2017 Wellness Trends

2017 Wellness Trends

written by: Ms. Randi Dukoff
by: Ms. Randi Dukoff
Wellness trends Wellness trends

The world of health and wellness constantly changes. In order stay on top of your health, check out 10 Wellness Trends with staying power in 2017. Some of what's already hot and trending in 2017 will remain at the top of the charts.

1. Workplace Wellness is on the Rise

Rest Easy, Keep Active, Eat Well, Accomplish More, and Have a Healthy Relationship with Work! Employee wellness at work just got easier. Workplace wellness is often underrated, but in 2017 – from the perspective of all concerned – workplace wellness is here to stay. With fresh approaches including more customization and loads of apps, workplace wellness is beginning to deliver and measure results. While ROI is tough to show accurately, surveys, self-reporting, turn-over rate, comparisons of absentee rates, health care expenses and productivity are available measures. Companies, that implemented wellness programs, are reaping the rewards with happier, healthier and more productive workers, less absenteeism and lower health care costs. Success is no longer measured than the elusive ROI number is defining Workplace Wellness. People appreciate the VOI "Value of Investment" and ROT "Return on Time" as benefits.

Randi Dukoff, CEO of The Corporate Wellness Consulting Group, expects to see continued advances in workplace wellness programs. She states, "This coming year (2017), employers are approaching wellness efforts with more experience, empathy, better data, and methods for engagement. Significant changes in the ACA laws pertaining to health insurance premium reductions for participation is driving more companies toward wellness. Wellness programs designed to work for the individual's needs using personalization contribute to significant progress in building a culture of health."

What makes workplace wellness different in 2017 is that companies are venturing past the standard HRA option and subsidized gym memberships, which don't drive engagement, in favor of initiatives that include an overall "culture of wellness" for the employees. The goal is to create stronger feelings of connectedness, teamwork, motivation and health, which lead to a happier workforce who's more productive, relaxed and focused. Programs using multiple approaches have the most success. Employees need information, coaching, challenges, tech, easy and nonintrusive ways to stay on track, accountable and engaged.

Wellness must be relevant for the employees and the employer to be successful. We have been creating wellness programs that target the whole population, as well as the individual. Wellness programs succeed when they are executed from the top down. Corporate Wellness programs must focus on three pillars for success (Food, Body and Mind) for maximum impact. As more employers face the reality that company culture and productivity are intricately tied to the health of their workers, we can expect to see an increase in workplace policies surrounding employee wellness.

2017 is exploding with the trend toward individualization for employees. Individualized medicine, fitness, nutrition and stress reduction are possible. DNA swab testing for wellness is now available, setting people up for success immediately. Genetic testing provides a window to best lifestyle choices for each person: Make Proactive Decisions Regarding Diet, Exercise & Lifestyle

2. Wellness Travel for Business and Personal Trips

Corporate travellers are exhausted from long lines, small seats, bad food and dark rooms when they travel. The Travel Warriors want ways to offset the chaos of work related travel. Hotels are beginning to incorporate farm to table food options, gluten-free and vegetarian menus, smoothie bars, in-room fitness and gym's, which are open at 5 am. Some Select Wellness Hotels offer a welcome massage for immediate stress reduction.

Business travellers need to be focused, relaxed and ready for the meeting.

  • Promote Behavioral Changes with Your Personalized Genetic Nutrition and Fitness Profile
  • Gain Insight into Your Health and Wellness

Eden Roc NOBU Miami Beach is getting wellness right for business travellers. Celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant, Nobu and Helene Henderson's Californian restaurant Malibu Farms serves up organic and locally sourced food. The property also has a full service spa and surf-set fitness or beach boot camp classes on premises. Guests can experience classical yoga on the beach or The Box class. The Spa offers various treatments and a relaxation room you can work from, if you choose. There's even a SoulCycle close to the hotel. The Select Hotel Group (with TLG) has over 200 Select Wellness Properties, well trained for the wellness client . Customers may choose from Destination, Resort and Urban Wellness hotels for their trips; each has a specific desired experience available. Destination Hotel Properties like Terranea Resort are perfect choices for the person conducting business in LA and the Ritz Carlton in Clayton is great when you're in St Louis.

Anne Hubert, head of Scratch, a consultancy within Viacom, thinks there's a titanic shift occurring, saying, "Millennial's aren't just looking for a job" Millennial's expect to be "appreciated" in more ways then salary. Anne adds that the lines are blurred between work and play, hence the yearning for balance, "Millennial's don't distinguish between themselves at work and themselves at home or in the rest of their lives — it's all one, so this process of searching for their calling isn't just about 'work'; it's about the lives they want to live." Gen X and Baby Boomers need wellness options to keep up with the new integrated always on pace at many companies, making wellness travel imperative for them.

