We’ve all heard the saying “New Year, New You” more times than we can count. But the truth is that many Americans do look forward to the start of a brand new year to make the improvements to their health and fitness that they never got around to during the previous 12 months. The problem is that, with so many wellness companies and experts pushing their products, services and beliefs, it can be hard to sort the truth from the hype.
With that in mind, we scoured the wellness landscape to determine the top health trends of 2017 that are worthy of your attention. Follow these, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier new you.
The Top 5 Health Trends of 2017
In 2016, Arianna Huffington published The Sleep Revolution, the much-anticipated follow-up to her bestseller, Thrive. Personal and professional success was still the driving motivation of her latest work, though she introduced a decidedly novel approach to actually achieve it. According to Arianna, getting a good night’s sleep is the secret sauce in all we endeavor, and the trend of well-rested bosses, employees, parents and spouses will only continue in 2017.
“Individually and as a society, we have been ignoring the importance of sleep and how it is fundamental and foundational to our health, general well-being and quality of life,” says Terry Cralle, a Washington D.C.-based certified clinical sleep educator. “I work with far too many people who don’t understand the correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain. If people would prioritize sleep, good health, dieting and exercise are far less challenging. I also find that many people do not make the association between sleep and cognition and mental health. A lack of sleep can result in poor mood, irritability, depression … the list goes on.”
Terry notes that the route to better sleep is in quality not quantity. So even if you’re only logging five or six hours a night, ensuring that you have crisp, clean linens, a comfortable mattress, proper room temperature, a dark environment and a clear head can make all the difference.
It’s hard to believe that not too long ago you had to trek to your local health food store to find fermented food products like kimchi and kefir. Fast forward just a few years, however, and these foods are everywhere — with even more to come in 2017, says Melanie Wade.
Melanie is the founder of Golda Kombucha, a Georgia-based manufacturer of the fermented tea that delivers billions of health-boosting bacteria to the gut with every bottle. “Fermented foods contain good bacteria, probiotics and good flora due to the fermentation process,” says Melanie. “When you ingest these living, good bugs, they go to work in your digestive system by keeping out all of the bad bacteria and filling your gut with good bacteria and probiotics.”
Those good bugs aid in digestion, boost the immune system and energize the body — all reasons Melanie says there will be plenty of fermented foods to go around this year. “I think that we as a country are seeing a major wave of attention and actions that benefit our health,” she says. “People have been fermenting for decades, but it is now coming back in popularity because we, as a whole, are starting to care more about what we ingest, as we know that it is directly linked to our health and well-being.”
Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
It’s unlikely that women will ever stop trying to improve their looks, but as the year progresses, Mona Sappenfield, CEO of Mona Esthetics in Memphis, predicts that we will see more women who adopt a gentler approach when refreshing their appearance.
Mona says that med spa office procedures, like Botox injections, allow women to integrate appointments into their busy schedules while also taking comfort in the fact that their results will be more natural. “We provide youthful, subtle changes for a healthier look and feel that are obtained in a spa-like, un-medical, atmosphere,” she says. “Progressive treatments with non-invasive lasers and specialized masques play a large part in stimulating new collagen, minimizing pore size and safely giving the skin a healthy, vibrant glow — with no risk involved. I believe that no one really wants to risk a surgical outcome that errantly makes them look like someone else.”
And in 2017, Botox certainly isn’t the only option for those subtle, youthful changes at Mona Esthetics. Ultherapy Neck UpLift is an ultrasound, non-invasive way to address sagging neck skin; CO2 Masque is a gel masque that refreshes and revives the skin, especially after an illness; and a two-part, fractionated laser technology is said to make the skin glow like an angel and is a favorite of celebrities including Sharon Osbourne.
Boutique Fitness Classes
Choosing a workout program can be difficult. There are literally hundreds of options, after all — whether you want to join a large gym with tons of exercise equipment and group exercise options or you prefer to work out with DVDs in your own living room. We’ve started to see the rise of boutique workouts that offer more targeted, niche options that appeal to a specific demographic, and according to Holly Coltea, co-owner of Nashville’s Barre3, that trend will continue to grow this year.
“Boutique fitness fills the middle between personal training and group fitness, and it gives people a personable feeling when they can be guided through a 60-minute class,” Holly explains. “Once they walk in the door, their job is over. The client can simply surrender to the teacher, and it feels more like ‘follow the leader’ than drudgery on a treadmill. It also guarantees a community of support that you won’t find in a large gym or personal training session.”
At Barre3, Holly guides clients through a unique workout that combines the best of yoga, Pilates and ballet — but that is also difficult to find at large gyms. “At Barre3, it is our mission to make transformation actually feel good on the body, so our clients work smarter, not harder,” says Holly. “They want to come back versus feeling obligated to come back. It is this regularity combined with the efficiency of barre workouts that deliver not just a hard body, but a wise one.”
Nutritional Supplement Label Scrutiny
Nutritional supplements are nothing new in the health and wellness industry — in fact, vitamins are so ubiquitous you can even find them at some gas stations. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to tell which products are of good quality and are actually worth buying. We’ve seen a shift toward food label scrutiny, in which consumers take extra care to avoid chemicals, additives and other potentially harmful ingredients. And in 2017, Jennie Ann Freiman, MD, predicts that people will also examine the labels of nutritional supplements just as closely.
The problem, says Dr. Freiman, is that the vast majority of supplements contain “inactive” or “other” ingredients that offer no nutritional benefit and can actually be toxic. “Inactive ingredients can change the quality and effectiveness of a supplement, make it less bioavailable and less potent, and may cause unwanted long-term health effects,” she says on her blog, Oobroo.com. “Manufacturers use them because they make supplements cheaper and easier to produce.”
The solution? “Read the label carefully,” she says. “Opt for organic, whole food ingredients — not extracts or super-concentrates because they are processed, often with petrochemicals, and mistakenly promote the idea that if some is good, more is better. And avoid inactive ingredients or ingredients you don’t recognize.”
As you embark on your 2017 healthy living goals, make sure you consult with your physician, do your homework and decipher truth from fiction. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017!
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