Every year there are new products and services aimed at keeping us healthy. The solutions range in form, including everything from apps to supplements, and represent a major shift in the way we look at overall health and well-being. According to McKinsey, the health and wellness market continues to show growth of 5 to 10% each year and is estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion. Our growing interest in self-care means there are great new options to try if you’ve started taking an interest in the health trends everyone is talking about.
To get started, you’ll need to be willing to try out some lifestyle changes so that you can find the healthy habits that are right for you. Soon enough, you’ll be exploring the newest health trends and maybe even buzzing about the best options. SheKnows suggests increased fitness can actually have a pretty low barrier for entry, since short “micro workouts” are becoming a popular way to get moving. Read on for more ideas that can help make you healthier and happier in 2022.
If you haven’t already learned why there is so much hype about prebiotics and probiotics, now is a great time to start. Healthline says prebiotics, which help to feed the beneficial bacteria that live in our bodies, are found in foods like bananas, berries, and onions, while probiotics, which are live bacteria, are commonly found in yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
When it comes to staying healthy, it helps to consider your whole body biome, including the microbiome of your gut and its bacteria. The Zoe Report states that microbiome health is trending, and there’s even a sort of “gut mania” happening with all the new probiotic products coming out. Celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Kerry Washington are also said to be jumping on the probiotic bandwagon.
Growing interest in immune system support, including beneficial foods and supplements, may have been influenced by the coronavirus epidemic. Prebiotics may even be used as an effective “intervention” for COVID-19, according to Discover magazine. There is still a lot of research to be done, but doing what you can to maintain a healthy immune system is without question a good idea.
The advent of apps you can use to track wellness goals and overall health has led to other innovations, including incentives for completing healthy actions. In some fitness apps, this will take the form of badges or trophies each time you reach a goal or check in. Other apps will reward you with real money or points you can use for rewards when you complete a task, such as walking a certain number of steps. The gamification of health and fitness apps can help encourage users to engage with these apps more by working out and staying active, and, of course, this helps users take care of themselves in the process.
Personal trainer Colette Dang suggests that this trend towards gamified fitness apps is geared towards the needs of the younger generation and is meant to change the perception of working out to something more positive, as shared by The Palm Beach Post. Meanwhile, TechCrunch points out that this trend is a win-win for both companies and their employees, who can both benefit when workers engage in healthy habits.
One interesting trend that is becoming increasingly popular is a turn towards sobriety, or at least cutting back on alcohol. Some celebs might endorse this change too, including non-drinkers like Blake Lively, Jessica Simpson, and more (via Cosmopolitan UK). Being “sober curious” is quickly becoming a hot, new trend, according to The New York Post, and the demand for zero-proof beverages is going up. Rather than just asking for your beverage to be made virgin, these days you can actually order an increasing number of non-alcoholic beers and sparkling beverages.
Celebrity Chrissy Teigen has been vocal about her reasons for giving up alcohol, saying she was tired of feeling poorly and embarrassing herself (via USA Today). Whatever your reason for being interested in trying this out, there do seem to be health benefits for those who have quit. Even just cutting back can help you to sleep better and feel better about yourself and your decisions. This is a great thing to try in 2022. See if it works for you!
If you’ve been interested in trying a meditation app like Headspace, Calm, or Balance, why not give it a shot this year? According to Fast Company, meditation apps can offer benefits like a boosted mood, better memory and attention span, and lower blood pressure. There’s good reason why so many people have already jumped on board with this trend. On top of the physical health benefits, meditation can also benefit your relationships and give you a more positive outlook.
BusinessWire suggests that meditation apps can offer a sense of relief and that this can help users address certain mental health issues. This ability to help with difficult or even debilitating emotional conditions may explain the recent popularity of meditation and the expectation that the market may be worth $4 billion by 2027.
If you haven’t checked any meditation apps out yet, the experience is definitely worth a try. Make sure to give it a real go, though. Often it takes several tries to build a habit of meditating and begin seeing some results. Stick with it.
Unrealistic beauty standards have become increasingly concerning for people, especially now that there is a filter for just about any look you want. To combat this harmful trend, some women are turning towards embracing a more natural look for 2022 (via Glossy). This new focus on skincare and health by wearing less makeup and going for more simplified daily looks indicate women are taking back control over both their beauty and mental health.
