This past decade has been a time of go, go, go. Health and wellness trends have focused on going faster and harder, day in, day out. People are starting to realise, however, that sometimes less is more. This upcoming year, we will see the positive impact of technology, innovative vegan meats, and a focus on proper recovery, among other things. It’s shaping up to be an exciting start to the decade. Here are some of our top trends to expect in 2020.
Home Gyms and Virtual Classes
Let’s face it: life gets busy. Despite best efforts, it can be challenging to get to the gym for a good sweat session. It’s no wonder, then, that we are seeing virtual fitness classes and home gyms rise in popularity.
Subscription-based services are on the upswing, attempting to replicate the workout class experience in your home. As flexible working arrangements become more commonplace, there is an increasing demand for top, in-person fitness options that are equally adaptable. Peloton, for example, started with a digitally connected stationary bicycle that allows you to stream fitness classes from your home gym. The company has expanded to include tech-enabled rowing machines and treadmills, which should be coming over from the US soon.
Another company, called Mirror, provides full workout classes (from yoga to boxing to cardio) through a stylish, tech-enabled mirror. Companies are finding effective ways to bring high-quality workouts to you, whenever you want them.
Meat is big business. In fact, it’s worth an estimated £765 billion globally. Nearly half of all the agriculture that is harvested around the world goes toward feeding livestock, while only 37% feeds the human population. But as people clue-in to the environmental impact of the meat industry, and become more health conscious, the push for vegan meats continues to grow. In fact, estimates are that by 2040 only 40% of the world’s population will be eating meat.
It started with plant-based burgers. But as we move into 2020, vegan meat options are expanding beyond beef-substitutes. Companies like Good Catch make plant-based seafood. By Chloe launched “chicky”—a range of chicken products made from tempeh. Emergy Foods is a new company, launching in 2020, that is using mycelium derived from mushrooms to create alt-chicken breasts.
Consumers are driving the demand for alternatives, seeking more options and more accessibility. In the new year we are likely to see meat-substitutes that are less reliant on soy, opting for things like wheat protein, tempeh, or pea protein instead. Fast food restaurants are also getting in on the game. In fact, Chipotle has invested in vegan seafood brand Sophie’s Kitchen.
Don’t worry if going full-on vegan isn’t for you. Opting to follow a plant-forward diet is a less restrictive way to get the benefits (both health and environmental) of eating more plants, without having to give up meat entirely.
CBD and ‘Minor Cannabinoids’
We have seen a host of CBD products flood the market over the last year. There are oils in various strengths, infused gums and sweets, and even drinks boasting the many benefits of CBD. This trend shows no signs of slowing down as we come into the new year. In fact, we can expect to see other non-psychoactive cannabinoids become readily available. Though cannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant, many other minor cannabinoids are thought to support your body during states of mental and physical stress.
In 2020, we are likely to see products containing CBG (cannabigerol) and CBC (cannabichromene) both of which are anti-inflammatory agents. CBN (cannabinol) is also likely to pop up as a sleep aid. These minor cannabinoids are being isolated and purified so they can be used in a wide variety of bespoke products. Things like post-workout recovery balms and serums, skin care products, sleep aids, and medications are being specially formulated to harness the benefits of these minor but important cannabinoids.
Wearable health tech isn’t new, by any stretch. Most of us are familiar with the health tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch and the Fitbit. However, as wearable tech is becoming more affordable and the data more accurate, it can have significant implications for the future of preventative medicine.
Smartwatches are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but the technology still has a ways to go to reach its full potential. However, this hasn’t stopped wearable tech from allegedly saving lives. As recently as November, a man in Texas credits his Apple Watch with saving his life after detecting a potentially fatal heart condition.
In 2020, we are likely to see wearable technology being increasingly applied to health treatment plans, life insurance policies, and more. The quality of the data collected by wearable tech provides important, accurate health metrics. Many top brands can provide ECG measurements, a good overview of heart health, and even monitor blood pressure and sleep. This data can be applied to improve your overall quality of life, or lower your insurance premium. It can help improve exercise efficiency, inform healthier lifestyle choices, and even manage chronic diseases.
Slowing It Down & Focusing on Recovery
After a decade of going harder and faster, 2020 is shaping up to be the year for slowing it down. That’s why this coming year is all about active recovery, mindfulness and meditation.
Training hard is great, but if your body doesn’t get sufficient time to recover, you’re less likely to see the results you want. You’re also more likely to get injured. Though active recovery should be part of everyone’s workout regime, it has often been neglected. Many of us are going around with muscle fatigue because we haven’t given our bodies adequate time to recover. Excessive training can even lead to conditions like Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), (overtraining and under-fueling your body), which can have serious long term consequences.
While mindfulness and meditation aren’t new, this year the emphasis is on doing less without the guilt. When we are constantly on the go, our bodies have a consistently too-high level of cortisol––our stress hormone. When cortisol levels are too high, we stay in a constant state of fight-or-flight. This affects sleep, mental health, libido, digestion, and even your ability to properly recover from a workout. It’s all connected.
In 2020, you’re probably going to see more alternative therapies and gadgets to help you relax and recover properly. Recovery spaces in gyms are likely to become more common. Alternative therapies like cryotherapy, flotation, and even recovery IV’s are gaining ground. We are also going to see more gadgets. NormaTec’s compression ‘stockings’ help increase blood flow and boost recovery, and the Hypervolt gives you the benefits of a deep tissue massage without the pain. All signs point to healthy recovery for the mind and body in the coming year.
Alternative Fitness Workouts
Recently, all the trending workouts have aimed to give you the absolute most out of every sweaty minute. Heading into 2020, we are going to see more variety and some powerful combination workouts. Plus, we will see a rise in group training for its calorie-blasting ability and its social element.
The megaformer will likely gain popularity. It combines pilates and elements of body building using a hyped-up version of the traditional pilates reformer. It’s great for slow twitch muscles and building endurance.
New hybrid yogas are also popping up. HIIT Yoga, for example, combines the strength and stretching of yoga with the calorie-blasting power of a HIIT workout.
Jiriki yoga is a Japanese yoga designed to restore your body’s chi, or ‘life force’. It’s an ancient art form that is beginning to gain modern recognition. It is, however, only one of many ‘new’ restorative yoga practices gaining popularity in time for 2020.
Group training, while not new, is likely to be shaping the nature of fitness in the coming year. All manners of workouts can be adapted to a group setting, which Millennials and Gen Z’s find especially appealing.We’ll see the rise in online small group fitness classes. There are also sweat classes like those from The Foundry and Sweat It, which allow the group to collectively train and burn calories.
As we get ready to welcome a new decade, we can see that the top fitness trends all have one thing in common: convenience. Our lives are getting busier, so our wellness routines need to be flexible enough to fit into our hectic day-to-day. Wearable technology is changing the wellness game, enabling us to monitor our progress on the go. Between the increasing number of diet options and customisable fitness, 2020 is shaping up to be our healthiest yet!