As a new year dawns, many of us find ourselves thinking about our intentions for this year. January is a month for reflecting on how we wish to spend our time, including the positive changes we wish to make in our lives, starting with our diet and wellbeing.
According to a survey by Forbes Health/OnePoll, based on 1 000 US adults conducted in October 2023, 48% of consumers identified that their top priority for 2024 was fitness, with 36% focusing on mental wellbeing.
The world of wellness is a fascinating one. In years gone wellness was considered to be a luxury, occasionally visiting a beautiful spa or a gym, now it is the way we lead our daily lives. From what we eat, to the quality of our sleep, to managing our stress levels, to our mental wellbeing and happiness. In 2024, we continue to explore wellness from different angles, in search of achieving balance. And the trends emerging in 2024 focus heavily on self-care – from drinking less, to daily wellbeing practices – this is a world that continues to evolve in positive ways.
Going alcohol free
More of us are embracing teetotaling. Studies have shown that young people in the UK are consuming far less alcohol than Gen X and Baby Boomers, and as a result we have many great choices to select from. From canned mocktails to near-beers and zero-proof spirits, the non-alcoholic beverage industry has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. This also feeds into the trend of gut health, as consumers have become more aware of the benefits of foods and supplements, including probiotics yoghurt, kombucha, kefir and tempeh.
Wellness inspired travel
Wellness extends into our rest and relaxation, and this year we have seen a rise in wellness travel as we become more aware of the importance of nurturing our wellbeing. From culinary holidays, to ski holidays and tropical retreats – depending on your preferred climate and activities – there is a wellness holiday for you.
Cold water has been used to promote health for hundreds of years but Dutch fitness influencer, Wim “The Iceman” Hof, can largely be credited with popularising cold water bathing since he came to public attention more than a decade ago. Thanks to Hof, who invented his own method using breathwork, meditation, and cold exposure, which he says are the secret to physical and mental health, in the last year or so it appears to have skyrocketed in popularity.
Nordic countries have long known the benefits of regular sauna sessions – relaxed muscles, improved blood flow, and better skin health. The Guardian reported that several studies in Scandinavia have shown that a 30 to 50-minute sauna improves cardiorespiratory fitness, and with the rise in people embracing cold water plunging, there is no surprise that sauna rituals are in demand, with the head of spa at Hoar Cross Hall, stating that they will be opening up an Aufguss sauna ritual in response to this demand. Aufgass is a German wellness experience, led by an Aufgussmeister who uses rhythmical towel movements to circulate fragranced air, thereby combining aromatherapy with traditional sauna use.
During Covid many topics that were previously considered ‘taboo’ came to the forefront, with consumers happy to share. This includes Menopause and Menstrual Health. Kindra is a contemporary wellness brand, for menopause essentials, launched in 2019, and they raised $4.5 million seed funding. Womaness was launched in 2020 and raise $4 million in 2021, signalling investment in an area that has long been neglected.
Our health is our wealth, and it is great to see innovation and investment being poured into a sector that supports us in achieving a better future.
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