Protecting Our Mental and Emotional Health
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There’s been a renewed focus on mental and emotional health in recent years — but it rightfully became a primary focus for many of us in 2020. Being in the house during quarantine, especially for those who live alone, has been tough — and that’s not to mention the other stressors that many of us have experienced, from losing loved ones to worrying about joblessness. The pandemic has caused its own different type of stress, and dealing with that anxiety will become an even more important focus as the health crisis endures.
While a traditional way of getting help — visiting a therapist’s office — wasn’t so accessible, we’re continuing to find other ways to cope with mental health challenges. Apps like Calm and Headspace exist to help us learn stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness, breathing exercises and meditation routines that promote improved emotional intelligence. Other apps and sites like BetterHelp have given us online connections to skilled therapists and counselors so we can talk through our issues and get real solutions to start feeling better. These resources will remain important throughout 2021 and well into the future.
Micro-Tracking Our Fitness Levels
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As people look to learn more about how exercise changes their bodies, micro-tracking various biometrics has become a vital part of giving us a deep look into our daily habits. Brands like Fitbit and Apple created fitness-tracking watches and other devices that collect data on daily steps taken, calories burned and other physiological attributes. MyFitnessPal and other apps help us track our food and nutrients with the touch of a button.
This trend will continue to rise in 2021 as these apps and watches undergo updates to deliver even more data for consumers. For example, the new Fitbit Sense now tracks skin temperature, and the Apple Watch Series 6 has a blood oxygen sensor. It's more data than we even knew we needed, but, now that we can get it, we're definitely going to use it.
Ayurveda Becoming More Mainstream
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Another rising trend in health and wellness is the growing adoption of principles from the holistic treatment modality called Ayurveda. This treatment originated in India, where it’s been used for thousands of years. Ayurveda promotes a healthy balance between the mind, body and spirit with a focus on getting to the root causes of wellness disruptions using natural treatments and health routines.
People who regularly practice Ayurveda use herbs and natural compounds, yoga and lifestyle modifications to prevent illness and heal other ailments. With our focus shifting more toward natural and in-home treatments these days, Ayurveda will likely continue to rise in 2021 and beyond.
Exercising in the Open Air
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While some of us may still feel uncomfortable about being around others in the gym, we’re learning not to feel afraid to exercise outside — while following proper social distancing guidelines, of course. Many of us have continued to walk, jog and even participate in outdoor fitness classes that are allowing us to get and stay fit while staying safe. Plus, outdoor workouts allow us to get out of the house and get some fresh air.
A trends report from ClassPass stated that there was a 400% increase in the number of outdoor classes being offered by gym studios in 2020. It’s anticipated that outdoor classes will continue to be a big trend in 2021, as many of us are finding that we prefer the freedom, sights and sounds during workouts in the great outdoors.
A Digital/In-Person Hybrid Fitness Model
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At the start of the 2020 pandemic, many gyms across America shut down. Home workouts became the norm. However, working out at home doesn't quite work for everyone. Much like schools are experimenting with in-person and virtual-learning hybrid programs for students, many of us are also testing the waters — or have fully embraced exercising at home — by combining in-person and digital or home-based workouts.
ClassPass also predicts that digital workouts will continue to be popular simply based on their convenience. However, 92% of the professionals ClassPass surveyed are hoping to return to fitness studios and gyms in 2021 at some point. But just 40% are planning to return exclusively to in-studio workouts when they feel safe to do so, suggesting that a majority of those surveyed will continue to enjoy digital or home-based workouts even after returning to the gym.