Alicia Keys famously promoted the no-makeup movement back in 2017 when she published a personal essay on Lenny Letter about her decision to be more confident in her natural appearance. Keys said she had started feeling that without makeup, “I was not good enough for the world to see. This started manifesting on many levels, and it was not healthy.”
Since then, more women have joined in by wearing lighter makeup, or skipping makeup altogether, as a way of reclaiming their confidence and protecting their mental health. After all, psychiatrist Dr. Josie Howard told InStyle, “People begin to expect themselves to look like their filtered self and can become obsessed with achieving that in the real world, which leaves them depressed, anxious, lonely, and disappointed.” So, it may be worth it to embrace your imperfections and stop reaching for something that is unattainable.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, virtual healthcare has been on the rise faster than ever (via McKinsey & Company). The need for immediate care without the added risk of in-person contact has made telemedicine a great solution for many non-urgent health needs, such as check-ups and therapy. On top of that, the field is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with options for remote patient monitoring that can now send real-time data to your doctors. Forbes suggests that remote monitoring is helping medical professionals use data to better help their patients. They also state that while telemedicine grows, we may be moving towards a norm that looks more like a hybrid model.
With that in mind, now is a great time to check out your own telemedicine providers to ensure that you’re comfortable with the changes that are happening in healthcare. Things are moving fast, and it’s worth it to know now whether you prefer to stick with in-person care or if you’d rather go for telemedicine when possible.
One of the most pleasant and easiest ways to improve your health, both mentally and physically, is to surround yourself with plants. Biophilic design involves having natural things, such as plants or even seashells, in your spaces. Indoor plants have been shown to be good for health, stress relief, and a number of other benefits. They do things like improve air quality and can even help you to sleep better.
Discover magazine points out that having plants around can help to reduce stress and improve your mood. Many people find that they enjoy taking care of the plants and even form a caring connection with them. You might even want to give yours a name! Plants are certainly easier to take care of than pets, but they offers great benefits all the same. If you’re feeling like your space could use a bit more life, try bringing in some green plants and see how things feel then. This trend is sure to make your space look better and make you feel better.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is a talk therapy treatment that is said to help one’s health in a number of ways. It can improve your self-esteem, decrease depression symptoms, and boost serotonin. The Bloom app is one option if you’ve been thinking about learning more about CBT. Much like a meditation app, it offers guided videos, but the idea is a little different. With CBT, you’re instead teaching yourself effective techniques for managing behavior and feeling good about yourself by thinking in a more positive and constructive way (via Mayo Clinic). It can be very empowering to realize that with just a little help, you may be able to guide yourself towards a stronger mental state.
If you already have a therapist, it may be worth asking about CBT and learning if this treatment might help you. Otherwise, you could check out the app store and test the waters by giving a popular CBT app a try.
As fitness apps have grown in popularity, there has also been a boom in the wearables market. Increasingly stylish and sophisticated, the new jewelry and monitors that are available blend seamlessly into your look. The Ivy health tracker by Bellabeat is one such item, described as “tech disguised as jewelry” (via Input Mag). Look out, Apple Watch. These days there are trackers for keeping an eye on stress levels, steps taken, sleep quality, menstrual cycles, and more, making this one health trend you’ll want to try in 2022.
VR headsets have recently become an option as a wellness accessory too, enabling you to do yoga with Oculus Rift or even have an ASMR experience while wearing a headset. Smart glasses are another item we’ll be seeing more of in the near future now that HTC has released their Vive Flow glasses for wellness (via PCMag). Whether you decide to stick with watches and bracelets or go all out and try something more immersive and high-tech, there are lots of options for wellness wearables from which to choose.
Taking a step back from social media can be good for your mental health. If you’ve been doom scrolling or simply spending too many hours on social media sites, it might be time for a break. Logging off can help you to get back on track with work or personal obligations and to feel more productive. Some big brands are even backing off from social media in a “less is more” move, according to Forbes. It turns out social media may not be as beneficial and good for connecting as we thought.
Cleveland Clinic says that some signs you need a break include mindlessly getting on social media without even noticing, experiencing social media separation anxiety when you can’t be online, and no longer experiencing joy from browsing. If you’re noticing these things, you can cut down on social media use or take a more prolonged vacation from it. You might find that you missed your less-connected life.
