There’s no denying the past decade has seen major changes in the health and fitness world. From fitness trackers and meditation apps to meat-free meat and coconut oil on everything, it’s safe to say the 2010s were a wild time for modern-day fitness – and those next-level wellness trends are not going anywhere.
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From sound therapy and meditation to group workouts and limited alcohol, we tapped into fitness experts and personal trainers to get the lowdown on the latest fitness trends we’ll see in the new year. Whether you’re setting your 2020 resolution or you’ve been hitting the gym all year and you want to be on top of what’s to come, these are the fitness trends you’ll be seeing come January and beyond.
“I believe an important and increasing trend for men is mental health,” says David Strah, licensed psychotherapist and co-author of Gay Dads: A Celebration of Fatherhood. “If we are not happy and fit mentally, truly not much else matters.”
Seeing a therapist is no longer seen as taboo. In fact, in many circles, seeing a therapist is a status symbol. According to Strah, about 66 percent of his private practice is made up of men trying to be happier and lead more fulfilling lives.
Therapy can make the difference between feeling alone and realizing the ability to be happy and to have successful relationships from romantic partners, business partners, family members and friends and neighbors. Therapy can help reduce or eliminate anxiety, depression and limiting beliefs and behavioral patterns that hold us back from realizing our potential and being happy.
Avocado oil is the new coconut oil. It has a high smoke point so it’s perfect for roasting, but doesn’t make everything you eat taste like coconut. It also has a preferable fatty acid profile – much less saturated fats and more monounsaturated fats. Since it has a very mild flavor, it can be used to cook almost anything. Rub it on any vegetables and pop them in the oven. Use it to cook pancakes and eggs.
“Avocado oil is nutrient-dense, packed with quality fats, rich in vitamins and minerals, packs a powerful antioxidant, and is GI-friendly, making it the ideal pairing with collagen compared to other fat sources,” explains Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition.
High-intensity, low-impact interval training (HILIT) is quickly surpassing HIIT in popularity due to the low-impact nature of the workout. HILIT embraces the benefits of HIIT – including efficient calorie burn, increased metabolic rates, improved oxygen consumption, and reduced heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar – in a low-impact environment that reduces stress on the joints. According to Kenny Rosenzweig, co-founder of Rowgatta and NASM-CPT trainer, HILIT enables athletes to give 100 percent in a strenuous workout while preserving their bodies for longevity and allowing them to recover properly after the workout.
“This workout is greatly beneficial for runners, CrossFitters and other athletes who suffer wear and tear in their joints after years of high-impact workouts,” Rosenzweig says. “The rowing machine is one of the most efficient pieces of equipment for HILIT. Rowing is low-impact and works every large muscle group (engaging over 85 percent of the body’s muscles in every stroke), allowing athletes to maximize endurance gains while minimizing stress on the joints.”
Vegetarianism and plant-based eating is on the rise – and not just the burger variety. “The meatless burger revolution has already begun and I think you will see this continue into every other category where meat is involved,” says Matthew O’Connell, New Product Development Chef at KIND Snacks. “Deli meat, jerky, bacon, and sausage will all have more meatless options as companies seek to meet the consumer need for a guiltless, sustainable, and healthy alternative to meat that actually tastes like meat.”
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The trend toward social isolation will be fought with smarter decision making when it comes to how we spend our time. It makes sense that people are looking for ways to connect with others through new avenues, explains Rachel MacPherson, certified personal trainer. Combining their commitment to working out and getting active along with some much needed social time is a great way to fit both things into a busy lifestyle.
Direct to consumer aligners are set to be a huge dental trend in 2020. A couple of companies have started this trend in the last year or two, like Smile Direct Club, and with low pricing and the convenience of at-home treatment, this dental movement isn’t going anywhere.
“Consumers should be aware that these brands typically do not involve ever seeing a doctor in person and while these companies are cheap, quick, and convenient, it is always wise to check in with your dentist or orthodontist before pursuing this form of orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Heather Kunen, DDS, MS, co-founder of Beam Street.
“One major trend we’ve seen develop over the past few years in the health and beauty industry is the traditional ways in which we define masculinity,” explains Dr. Alain Michon, MD, Medical Director at Ottawa Skin Clinic. “Today, men are more encouraged to embrace the idea of self-care, which includes taking better care of their skin.
The days of washing your face with a bar of soap and throwing on a little aftershave afterward are just about over, as men are finally embracing skincare products to reduce irritation and acne, and improve their skin’s complexion. As a result, everything from men cleansers and toners to anti-aging moisturizers and facial treatments are blowing up – men’s skincare products have surged like never before.
Chronic stress is the source of most major illnesses. At the same time, we live in demanding times and often simply want to be taken care of. According to Monique Derfuss of Your Sound Wellness, gong sound therapy addresses this need. Derfuss says that the ancient technology of gong sound meditation can offer physical, emotional and spiritual healing through deep relaxation, stimulating the glandular systems and cleansing the subconscious mind.
“The sound waves of the gong stimulate the skin’s dermatomes, a network of nerves connected to the bodies organs resulting in a sound massage,” Derfuss explains, “Fondly named ‘the smart person’s meditation’, gong sound healing also brings the mind to a neutral state and only requires you to be open and to allow the sound of the gong to wash over you. Therein lies the appeal of the gong – little effort is required on your part for a deeply relaxing experience.”
“People are beginning to recognize the need to leave the devices behind,” says Dr. Jagdeep Bijwadia MD and chief medical officer at Beddr. “Whether practicing technical Shabbats, or no screens an hour before bedtime, the benefits of better sleep hygiene are making their way into people’s bedrooms.”
People are learning how mindfulness, journaling, or meditation, as part of a pre-bed routine, can clear minds and relax spirits – countering some of those trends that may try to rob us of our sleep.
“We know that alcohol consumption can have a deleterious impact on sleep,” says Dr. Bijwadia. “The fact that low-alcohol and no-alcohol bars are now open means that people may have alternate evening amusement, sleep a little better, and wake up more hydrated and less hungover.”
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