The 5 major wellness trends that dominated 2017

Although 2017 still saw us hitting the gym, this year also saw a more holistic approach to well-being with a focus on what we need to do for all-around good health

27 December 2017 - 00:00 By AFP Relaxnews
Vegetarian and vegan food trended in 2017.
Vegetarian and vegan food trended in 2017.
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz

1. FROM VEGGIE TO VEGAN

After 2016 saw more of us trying plant-based vegetarian diets, in part thanks to the UN marking it as the International Year of the Pulse, 2017 saw some people going one step further and adopting a vegan diet.

As more research reveals that reducing the amount of meat in our diet can have a huge benefit for our health, and with the threat of climate change stronger than ever, many have shunned meat and animal-based products in an effort to make a positive change for ourselves and the environment.

2. TAKE MORE TIME FOR SELF-CARE

After hygge became a huge trend in 2016, many of us continued to look for ways to take care of ourselves in 2017 as the trend for self-care continued.

Joining hygge this year was the Japanese tradition of ofuro. While many of us often just grab a quick shower to maintain personal hygiene, in Japan enjoying time in the ofuro (bathtub) is a cultural tradition and also one of life's pleasures.

Embracing the Japanese ritual, which involves washing before entering the bath and making it as deep and relaxing as possible, is emblematic of one of this year's key trends.

3. TRACK HEALTH NOT JUST FITNESS

After releasing a variety of products to record and monitor our physical fitness, tech companies started to take note of the trend for a holistic approach to wellness, introducing new wearables to take health to the next level.

This includes wearables that track sleep and detect sleep disorders, as well as those that recognise stress and help users feel calmer.

4. THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

We first started waking up to the importance of sleep last year, but 2017 saw even more importance given to getting some good quality slumber. 

This year saw a variety of new studies published as experts sought to understand better what is causing the current sleep deprivation crisis, neuroscientist Matthew Walker released his high profile book, Why We Sleep in an effort to convince us to get more of it, and brands started introducing new features to health trackers to help us improve both the quality and quantity of our shut-eye.  

5. FOCUS ON MENTAL HEALTH

With the rates of depression and anxiety on the rise, our mental health and how we can improve it became a major topic of 2017.

Researchers have been busy looking at how we can stave off depression and anxiety with exercise, sleep, and a nutritious diet, while fitness experts have taken a more holistic approach to health, encouraging us to include a mindfulness aspect to workouts and practice self-care on rest days.

Many fitness trackers also added in features to practice, reduce stress, and improve relaxation, all important factors for looking after our mental health. 


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