Fitness, Nutrition

Health Trends for 2016

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With each new year comes new trends in the health, fitness and diet industry and 2016 is no exception. No doubt that there’s been a spike in gym goers, that fitness centers are packed with people pretty much all the time, and that many are signing up for a weight loss group or fitness challenge. This is the busiest time of year for all things health related as resolutions are going off with full force, so without further ado here are 3 big trends for 2016.

The biggest trend for this year is what’s called “wearable tech” which basically involves any kind of device that you wear (think smartwatch/glasses/heartrate monitor) that tracks your body’s overall fitness and nutrition daily. What initially started with the simple pedometer years ago that tracked how many steps you take each day, has now evolved into a massive industry with sophisticated devices that let you know how many calories you burn, how effective your sleep cycle is and can continuously monitor your heartrate. From Fitbit to Jawbone to Misfit, the selections are plenty and are growing each year. There definitely is something out there for everyone depending on what your goals are whether they be for tracking your sleep patterns or weight loss, or more sport specific like running or swimming. These devices can set you back a pretty penny though, the more sophisticated ones cost well over $200, but for those on a budget there are options that are around $50. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for and the cheaper the device, the less functions it has and the less data it will give you. For some people these fitness trackers have proven to be invaluable and have really helped to reach so many goals, but for many others it’s pretty much turned out to be like any other gadget that they get excited about at first, but that ends up gathering dust at the back of their nightstand. Before you dish out the dough for one of these, take a moment to really think it through and consider what you will do with this information and how you can use it constructively to reach your goals. You always have the option to work with one of the many free fitness/diet apps before trying out a new wearable tech device. If you feel like you can continue to go it alone then don’t bother, but if you really commit to tracking your progress and you plan on using it and checking out your stats daily then go for it! As long as you are using it, then you are getting your money’s worth. I personally don’t have one and don’t plan to ever get one; I don’t feel the need to track every single thing throughout the day and it’s not a priority to be checking my daily stats, but I do think that these can be a huge help for people that prefer to have a lot of structure with their regiment. If you are thinking of getting one or if you’re already wearing it as we speak, then be sure to make the most out of each available function and use your stats as a way to make adjustments to what you are already doing if need be.

The second trend that’s gaining popularity this year is fresh meal delivery services. These typically involve pre-made meals that are portioned out based on serving size. There are many companies that offer these services to its greater and surrounding regions and that can be purchased online either in bulk and frozen or fresh and delivered daily. Depending on your regiment, allergies, restrictions and preferences, there are options out there for all diets including paleo, vegan, gluten free, for mass gaining, fat loss, or reduced sodium diets. Pricing can vary for these as well depending on the weight of each portion size and if you choose more specialty items like gluten free protein pancakes with stevia sweetened syrup. On a per meal basis it’s usually around $10, but weekly or monthly memberships that include 3 meals per day can set you back hundreds of dollars. It is clearly very expensive, but if you are travelling and you just can’t find an option that works for your current regiment or dietary choices these types of services will provide you with what you need. Long term though, if this is your only option for eating healthfully and if you really can afford it on a weekly/monthly basis then do what you gotta do, otherwise cook your meals in bulk monthly, portion them out and keep them in the freezer.

The final trend is something that has been marketed and talked about for many years, but is only now really starting to make headway. What I am referring to is the “love your body” type of campaigns. When I say this, I mean all of those advertisements that we see where companies showcase non-professional models or “real people” showing that all bodies are different and should be celebrated. This trend is becoming more and more popular mostly with wellness, health and nutrition companies and is definitely having a positive impact with so many people. For years most of us were exposed to seeing the typical model in any kind of media which set the tone for unrealistic expectations for what one should look like. Things are definitely changing and a shift to a more positive and healthy body image is making headway. One point that I would like to make regarding this is that there can be a very fine line with loving your body and settling for what your body has developed in to. By this I mean that there are certainly things that we all may want to change about ourselves but we can’t such as height, bone structure and the areas that the body holds on to fat (no matter how hard you try to get rid of it!). However, if you have ever struggled with weight or have developed health issues it doesn’t mean that you should ever have to settle for where you are at now, especially if you are uncomfortable in anyway. If you want to make a change, then commit to it by educating yourself, seeking support from others including healthcare professionals and then make it happen and stick to it in the long run. Yes, loving yourself and your body is the key to being empowered, and if for even of a fraction of a second you dislike your body then don’t settle, you will only be hurting yourself. Love yourself by taking care of your body; having drinks, stuffing yourself with greasy food and sweets is not loving your body. Always remember that it’s far easier to wake up in the morning and workout or to hit the gym after work, than it is to look at yourself in the mirror and hate even one part of your body.

So there you have it, 3 big things happening in the world of diets and exercise. There are still many misconceptions about what actually works and there are always new fads coming out all the time, but the good news is that things are definitely shifting for the better and we’re all becoming more knowledgeable about this. Should you choose to try something new this year, be sure to give it adequate time to become a habit and if your resolution is to get in shape or be more consistent with workouts then be mindful that it won’t happen overnight. Stay with it, stay committed and keep moving forward.

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