It's clear that wellness travel is very much en vogue and only going to get bigger. Wellness is a lifestyle that creates communities, cultures and demand. Large spaces are being converted into all-inclusive wellness-centric businesses combine wellness and dining with experience. Wellness Travel is also on the rise for personal travel. Many Select Wellness Properties offer something for everyone, enabling one location with customized experiences. Travel Well Be Well, a subsidiary of The Corporate Wellness Consulting Group handles both business and personal travel for their clients. Vacations enable you to come back healthier, more relaxed and motivated than before. Many of these properties send their customers home having accomplished the beginning stages of new habits for life.

3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms continue to be a staple in the culinary (and psychedelic) community but gradually have been slipping into the Superfood category. Many integrative doctors have been citing the benefits of medicinal mushrooms for many years. Mushrooms have moved from stir-fries and burger toppings to being recommended by functional medicine experts everywhere for their abilities to fight cancer, quell inflammation, balance blood sugar, and more.

"Mushroom extracts contain compounds known as beta glucans which have the unique ability to stimulate your immune system to work better. They do this by increasing the number of cancer-killing immune cells as well as their activity. ," says Dr. Mark Stengler, author of The Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms. " They're also one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, with anywhere from 140 to 2,000 IU per 100 grams of mushrooms." Mushrooms can be mild in flavor and blend well with other ingredients. Mushroom powders are becoming staples in the kitchens of health coaches, doctors and practitioners. Drinks such as Mushroom lattes and mushroom hot chocolate are moving in.

Medicinal mushrooms such as Chaga and Reishi have multiple health benefits: Recommendation: Include ¼ cup mushrooms in your diet every day.

  1. They're highest on the ORAC scale of all natural foods
  2. Protective against Cancer
  3. Anti-bacterial
  4. Anti-viral
  5. Anti-fungal (even though they're categorized as a fungus)
  6. Anti-microbial
  7. They help to regulate the immune system (they're modulators)
  8. Anti-candida effect and are protective against yeast infection

Suggestions:

  • In your eggs
  • Sautéed
  • On burgers
  • Use Portobello as a pizza crust
  • Stuffed
  • with antipasto

4. Meditation and Sound Baths to Manage Stress

Meditation has gone mainstream. Meditation is widely accepted as a good daily practice for wellness. The big news relevant to the Meditation Trend is the phenomenal downloadable apps which are now available. Meditation's finally celebrated as a revered daily wellness tool across the globe. The American need for instant access demand has inspired an explosion of useful meditation apps (such as Headspace, Whil, Calm, and Stop Breathe and Think). If you prefer a live experience go check out a drop-in meditation studios like to Unplug in Los Angeles and MNDFL in NYC

The new media offers free, short-guided meditations to help users participate in guided meditations daily as well as enable them to complete weekly meditation goals. Meditation is now accepted in corporate workplaces for employees to reset their focus. Try Deepak Chopra's one-minute meditation you can do at your desk with your eyes open, and feel your mind on meditation. Meditation and Mindfulness are diversifying practices leading to deliberate self-imposed stress reduction and more acute awareness with food.

Sound baths are a unique experience, which involves you lying on the ground or on a yoga mat. Choosing to lay on the actual ground produces a "grounding effect", that's created when you're connected to the earth, thus centering your mind. As you're lying down quietly, a "sound healer" plays crystal singing bowls, and other calming instruments gongs, for roughly one hour. Sound resonates within your body and with your chakras. Sound Baths have become so popular that reservations are strongly suggested. "The experience is incredibly relaxing, and the sounds transport your mind, taking it on a sensory journey, similar to the way a movie soundtrack does," she explained. "Sound baths can be something of a way to force your brain into a meditative state.

Some studies indicate that sick patients exposed to music reported less pain. One review of over 400 studies that looked at how music affects physical and mental health found that it reduced stress and improved immune system function in significant ways. Even without any confirmed scientific research, people agree there's also value in the simpler effects, like allowing yourself just one hour to forget the work related inbox messages and what's for dinner.

5. Infra-red saunas

Higher Dose states that sweat induced from an infrared heat source is comprised of 20% toxins whereas sweat induced from traditional heating systems is comprised of 3% toxins. This is why it's accurate to say infrared is 7x more detoxifying than traditional heat. These saunas have been used in integrative medicine facilities but are taking their rightful place in the mainstream world of wellness. Infra-red saunas are a method to detoxify your body, get a workout without working out, feel happy, nourish your skin, and feel rejuvenated all at the same time.

Infra-red saunas work to heal your entire body by providing: Detoxification of heavy metals, environmental toxins and radiation Infra-red saunas use a different heat wave than traditional saunas to saturate the body and raise your core temperature. The heat is actually much cooler than traditional saunas, which can reach 200* F; while infra-red tend to max out between 120-140* Infra-red saunas can still be found in doctors offices, integrative medicine centers and now a stand-alone facility like Higher Dose, which has two locations in NYC.

  1. Stress reduction by decreasing cortisol and increasing serotonin
  2. Pain relief to muscles strained by repetitive use motion, overused, or injured
  3. Anti-aging for your skin since infra-red stimulates collagen growth
  4. Calorie burn
  5. Circulatory stimulation

6. It's the year of Zzzzzzzzzzz's

"The impact on our health is dramatic," says the publisher of the Huffington Post, "We have all the data now that shows how it affects every aspect of our health." This includes everything from a suppressed immune system (it might be why you're always getting a cold), hypertension (less snooze means a harder time processing stress), and obesity (the sleepy crave bad carbs and sugars). "The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity," she points out. "But in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we're sleep deprived."

