important but it’s easy to let the hustle and bustle of life get in the way. Thankfully, more people are realizing the importance of sleep and are investing in sleep hygiene. The Sleep Foundation explains, “strong sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep.”
Better sleep hygiene is also a part of self-care because healthy sleep can benefit your physical and mental health. When your sleep quality improves, you can be more productive and have a general improvement in your quality of life. So how can you improve your sleep hygiene? You can start by prioritizing your sleep schedule and establishing a good bedtime routine.