Saturday 22 September, 2018

8 fitness and wellness trends for 2017

The wellness and fitness sector is forever evolving, not just in terms of physical products, but with services offered, and the trends will continue to change in 2017. Consumers are forever demanding more, and the market is not shying away from meeting these demands. Some trends are not new, but are resurfacing as people try any means necessary to improve their health and wellness. This is important, as lifestyle diseases are higher worldwide now more than ever.

Here are some of the health and wellness trends that will rule in 2017:


1. Yoga - This is certainly not new, but somehow it was perceived as being ‘feminine.’ Over the years, that persona has changed and many - men included - are now flocking to yoga mats for the mind and breath work benefits. Personally, I consider strength training to be my favorite type of physical activity, but over the last two years, I’ve been practicing yoga consistently - at least once or twice weekly and I've seen significant changes, not just physically but mentally. One good thing about yoga is that it is great for all age group and fitness levels.


2. Health/Wellness Coaching - Not to be confused with fitness training. A wellness coach is a professional guide and mentor who works with individuals to help them be their best through dietary and lifestyle changes, and supports a client who wants to meet a particular wellness goal. Doctors do not necessarily have the time or resources to help individual patients build a healthy lifestyle, and a health coach can fill that void.


3. Corporate Wellness Coaching - Corporate entities are now seeing the value in educating their employees about health and wellness. A health and engaged employee is a more productive employee. Companies are now implementing programs onsite, such as fitness classes, healthy living workshops and wellness challenges to influence good lifestyle choices.


4. Wearable Technology - A lot of people questioned the practicality of wearable tech a few years ago, but some of them are probably now amongst the devotees of items like the Apple Watch and Fitbit. Many active people love wearable tech because it’s great for keeping one accountable with everything from heart rate reading to GPS tracking, movement reminders and more. The aforementioned Apple Watch and Fitbit are the most prominent, many others are now capturing marketing share.


5. Journaling - Writing has always been a form of expression for most people, and one that I have challenged myself to do at the beginning of the year. Journaling can take many forms. Most of my journaling is usually done prior to bedtime, which allows me to be appreciative of the small things and more that happen or occur to me throughout the day. Some people are more into morning pages, when they empty their thoughts prior to commencing their days. One doesn't have to have a specific time, it just has to be appropriate and work for you.


6. Writing - Journaling, blogging or even creative writing serves as an outlet for self-expression. Writing for leisure has been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep. If you chose to share your writing with the public, it’s also a great way to form connections with other people who have similar interests.


7. Foam Rolling - I still get the strange looks when I do this at the gym, as people wonder what I’m doing. Admittedly, the looks aren’t as frequent or prolonged as they were a few years ago, because many people are now becoming familiar with the practice. As the name suggests, foam rolling is usually done with a piece of cylindrical foam that is used to apply pressure from one's body weight to tight, restricted area of fascia and underlying muscle in an attempt to relieve tension and improve flexibility. In short, it’s giving yourself a massage.


8. High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) - The idea is to burn as many calories as possible, usually anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes, with quick 45-second bursts of energy, followed by a 15-second rest at intervals during a routine. This is ideal for a full body workout and even better for people who are short on time, but don't want to neglect their exercise.

Contributed by Meisha-Gay Mattis, founder of Bodhi, a Kingston-based holistic wellness company. She is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer. Email for more information or visit any of the following 

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