Current Trends in Wellness Tools
by Maya Whitman
Insiders agree that the idea of fitness is changing, and this means an exciting wave of trackers and apps that go beyond achieving the ultimate six-pack abs. “So many of us want a nice exterior, but now more than ever, we realize how important it is that the interior match that exterior,” says Dominic Kennedy, a Los Angeles trainer and founder of the Dominic Effect, an app that provides fitness workouts, customized meal plans and mind-body tools like meditation, yoga and affirmations.
The industry of wearable technology has been expanding since the advent of the FitBit Tracker in 2014, and the trend is not slowing down. Current fitness wearables even include rings that offer more detailed biometric data including blood pressure, heart rate, sleep and calories burned. With some smartwatches now priced under $50, it’s clear why the business marketing firm Grandview Research predicts significant annual growth for such products for the next six years.
Making it Personal
For this year, fitness and wellness choices will focus more on practical effectiveness within the new normal. “I see that most don’t want to spend hours in the gym. The way life is now, we do things differently: home gyms, home office, home childcare,” notes Kennedy.
The world of fitness is extending beyond the gym, taking inventory of all the aspects that factor into maintaining wellness. “This year, fitness is all about making workouts work for you and your lifestyle. Whether it be wearable technology, customized online personal training apps or mindset workouts that work on getting your mind in gear, 2022 has me excited,” says Stephanie Mansour, a Chicago-based fitness coach and host of the national PBS fitness and wellness show Step it Up with Steph. “I think we’re going to be focusing on habits and other areas of life like food, sleep and mindset that contribute to the effectiveness of workouts.”
She also foresees people picking up inspiration from hardcore fitness devotees that share more of their personal daily habits such as journaling, affirmations and how they stay committed to investing in health.
Bringing a water bottle to a yoga class or slipping on activewear is becoming digitalized, making it easier to target overall health. Staying hydrated based on individual needs is effortless using a Thermos app-connected hydration bottle with a smart lid that tracks daily intake. Mansour’s favorite fitness ally is clothing inlaid with resistance bands. “You can actually get in a workout while doing everyday activities with this resistance apparel. I love how resistance bands are built into these pants so my daily walk, yoga session or washing dishes and doing laundry turns into a workout because my muscles engage and work harder,” she says.
More Support, Less Pressure
Kennedy sees a sense of community taking root since the start of pandemic, especially via online forums and groups centered on health and fitness. “We spend so much time on the internet and social media, and during the pandemic, it was a huge outreach that will continue to grow since you can do it right from your computer or phone.”
New Jersey-based fitness trainer Nadia Murdock sees a trend of prioritizing ourselves without all-too-common feelings of guilt. The founder of Core Program, designed to help entrepreneurial mothers take charge of their health and fitness, she warns about the possible trigger effect of digital trackers that use pop-up screens or reminders about daily steps. “I would suggest asking yourself why you want to use a tracker. Once you have identified the reason, you can now seek out alternative options that may cause less pressure,” she says. To stay accountable without mental anguish, she suggests using a multisport watch that offers the perk of real-time audio coaching.
Kennedy concurs, saying, “The point is not to cause any more anxiety and to create a safe space. We should not be obsessing about weight and putting ourselves down, but finding a space that will lift our spirits.”
Despite the benefits of the latest technology and extras, Mansour reminds us to adhere to “tried and true methodologies like regular workouts that you enjoy, eating nutritious foods and taking care of your mental health through meditation, stress-reduction techniques and getting adequate sleep.”