Wellbeing

10 new health trends sweeping the globe

10 health trends sweeping the globe

Put down that bunch of kale and quit boot camp because there are 10 new health trends sweeping the globe…

1. SEAWEED
This nutrient powerhouse is set for healthy living stardom, being high in iodine, soluble fibre, iron, calcium, selenium and amino acids plus vitamins A, C, E, K and B.
“Seaweed, such as nori, isn’t just for sushi,” says Manawatu-based nutritionist Nicola Graham. “You can sprinkle it on salads or vegetables and you can also buy roasted seaweed for a snack.” But don’t go crazy. “Just as an iodine deficiency can cause thyroid issues, too much iodine can also have negative effects on thyroid function.”

2. YOGA FUSION
Still doing vanilla yoga? Stick with that if you like, but the cool people are flocking to yoga fusion classes. Look out for aerial yoga, where poses are done in fabric swings suspended from the ceiling. Also taking off in the US is buti yoga, a combination of yoga and tribal dance. Yoga pole dancing is also climbing in popularity and if you’re wondering about last year’s big exercise trend, barre (a combination of yoga, Pilates and ballet), it just got hotter – literally. Hot barre studios are heated to 30 degrees, which allows you to go deeper into poses.

3. OIL PULLING
It seems like every wellness blogger is advocating oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing organic oil in your mouth to draw out impurities. Nicola Graham says it has proven dental health benefits. “Bacterial cells have an outer lipid membrane which is attracted to other oils, so oil pulling helps reduce the bacteria numbers in the mouth.”
Keen to give it a go? Graham suggests using coconut oil, as it contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial properties. “Do it in conjunction with brushing and flossing, not as an alternative.”

4. BODY WEIGHT FITNESS
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) was hot last year. Now it is making way for body weight exercises – using your own body, rather than weights, for resistance. If this trend means more press-ups, we’re going to need some convincing to get on board.
Enter fitness guru Lee-Anne Wann. “Resistance or weight training is a must to achieve a toned body, and is also the easiest and most effective way to burn fat and keep it off long term,” she explains. “It also strengthens bones to avoid osteoporosis later in life and is a great way to improve mood and manage appetite.”

5. FERMENTED FOODS
As medical science increasingly focuses on the link between gut health and overall wellbeing, expect to be adding more fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut to your supermarket trolley. These foods are being lauded by experts because of the beneficial bacteria that develops through fermentation.
“Having a good balance of gut bacteria is important for much more than digestion,” Nicola Graham explains. “Our gut bacteria play a major role in our immune system and may have an influence on weight and mental health.” Sounds good to us. Except that we doubt there’s enough bacon in the world to make sauerkraut more palatable.

6. PLAY AS EXERCISE
Your best personal trainer might be your inner child. The activities you loved as a kid are now increasingly morphing into exercise. A giant indoor trampolining park has opened in Auckland and skipping is now trending – albeit under a cooler name. Punk rope, which is on its way to our shores, has Americans jumping for joy. Classes involve skipping for a few minutes at a time, alternating with a variety of body weight exercises and team relays. Alternatively you could buy a DVD. No word yet on the fitness benefits of building forts out of bedsheets in your lounge.

7. TECH SAVVY
You may associate technology with sitting on your derriere, but it’s also working to get you on your feet, at pace. Fitness gadgets are a massive growth area for tech firms.
“Fitness trackers can track your steps, monitor sleep patterns, count calories and basically help you stay on track,” says Lee-Anne Wann. “Some great new apps are available for helping to track foods and also scan barcodes for nutrient and calorie information.” A trend to watch out for: “Many gyms are offering high-tech services to incorporate lifestyle, such as power-nap rooms, so the next move could be exercise movie theatres,” she says. If there was anything likely to make us run faster, a terrifying horror movie would be it.

8. HAPPINESS
With our stress levels sky high, people are getting creative about finding ways to calm themselves and elevate their moods. Across the ditch, a second cat cafe is about to open, while No Lights No Lycra, a “global dance community” where attendees bust out their most embarrassing dance moves in dark venues, can now be found in six New Zealand locations. Another mood-lifting wellbeing trend of note is morning pages – where people get up early to write three A4 pages of words, stream-of-consciousness style. Though initially sceptical, Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman found the practice effective at “calming anxieties, producing insights and resolving dilemmas”. If words aren’t your thing, try pictures; colouring-in books for adults are now outselling cookbooks in France. Colour us happy!

9. SPORTS LUXE
The marriage between active wear and fashion is still going strong. Case in point: Kanye West’s Adidas collaboration shown at New York Fashion Week was the most viewed collection on style.com for Fall 2015 fashion month. Nicky Lynch, owner of New Zealand activewear website plumeria.co.nz, says high-performance fabrics are behind this trend. “I am loving lightweight poly/spandex and lots of mesh, which hints at sexiness and is great if prints aren’t your thing,” she says. Expect technology to increasingly have a part to play. “We are seeing the beginnings of wearable tech with the iWatch and I think this idea is going to explode,” says Lynch.

10. BRIGHT, LIGHT RUNNING SHOES
Fitness junkies’ obsession with burn-your-retinas footwear has not played out fully – yet. “Bright colours continue through the year and move towards more muted pastels in the coming seasons,” says Matt Dinniss, regional sales and training manager for The Athlete’s Foot. We will also be treading more lightly, according to Dinniss. “Technology trends in running footwear are focusing on extra cushioning and lighter-weight shoes,” he says.

Other trends of note:

Vitamin B12 shots
Medically prescribed shots of vitamin B12 can restore your energy and vitality. Particularly helpful after a big night out, if you know what we mean. Madonna is a fan.

Cryotherapy
Liquid nitrogen baths are said to restore a youthful appearance and boost your metabolism. Jessica Stam does it before hitting the runway.

The werewolf diet
It’s a diet that involves fasting during a full or new moon, and tailored eating plans for other lunar phases. Bizarre!

Words: Trudie McConnochie

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