Health and Wellness Trends for 2021
What. A. Year.
With 2020 finally coming to an end, I can’t say many of us are sorry to see it go. There is not a soul among us who has not been affected in some way or another from the unprecedented worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and I know we are all pulling for a reset and a return to some normalcy as soon as possible.
As someone who always tries to find the silver lining, though, I am reflecting on the past year—or at least the past several months—and thinking that there were many positive changes to come out of all this insanity.
Each year around this time, I like to detail some of the most important wellness trends that I am seeing for the 12 months ahead. I am happy to report that as we head into 2021, there is reason to feel hopeful that some of the best things to come out of the struggles of the past year will stick around.
Here are some of the most important health and wellness trends that I predict (fingers crossed!) will carry through well into the New Year:
1. Food as medicine.
Raise your hand if you knew I was going to lead with this one! 2020 will go down as the year that many of us decided to take control of our health by making better food choices. People have been searching for any and all ways to boost their immunity against COVID-19—and many of them have turned to the foods and beverages they consume to lead the charge.
This marks a major mindset shift from eating healthy in order to lose weight to eating healthy in order to maintain your overall health and wellbeing, and I am all for it! That you will likely end up losing some weight along the way is just the cherry on top. ;)
In 2021, this trend will continue. Bolstered by the fact that they actually do feel better for eating well, people will continue to strive to find and stick to a personal eating plan that works best for them. 2021 will bring a focus on clean eating, on experimenting with plant-based, organic, and nutrient-dense foods that fuel and support our systems, and that promote our overall well-being.
2. Cooking at home.
Staying with that theme, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably found yourself preparing more meals at home in 2020 than ever before. Perhaps it’s because our favorite restaurants were closed, or we weren’t as comfortable dining out, or maybe even that we grew weary of ordering (and paying for!) takeout.
Whether we were excited for the newfound time in the kitchen, or we grudgingly learned to hone our home-cooking chops, something interesting happened for a lot of us. We actually liked it!
We enjoyed being able to source our own ingredients, to know and control exactly what we were eating, and to experiment in the kitchen. Some of us actually discovered how therapeutic it can be to spend time chopping veggies, stirring sauces, or kneading dough. I can only hope that this trend will continue into 2021; as we continue to seek healthy, nutrient-dense foods, we will look to ourselves to prepare them. (Of course, check out the recipe section of my blog for some culinary inspiration!)
3. Exercising at home.
Speaking of staying home, was there a more sudden shift in 2020 than the one from gyms and fitness centers to home gyms (or living rooms, as the case may be)? Determined not to let the lockdown derail our fitness goals, we set our sights online to find the exercise inspiration to get us through.
And inspired we were. Over the course of a few months, streaming workout usage went from 7% to more than 80% in the US! Whether we were streaming live classes, Zoom-ing with a newfound community of like-minded fitness buffs, or finding new fitness accounts to follow on YouTube or Instagram, ‘working from home’ took on new meaning for many of us.
This is another trend I couldn’t be happier about, and I feel confident will continue well into 2021, and beyond. Being forced to figure out a way to get it done at home has fueled our motivation to keep moving. The takeaway--that we can work out on our own terms, on our own schedules, and wearing whatever we darn well feel like wearing--will no doubt endure.
4. Getting outdoors.
Our alternative to working out at home, of course, has been taking it to the streets and trails, and we’ve been doing that in spades in 2020, as well. Whether your preferred mode is walking, jogging, hiking, or cycling, getting your exercise with a side of fresh air and vitamin D is good not just for your body and your physical well-being, but for your frame of mind and mental health, too.
This is another trend that won’t disappear even once things settle into a new normal in 2021. We’ve embraced the idea of thinking outside of the box when it comes to getting our workout on, and I don’t see us going back inside that box anytime soon!
5. Focus on how we’re doing.
No surprise that with all we’ve been forced to cope with this year, there has been as big a concern about our collective mental health as there is about our physical health. This renewed focus on our emotional well-being, coupled with the fact that many of us have a bit more time on our hands than we are used to, has translated into a newfound respect for self-care and the tools we have for managing stress.
From basic things like getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active, to maybe some new techniques, like mindfulness apps, meditation, or virtual therapy, we are (finally) prioritizing our mental fitness, and the need to continue to do so—and the benefits that come with keeping it up--will linger well into 2021.
Truth be told, I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, rather your own commitment to feeling and looking your best when it’s the right time for you.
However, if 2021 is the year you are going to invest in yourself, your health, and your absolute best, SCHEDULE a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Call with me and learn how I can help.
Happy holidays and New Year!!! ????