One big health trend you may have noticed is the overall move towards more sustainable and healthy diets, like vegetarian and veganism. Eating fewer animal products can lower your cholesterol and risk of heart disease, according to the BBC. For some, the increased consumption of healthy foods like fruits and veggies can also help in shedding excess weight (via Mayo Clinic).
Many people who don’t want to give up meat are actually taking a slightly easier path with the flexitarian diet (via Healthline), as advocated by Rachael Ray on Instagram. Flexetarian essentially just means eating less meat, rather than cutting it out altogether. The term flexitarianism combines both “flexible” and “vegetarian” to imply that you’re on your way, or at least trying it out part-time. Another option is reducetarian, which boils down to eating less meat and but leaving in other animal products, according to MSNBC.
Either change is good for both your personal health and the environment. Many have already made the move away from animal products and meat at their doctor’s recommendation, such as former President Bill Clinton, who has been following a vegan diet since 2010 (via The Hill).
One self-care secret that more people are catching onto these days is the magic of weighted blankets. They are known for having a calming effect on the body, which can help with anxiety reduction and getting better quality sleep. The Sleep Foundation states that weighted blankets are designed to be heavier than your standard blanket and that they mimic deep pressure stimulation to provide comfort.
On the low end, these therapeutic blankets will cost you $30 or $40, but more intricate, designer or hand-woven options can cost hundreds. How much you should invest in a weighted blanket depends on how much of a benefit you would receive from it, so it may be a good idea to start with a basic weighted blanket and work your way to something higher quality if you really love it. Health has a guide which suggests that the ideal weighted blanket will be about 10% of your body weight, so now you know what to look for to get started.
Sound healing is essentially a form of music therapy and often incorporates vibrations for a full-body experience. Gongs and Tibetan singing bowls are common instruments used in sound healing practices. Many enjoy using sound healing for overall health and stress reduction and have used it as a way to meditate. Often, you can find a studio or online session to attend, but there are binaural beats apps available for a similar experience.
PureWow explains that sound healing is considered a wellness practice, much like the use of crystals or mindfulness exercises. Its growing popularity has to do primarily with what it purports to do for people. Prevention lists “improved focus” and “decreased physical pain” as two of the big benefits that sound healing can provide. There isn’t much scientific backing for any of these claims, but people keep coming back for more. You’ll have to try it for yourself to see if this trend is right for you. For the most part, it gets great reviews from people as being peaceful, whether or not it has a significant impact on your well-being.
You may have noticed an uptick in outdoor activities as people flock to parks and play outside once again. A number of exercises that are typically done indoors (such as yoga) are starting to move more frequently outdoors and away from the studio. For the “flaneurs,” or those who prefer to wander (via Frenchly), just walking around and exploring your surroundings can be a satisfying way to get moving. The important thing that people are picking up on is that it is healthy to be outside. After spending so much time indoors these past two years, many of us are eager to get out and exercise, so don’t be surprised to see more people embracing this health trend in 2022.
According to Axios, many outdoor sports have increased in popularity since the pandemic began, including disc golf and tennis. Hiking has also been a go-to activity for many, and it’s entirely possible that this trend is here to stay. Why wouldn’t you want to keep going outside with friends and family? Once you’ve tried it, you’ll likely find that most outdoor activities make for a great experience and may be habit-forming.
By now, it seems just about everyone has heard about CBD, and many feel that this trend offers significant health benefits that make it worth trying. Some use CBD for stress or pain reduction, while others lean on it as a sleep aid or for treatment for some conditions. Currently there are all kinds of products available, including CBD-infused foods and drinks, bath salts, sprays, gummies, and oils. The product is not psychoactive, according to Today, so CBD products crafted from hemp were made federally legal to buy in 2018 under The U.S. Farm Bill.
You can buy CBD edibles online. Just do a little research to find the right dosage to begin with. The best idea is to start slowly, with half of the recommended dose, to find out what sort of reaction you’ll have and how much you’ll need to experience any benefits. From there, you can determine what level or dosage you are most comfortable with, and hopefully reap some of these benefits everyone has been talking about.