Wellness and health trends: from the Naked 3D Fitness Tracker to microbial health and ‘souping’, here’s how to boost your health today

We’re all becoming more health conscious. That in itself has been a major trend over the last few years. Think whole- and superfoods, cycling and exercise, stretching properly and going ‘green’.

But it’s important to distinguish between mere fads and actual health trends stemming not just from popularity, but also from efficacy.

Of all the trends we’ve seen so far this year, these 14 seem the most exciting and promising for an all-round more holistic approach to life and wellness.

Which health trends will you dare to try?

1. Anti-inflammatory everything

From inflammation-fighting foods to inflammation-conscious exercise and products, the new buzz word is anti-inflammatory. And it makes sense: since science discovered that chronic inflammation is what’s really ageing us, the goal is to stem this tide to ‘stop the clock’ of ageing.

The trend dovetails withthe launch of Lamelle Research Laboratories’ all-new chronic inflammation-fighting Dermaheal range and is why Lamelleadded some additional new growth factors to the mix, too.

2. Healthier, basic food

No more takeaways, processed food and TV dinners – we want real food. Making healthier food choices is the new name of the game, as most people now move away from fad diets in favour of richer and healthier basic and wholefoods.

Think of black garlic, watermelon water, dragonfruit and matcha as the new superfoods.

3. The Naked 3D Fitness Tracker

You can keep your smart watches and wearable fitness tech, the Naked 3D Fitness Tracker is here. Instead of focussing on wearable tech, fitness company Naked has produced an intelligent mirror-and-scale combo product that’s right out of a sci-fi movie.

You put the scale in front of the mirror, step on it (it obviously weighs you) and let it spin you around a few times. The mirror then builds a 3D model of your body, based your body’s volumetric body-weight data. From here, it helps you tailor-make your exercise and diet to not only lose weight or get in shape but to take specific action on your unique ‘problem areas’. Certainly looking like the future of fitness, it’s on pre-order at the moment but launches soon, worldwide.

4. Souping

Remember the – brrr – juicing craze? Well, it’s well and truly over now. The chillyjuices phase has left us shivering and most people are now opting for a much warmer, richer and more nutritious alternative: soup.

Yes, everything you can think of is now being made into a soup. And why not? It’s just as healthy (if not more so) and makes for a wonderfully filling lunch or snack. Don’t juice it, soup it.

5. Microbial health

Bill Bryson wrote in his acclaimed book A Short History Of Nearly Everything that “it’s probably not a good idea to take too personal an interest in your microbes”.

Well, that was last year, Bill. Today, we are all very capable of understanding that positive gut microbes are essential for our wellbeing. From probiotics to prebiotics and even fermented foods, there’s a completely new focus on food that promotes gut microbes for better gastrointestinal health. Science says that if your gut is happy, you are happy. And, it’s believed it could even help combat stress.

6. VR exercise

Virtual Reality has been making waves in the gaming world recently, but it’s about to take off in a big new way. If you don’t know yet, Steven Spielberg’s is turning Ernest Cline’s book Ready Player One into a movie (release date is next year) and, mark these words, after that film lands, everything is going to be going VR.

Not the least of which is exercise. Think about it: you get on a static exercise machine (treadmill, row, bike etc.) and the computer creates a 100% believable VR experience around you. You can go run on a beach in Bali, hike the AppalachianTrail or climb Mount Everest, all from the comfort and safety of your living room. Why not?

7. IV infusion

Love the idea or hate it, but you can now get healthy vitamins and nutrients fed directly into your blood stream. This literally involves a doctor inserting a needle into your arm, connected to an IV ‘drip’ that feeds nutrients directly into your veins for better and faster absorption of essential vitamins.

It’s a bit of fad in Hollywood these days, and some people are sceptical that celebs are using it as a substitute for meals. For the record, this is not a good idea. Your body is a whole and your intestines need to work daily to keep in top shape.

But, as a means to get vital nutrients more directly into the body, the treatment is available at several clinics around the country.

8. Matchatea

The new green tea is made from matcha, an age-old Japanese tea ingredient. It’s a powder, not leaves, but it’s taking the world by storm.

The many purported health benefits of matcha include its high antioxidant count, its calming effects and calorie-burning capabilities.

9. Cauliflower for everything

The humble cauliflower is getting a major upgrade. Lauded as a much more preferable substitute for most types of starch and bread, cauliflower is now being used to make everything from pizza bases to French fries.

10. ‘Workleisure’ wardrobes

We’ve mentioned the athleisure fashion trend before, now meet its workday cousin. If athleisure blends active wear with casual clothing, workleisure takes the trend to the office.

Yes, joggers, running shoes and active tops are now welcome in the workplace. The idea is to promote a more active lifestyle, even at work. So, it’s feasible that you could step out of the gym (or off the golf course) and walk straight into a meeting without breaking a sweat over changing your clothes.

11. Sound baths

Touted as one of the most relaxing and revitalising activities you can do, sound baths involve lying on a yoga mat on the floor while a swami/DJ called a ‘sound healer’ plays a series of instruments ranging from crystal singing bowls to gongs. You’re literally bathed in sound, and the effects are apparently comparable to meditation.

Big in LA in the US, it’s locally available from the likes ofHealing With Sound in Cape Town and the “soundman” Chris Tokalon in Johannesburg.

12. Nesting

Especially in winter, and with the price of travel and energy going up while Netflix and movie streaming gets cheaper and cheaper, experts say we’re growing more likely to stay at home. It’s not a bad thing though, as more people are really focusing on “nesting”, creating the ultimate ideal settings at home.

We’re focusing more on aesthetics and comfort, as well as fitness solutions at home and spending quality time with our loved ones.Science says this makes us feel overall happier, safer, more comfortable and (perhaps a little strangely) more connected with others around us. And there’s no better feeling than that in this world.

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