Lack of sleep also boosts your body's production of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are raised it causes your body to store fat, particularly around your midsection. Cortisol levels also wreak havoc with your other hormones, possibly leading to adrenal fatigue or worse. In order to feel more alert, productive, happy and in control of your emotions, cravings and health, it's time to hit the sack.

Here are some things you can do now to get better sleep and more sleep:

  1. Commit to a regular bedtime, 5-6 nights a week
  2. Don't use any electronic devices 1-2 hours before bedtime
  3. Cover any and all little blue or red lights in your room
  4. Keep your mobile devices outside of the bedroom
  5. Try wearing a wearable that tracks sleep
  6. Read a book (not a kindle) before bed
  7. Avoid falling asleep on the couch – put yourself in bed
  8. Make a list of what went well that day and what could be tweaked tomorrow
  9. Make a list of what you're grateful for and keep it in a journal

7. Cauliflower Tops Zoodles in Homes and on Menus

Cauliflower is the new powerhouse. Droves of people are making cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower buffalo bites and eating lots of cauliflower crusted pizza. Just look at expanding menus and easy to follow recipes found in apps like Yummly and Zipongo. Cauliflower rice has ousted the popularity of zoodles (zucchini noodles). (Google Trends don't lie), and it's easy to see why. "Cauliflower's a nutrient dense, grain-free, Paleo, substitute for regular rice that's stabilizing for sugar levels," "With just 25 calories per 1/2 cup of cauliflower rice compared with about 140 calories per 1/2 cup cooked white rice, you can see why health-conscious people and "dieters" love it." Trader Joes and Whole Foods offer pre-made cauliflower rice, which is a time saver for the busy people.

8. Meal Delivery Services

Any health conscious person knows that nothing beats a home cooked meal. Finding time to cook presents an obstacle for many busy people. Blue Apron, the original meal prep delivery service paved the way for a trend that continues growing. These services deliver perfectly packaged portions of ingredients with recipe cards to your door. These services are diverse with organic, vegan, Paleo, juice, shakes, and snack boxes available. Some of the better meal companies are Terra's Kitchen, Green Chef, Hello Fresh and Sun Basket to name a few.

9. No-Diet Diets

For years we have used the term " healthy eating " but it became an obsession, which could impact our self-worth. I use the term "healthy eating" with caution because it usually leads to feeling guilty for days after slipping up and eating chocolate cake. On the flip side, a diet composed of 2 pounds of kale is also not "healthy eating." 2017 incorporates the fact that healthy eating is individualized. 2017 acknowledges that there are almost as many ways to eat healthy as there are people working in each company, and with the use of DNA, people can be directed to the optimal diet for their health.

2017 is no longer focused on Juice Cleanses, now it's Food Cleanses including acai, fruit, veggie or protein smoothies, which contain the fiber and pulp rather than a big glass of vitamins and sugar. You need to feel full from digesting "food as nutrients" if you're going to finally tame your cravings.

Mainstream diet giants, like Weight Watchers have finally dropped their typical weight loss focused programs in support of the wellness-focused themes! Weight Watchers has introduced the Beyond the Scale program. This revamp to their program that has brought men and women to their business for more than 50 years is all about what the wellness-minded person wants from his/her eating program, focuses on the food benefits and sometimes isn't even diet related. The new program focuses on eating healthier, moving more and finding inner strength "This is our biggest innovation in our history and it touches every part of our experience," said Weight Watchers' chief scientific officer Gary Foster. "We're going to talk about taking care of yourself in ways that don't involve food."

10. 2017 will be more focused on work-life integration over balance

Anne Hubert, head of Scratch, a consultancy within Viacom, thinks there's a titanic shift occurring, saying, "Millennial's aren't just looking for a job" Millennial's expect to be "appreciated" in more ways then salary. Anne adds that the lines are blurred between work and play, hence the yearning for balance, "Millennial's don't distinguish between themselves at work and themselves at home or in the rest of their lives — it's all one, so this process of searching for their calling isn't just about 'work'; it's about the lives they want to live." Gen X and Baby Boomers need wellness options to keep up with the new integrated always on pace at many companies, making wellness travel imperative for them.

WeWork shared office buildings filled with individual offices, co-working spaces and hot desks embodies the trend of balance in 2017. WeWork incorporates wellness, on all levels, into their office spaces. WeWork has even evolved to WeLive locations. Contact me for special referrals to WeWork. Hats of to an easier, more integrated approach to wellness in 2017.

Last are some trends that are here to stay and still expanding further:

  • Gluten Free Diets
  • Paleo Diets
  • Keto-genic diets
  • Tabata training
  • HIIT training
  • Iced Rose

2017 is still about nutrition and fitness for the sake of feeling good and finding your "inner strength".