The world of wellness is bursting at its seams. New trends, products and experiences are popping up left right and centre, as more and more of us are adopting holistic practises into our everyday lives. So what’s on the cards for this year? We bring you the top wellness trends for 2019 across fitness, spa treatments and mindfulness…
Wellness is becoming more family-friendly, with children being encouraged to be active from a young age. Some children’s gyms exist already in LA, such as My Gym which offers little ones dance and gymnastics classes, and London gym Third Space are getting ready to launch a kids gym later this year. But it’s not just about physical health: we’re seeing an increase in digital apps designed to teach children about mindfulness, while family members club Cloud Twelve in Notting Hill now offers kindness classes for children.
You might think you know how to breathe – but ‘breathwork’ is a whole different ball game. Long a key part of meditation and some forms of yoga, breathwork is all about using the breath to alter a person’s mental or physical state, believed to improve symptoms of anxiety and stress. While this is by no means a new concept, over the past year there has been a surge in physical breathing classes, led by studios like Re:Mind in London’s Victoria and Breathpod, brainchild of founder Stuart Sandeman.
Americans have long been using IV drips to boost immunity, but the UK have been a bit slower to catch on. Recently, however, this futuristic trend has picked up over here too: Soho House recently launched The Elixir Clinic at The Ned, which offers Vita Drip infusions, while Harley Street’s Plastic Surgery Group offer a selection of 90-minute IV treatments, complete with your choice of music and refreshments. Wellness and lifestyle club Cloud Twelve have also added IV drips to their repertoire, featuring detoxifying, anti-ageing, anti oxidising and hydrating therapies alongside booster intramuscular shots – all of which can be enjoyed while watching tranquil scenes via a VR headset. Designed to recharge the system, IV drips can help tackle everything from jet lag to stress to ageing to hangovers, or simply give your body a reboot before a holiday or big event.
Wellness Real Estate
According to research from The Global Wellness Institute, more and more of us are considering proximity to wellness facilities when looking for a place to live. This has sparked an emerging trend of ‘wellness real estate’: living quarters focused around ensuring optimal health among residents. Mason & Fifth, for instance, create studio apartments with healthy living elements woven in, such as a Wellness Pavilion allowing al fresco yoga and moonlit meditation, and a dedicated no-tech zone, encouraging neighbours to make real-life connections. Meanwhile in Greenwich you’ll find Upper Riverside, a new residential area complete with a rooftop wellness hub designed by Tom Dixon.
Social Media Usage Tracking
Phone addiction is rife, but more and more of us are trying to cut down on our social media usage in order to live more mindfully. Apple, Facebook and Twitter all offer monitoring technology, while apps like Moment alert you when you’ve exceeded your desired screen time for the day.
A tradition derived from Tibetan, Chinese and Indian cultures, sound therapy is now being incorporated into yoga sessions, spa treatments and healing workshops. Yoga retreats like Chilston Park Hotel are using sound baths as part of their meditative programme, while The Lanesborough Club and Spa is offering a crystal sound healing treatment. Meanwhile gong baths – designed to help the brain reach deep relaxation – are becoming increasingly common in meditation centres and yoga studios nationwide.
CBD has been one of the biggest wellness buzzwords of the past couple of years. Praised for its health benefits, the legal cannabis-derived oil is popping up everywhere – in health drinks, skincare products, supplements and make up across the country. Brands like The Body Shop and Dr Bronner are using it in their products, Holland & Barrett is stocking it in store, and a dedicated CBD shop recently opened in Marylebone, The Drug Store. Healthy eateries like Farmacy and Wild By Tart are spiking their drinks with it, and Gymbox has even launched a ‘Cannabliss’ class, which combines deep stretches with CBD oil patches. It’s also creeping into the spa sphere, with Rudding Park in Harrogate recently introducing a range of treatments using CBD, deemed to help with everything from anti-ageing to reducing anxiety.
Wellness will continue to dominate the travel industry, with retreats due to become even more niche. Health and Fitness Travel predict there will be an increase in things like “painmoons” (anti-honeymoons following a bad experience), divorce retreats, and sugar detox holidays. Meanwhile airlines and airports will be working to make flying healthier, with new health and wellness programmes being implemented to combat long travel times, disrupted sleep and stress, according to the Global Wellness Institute.
Searches for crystal healing are up 40 per cent in the last four years, a figure likely to grow even more this year. Even skincare is getting its own chakra-balancing system, with brands like Elemis and Aveda introducing gemstone-infused products.
Move over spinning: in 2019 we’re all going to be rowing to get our cardio in. A wave of similar studios already exist outside of the UK, including New York’s CITYROW and Sydney’s Club Row, and last year London jumped on board with The Engine Room, which will likely start a domino effect of boutique rowing studios popping up across the country.
The wellness industry is undergoing a high-tech upgrade, with spas and gyms across the country introducing technology-based treatments and workouts. Rudding Park now has an oxygen pod in its rooftop spa based on Nasa technology, while London-based gym Equinox has treadmills with oxygenated air designed to make you train harder. The world’s first medical gym recently opened in Mayfair, which features micro-chip technology that remembers everything about your workout – from the height of your seat to the weights you lift. Another futuristic aspect is the virtual reality Icaros machine (pictured above) which provides a challenging core workout as you set off on a simulated flight through alpine mountains and valleys.
Elsewhere, a new fitness concept called Technogym Live has recently launched, where users can join live streaming classes from the comfort of their own home. The first product to host the platform is a bike which offers riders the same feeling as road cycling, alongside data tracking and over 20 different resistance levels. We’re also seeing more mindfulness trackers, such as app Mindscape, which works with Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to talk you through breathing exercises and ask questions about your mental state.
“Better-for-you” alcoholic beverages
Alcohol companies will be reaching out to health-conscious consumers with new, healthier alcoholic beverages, according to Global Data. “Consumers are gravitating towards lighter, less caloric, flavoured alcoholic drinks,” says Consumer Research Director Sumit Chopra. “Liquor manufacturers are paying close attention to nutrients, calorie counts and healthful ingredients.” Does this mean healthy wine is on the cards? We hope so…
In its 2019 report, The Global Wellness Summit highlighted the increasing interest surrounding the health benefits of being in nature. This is in part due to shifting demographics: while in 1950 around 30 per cent of the world’s population lived in urban areas, by 2018 that figure rose to 55 per cent, and it’s predicted that by 2050 68 per cent of us will. More and more of us are living in settings with little or no nature, and we’re craving it – hence the influx of nature-based wellness practices. Forest bathing, a Japanese practice which simply means immersing yourself in a forest setting, is one of this year’s biggest buzzwords, with many wellness retreats including it in programmes. Interest surrounding plants, flowers and gardening, meanwhile, has surged – particularly among millennials.