2021 was a year of growth and reckoning. We emerged from the tribulations of 2020 with an eagerness to move forward. This past year signified a tenuous return to normalcy. Gyms, cinemas, shopping malls, restaurants reopened. We had a summer Olympics. Many of those who were working from home went back to the office – some more reluctantly than others.
In 2022, when it comes to well-being, we’re simultaneously going deeper and considering the big picture. We have compiled trends – some new and some continuing to take off – that we think will be big in food, nutrition, fitness and wellness in the coming year.
Home cooking: The Covid-19 pandemic changed almost every aspect of our lives, including our diets. There has been a shift toward home cooking. We got more creative in the kitchen. And a significant number of us actually increased our consumption of unhealthy snacks, desserts and sugary drinks. From cutting back on food waste to reducing packaging, people will be looking for ways to cook, shop and eat with sustainability in mind.
Simplified food preparation: With escalating food prices, and supply chain issues impacting supermarkets across the country, cooking at home will be shifting to a more downsized, streamlined approach. Recipes will be simplified, using more limited basic ingredients obtained locally. Easily prepared fresh foods will shine, with optimal nutrient content and visual appeal, and extending to healthier versions of comfort.
Plant-based diet: Plant-based eating continues to trend upward in 2022 as people look to cut back on meat and eat more vegetables. This is likely due to a number of factors including cost and availability of meat products and a desire to eat healthier and more sustainably. An explosion in new plant-based options in grocery stores and restaurants is giving people more choices than ever before.
Tracking mental health: As we enter the third year of the pandemic, we can expect mental health to continue to be a top priority in 2022. Some health experts predict that people will tracking their mental health more closely in 2022. Whether it is keeping a mood journal or practicing relaxing strategies, like spending more time in green spaces or practicing self-care to reduce stress, mental health will continue to be a priority next year.
Looking after our skin (skinmunity): Skinmunity, a word coined by dermatologist Dr Uliana Gout, is all about treating our skin and strengthening its defences. Born from worldwide lockdowns and having to hide behind masks, some of the ways we can care for our skin’s immunity include boosting antioxidants to fight oxidative stress, reduce inflammation and calming the skin, and doing more regular facials. “Thanks to the pandemic, there’s now a globally-felt focus on maintaining a strong immune defence that’s reflected in the current skincare conversation,” says a skincare trend report.
Stay active, stay consistent: With the growing health concerns, people have finally started understanding the importance of staying physically active. The weight gain and drastic alterations in peoples’ lifestyles due to the lockdown played a crucial role in fostering this realisation among people. Call it deliberation or accident, trends associated with physical activity and fitness are only set to grow in 2022.
Wellness-tracking wearable technology: Wearable tech and activity trackers continue to be a big trend for 2022, but they are going beyond fitness. This year, many smartwatches and fitness trackers are adding features that delve into metrics like body temperatures, stress levels, sleep, and heart rate. People are looking to track a variety of wellness metrics that go beyond just steps or miles run. Whichever wearable tech you are into, you have probably noticed updated versions this year that have included more information on your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, alerts if there’s an irregular heart rate, activity detection, and respiratory rate, just to name a few.
Mind-body: Moving into 2022, there will likely continue to be a big focus on holistic fitness programmes and mind-body practices. Following multiple lockdowns, financial pressures, and general stress from living through a pandemic, mental health is a key focus in health. As more people look to find ways to ease stress, anxiety and support their mental health, practices like yoga, tai chi, and medication will continue to be popular. As physical activity becomes part of the greater health puzzle, consumers will look to movement as a way to meet their overall wellness goals.
Fitness classes: In 2022, one of the trends we’re most excited about is fitness classes that bring mental, emotional and physical wellbeing together. Essentially, the mind-body fitness trend is all about workouts that offer both a great fitness-boosting experience and a wellness component. Whether it’s mindfulness, mindset-coaching or goal-setting exercises, these holistic wellbeing programmes are designed to help us feel our best (inside and out).
Sleep hygiene: In the coming year, more of us are going to be tracking our sleep to make better adjustments to our routines. According to a recent study, some households will use tracking devices such as Apple Watches, Auro’s Smart Ring, or EEG Headbands, while others will turn to aromatherapy oils to complement a more restful sleep.
Sleep hygiene is all about bettering our bedtime habits, whether that’s going to sleep earlier, turning our phones off in the evening, or creating a restful environment at home. When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best, so why not put your sleep first in 2022?