JUDD JONES: Health and Fitness Trends for 2018

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This year, I am going to review six very different types of health and wellness trends for 2018. Each year it seems these trending predictions are just reruns or remakes of the same old health and fitness stuff. Let’s take a little different look at what’s up in 2018.

1. Biohacking your health

There is a new and, to some, disturbing trend of technology implants to assist with your health and wellness. These tiny new devices get placed into your body. The technology is designed to communicate with external devices like your smartphone to deliver medicine, monitor specific health conditions or even take pictures of your digestive system, all in a non-invasive way.

Many of these small implants are being developed with near-field communication, or NFC, technology so that information can be shared back and forth from within your body to larger more complex devices located outside of your body.

These implanted devices can also be used to support insulin-producing cells in people who have Type 1 diabetes or continuously measure vital signs monitoring organ transplant patients, congestive heart failure and much more.

No matter how these new emerging technologies are used, they do come with a lot of controversies and to some, invasion of privacy.

2. Mind-bending body technology

Recently, there have been some wearable devices that have come to market that can help you manage your stress levels through mindful thinking. Everything from a stress management device that gives you a small vibration when it senses your stress levels elevate, to a device that attaches to the base of your neck delivering a light electrical stimulation to your spine.

Most of these devices are like fitness trackers and link to your smartphones. With so many various types of these tools to help you, it gets a bit confusing as to which are useful and work and which do nothing more than take your money. Regardless, these wellness products are expected to trend way up in 2018.

3. Fitness destinations

Going to the gym is becoming a somewhat boring past time, so enters travel fitness. This newer multimillion dollar industry is trending up with a new approach to going to the gym. You immerse yourself in a destination resort that locks you into multiple days of nonstop health and wellness. These fitness destinations cover almost every aspect of the health, wellness and fitness categories. You can book a seven-day stay at an ashram in India to study yoga, book a stay at a Montana ranch that specializes in meditation, or break out the sunscreen as you head to Maui Hawaii to deep dive into the world of sound healing.

Those hardcore physical fitness fanatics among us can take the next flight to San Diego for a 50-hour Navy SEAL course to experience intense pain and suffering. Mountain bike resort destinations have become a favorite where you can single track your way to nirvana, being pushed all the way by professional mountain bike guides. Enjoy the scenic splendor of the Northeast by booking a stay at a hiking spa in Vermont that specializes in weight loss.

These are all, for the most part, highly rated and useful travel fitness options. The one thing they all have in common is they are kinda pricey.

4. Health and wellness in a pill

Perhaps the hottest health trend flying around the internet and supplement market is the new products coming from a blend of compounds centered around nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene. These two substances have shown promise with cellular health and anti-aging in mice. There are many products on the supplement market identified as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide boosters which is a coenzyme found in our cells. As we age, NAD levels drop in our cells which has been determined as a function of aging.

These supplement mixtures are touting research that shows that nicotinamide riboside gets turned into NAD, extending cellular health and slowing the aging process. These supplements are becoming very popular and are trending up at a breakneck pace. Do they work? Research studies show positive anti-aging effects on some life forms, but the jury is out on the long-term outcome for human consumption.

5. Resistant Activewear

Fitness-wear designed to resist your movement is becoming a hot new trend. This category of activewear is unique and made its debut a couple years ago. These fitness garments are designed to be more like exercise equipment then clothing. Resistant activewear products are made in either shirt or pant form and designed with resistance bands that form around the musculoskeletal system. The activewear contours evenly across your body area placing anywhere between 10 and 28 pounds of resistance as you move. The resistance affects your joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and overall body movement. The immediate effect you feel when you wear this activewear produces a broader engagement of your muscles that quickly increases your physical effort, boosts calorie burning and helps build strength and more importantly, muscle endurance.

6. Health and Wellness Coaching

Health and Wellness coaching has been trending up at a record rate since 2012. Health and Wellness coaching is becoming a go-to for primary care physicians and fitness professionals who have at-risk patients or clients that need longer-term lifestyle or behavioral shifts reinforcing healthy habits. Health and Wellness coaching focuses primarily on nutritional change and increased physical exercise. Similar to personal training, Health and Wellness coaching takes a hands-on approach to work directly with clients to log, measure and set both short and long-term goals. In some cases, Health and Wellness coaching includes meditation, sleep and stress management to assist the client in breaking habitual unhealthy behavior and creating long-term positive changes.

As I have said before, there has been no better time to embrace and take on the challenge to improve your health and wellness then in the coming year.

•••

Judd Jones is a director for The Hagadone Corporation and Certified Health Coach.

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