We spent 2017 eating avocados, sipping bone broth, and breathing in essential oils. Some of the big trends of this year are probably going to stick with us for a while (#AvocadoToastForLife), but 2018 is bringing us a whole host of new things worth trying in the pursuit of health and wellness. As we head into the new year, the variety of new foods we’ll get to eat and workouts we can opt to tackle are endless. But what [linkbuilder id=”5664″ text=”fitness trends”] will get you up and moving in 2018 and what eats will find their way onto your breakfast table? Read on to explore the surprises and advances that are in store for the new year…
1. Digging Into DNA
One of Amazon’s top Black Friday sellers wasn’t a hot toy or a big TV. It was a DNA testing kit—and this is a trend that’s just getting started, says Jennipher Walters, founder and CEO of Fit Bottomed Girls. While DNA testing used to be either exorbitantly expensive and thus limited to medical needs, in recent years, at-home testing has allowed people to dig deeper into their genealogy. New advances have taken the at-home tests one step further, empowering people to access information about their own bodies and well-being thanks to more detailed results.
Testing is rapidly becoming a powerful purveyor of medical information and is on its way to being a standard aspect of the average person’s healthcare.
2. Working Out Your Way
If you’ve been mixing up your week with boxing on Mondays, yoga on Wednesdays, and maybe a step class here and there, consider yourself ready for 2018. Committing yourself to only one type of fitness is old school, Walters says. “People are finally getting that there is no one-size-fits-all approach [to fitness],” she notes. That’s reflected not just in allowing people to customize their workouts within a particular discipline but also in how people are looking to diversify their routines, spending time dabbling in different forms of fitness to touch on the whole body. People are opting for ways to stay fit for reasons besides superficial ones.
People are opting for ways to stay fit for reasons besides superficial ones.
3. Sleep for Strength
Sleep has been getting the short end of the stick for decades now, with most of us falling woefully short of the doctor-recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye. If you’re one of the many sleep-deprived Americans, you’ll fall hard for this 2018 health and wellness trend: sleep! “For years we’ve pushed to diet harder, work out harder, and stretch ourselves thinner,” Chris Brantner of SleepZoo tells HealthyWay. “We are just now beginning to understand that sleep is crucial for our health. Our muscles actually grow post workout during sleep. Adequate rest helps us lose weight and make wiser food choices. Meanwhile, new studies show that not getting enough sleep disrupts metabolism and hormones, increasing obesity risk. In fact, data suggests that [linkbuilder id=”5668″ text=”people who sleep more”] tend to have lower BMIs.” Club members curl up with music, sleep masks, and cool temperatures for 45-minute naps.
Club members curl up with music, sleep masks, and cool temperatures for 45-minute naps.
4. Food as Medicine
The word diet has long been a dirty word, one we associate with weight struggles and deprivation. But 2018 could offer a new take on the term according to April Peveteaux, author of the Gluten Is My Bitch cookbook series. While some people still look to diets for weight control, Peveteaux sees an increasing number of people turning to food as a means to treat the body, with diets designed to address specific issues—be they gluten-free (Peveteaux started her popular blog shortly after being diagnosed with celiac disease), anti-inflammatory, or otherwise. “The most common is an anti-inflammation diet (Whole30, Paleo, anti-lectin, plant based) to calm the body down to keep it from reacting,” she says. “[There’s also] cutting out hormones and anything that has antibiotics as a way to keep those things out of your system and not causing inflammation and cancer and cutting out sugar for the same reasons: inflammation and cancer growth.” Eat for health in 2018 with:
- More plant-based proteins
- A new fermented food each week
- Gluten-free options
- A better understanding of macros
- Beautifully packed (and delicious) Buddha bowls
We’ve been hearing about hacking computers for decades, but hacking the body is a relatively new idea that can sound a little scary. A Pew Research Center survey from 2016 showed that the majority of Americans were worried about biomedical technologies. And yet just two years later, biohacking is one of the hottest wellness trends on the horizon. Lest you worry that someone’s going to implant a computer chip in your brain and take over, the good news here is that it’s less newfangled invention and more “new term for an old thing.”
The concept came about a few years ago, when non-scientists got together to start exploring anecdotal health therapies and pool their knowledge.
Legalization measures have made cannabis legal for recreational use in seven states plus the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana now has state approval in 29 states (plus DC). Ballot referendums and an increasing number of studies showing that cannabinoids (chemical compounds in the cannabis plant) can treat conditions ranging from chronic pain to depression have done much to change the image cannabis brings to mind.
Cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory with an excellent track record for managing pain. It’s also a wonderful mood enhancer and contributes to overall quality of life.
If I had a crystal ball, I’d say we’re going to see the cannabis microdosing trend increase this year as more and more people realize what a safe, effective alternative cannabis can be to many pharmaceuticals. We’re going to see the demographics of users evolve and the stigma of the “stoner” further fade as increasing numbers of parents, seniors, and business professionals speak up about their cannabis use. The fact that it is a Schedule I controlled substance is going to seem more and more absurd as time goes on.
While some cannabis use involves traditional marijuana smoking, if you’re looking for smoke- and high-free alternatives to add cannabis to your wellness routine, there’s plenty to choose from, and there will be even more options in the new year. Thanks to scientific advances, many of those products make use of cannabis strains that are devoid of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, a cannabinoid that gets you high. A prime example? CBD oil, short for cannabidiol hemp oil, is derived from a part of the plant that’s THC-free, and studies have shown its healing properties can help with conditions and symptoms including seizures and pain. Looking to 2020, the Hemp Business Journal expects the CBD market will grow to $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020. Yes, billion. Another cannabis-related wellness trend you might be trying in 2018 ties into biohacking: More women are expected to be microdosing in the new year—using small amounts of the drug and testing how it reacts with their body, tweaking dosages to improve their health and performance. “Microdosed edibles and CBD products in all formats are gaining steady market share,” Strong says. “Users want more control over their cannabis experience and they’re realizing that they have more targeted options than ever before to treat their conditions.”