If last year taught us anything, it’s that our health and well-being are a top priority. What’s on our radar now?
A by-product of the fishing industry, marine collagen is the most sustainable, eco-friendly source of collagen. Research shows it can help promote strong bones, fight ageing and encourage joint repair. ‘As more people eat less meat and steer towards flexitarian diets, the concept of getting collagen from an animal seems less appealing,’ says specialist in health psychology, Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart.
UTI HOME TESTING
Getting a GP appointment is now more difficult than ever and if you’re suffering with a UTI (urinary tract infection), the last thing you want to do is spend hours waiting to see a doctor. The new at-home tests have urine test strips with colour charts, to help you analyse the results.
Cannabidiol (the active agent found in plants of the cannabis variety) has become a buzzword in the current world market. ‘Innovations containing specific, well-known ingredients may help with ailments such as sleep and immunity,’ says pharmacist Pareena Patel. It’s used to treat a wide variety of ailments, from anxiety, epilepsy and insomnia, to menstrual cramps and arthritis, with remarkable results. And the trend is definitely not slowing down – just ask Google. In 2016, Google search trends show that there were almost no searches for CBD. A few years later, these shot up to an estimated 6.4 million searches a month in 2019.
The virtual fitness industry – and all its attachments – have been thanking COVID-19 for catapulting their popularity. Now is a good time to become a virtual fitness pro. The apps or programmes proven to be the most effective are the ones that stack you against other people. Most of them have a community function, with results shared and compared, or live tracking during a workout.
‘The pandemic made most of us think about our own mortality and mental well-being,’ says trainer Bill Kirkwood. This led to a focus on recovery as well as the workout. ‘Active recovery is used more these days. An easy cycle the day after a heavy leg-strength session can promote recovery with increased circulation without added stress.’
The world of beauty has pivoted lately, turning its attention on ways it can benefit us holistically. This starts with upgrading standard routines into ones that make self-care the hero. Try the five-four-three-two-one exercise: Describe five things you see, four things you can touch, three things you hear, two things you smell, and one thing you can taste (the creamy cup of coffee you’re enjoying while putting on your make-up).
THE FALL OF RESTRICTIVE DIETS
As so many people spent lockdown getting comfortable in the kitchen, attitudes shifted, and we all seemed to realise that restrictive dieting can be damaging. Dietitian influencers like Christy Harrison, Shana Minei Spence and Dalina Soto have been trying to get the word out that restriction can lead to bingeing, guilt and shame. A study by the International Food Information Council Federation found that 39% of Americans are recently interested in intuitive eating (listening to your body and its needs when determining what and how to eat). More people will seek out personalised nutrition solutions that work for their circumstances, such as eating plans tailored for heart health issues or diabetes prevention.
Yoga became ever more popular for its ability to help promote calm, and now more are discovering its sister science, Ayurveda. ‘Once you understand your dosha (mind-body type), it unlocks a user’s manual for how to balance your body, mind and spirit,’ says Jo Webber, an Ayurvedic practitioner. Ayurveda can help with sleep, anxiety and recovery, such as reducing inflammation, which can subsequently decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Online therapy has boomed, making this new way of accessing psychological therapy more acceptable. ‘In 2021, there will undoubtedly continue to be a rise in loneliness and isolation until a permanent solution for COVID-19 is found, so we will be facing a follow-on mental-health pandemic,’ says psychologist Dr Meg Arroll. And with people realising just how convenient digital therapy is, there is likely to be an increase in demand, with people opting for online sessions.
If last year taught us anything, it’s that happiness can’t be squandered. Focus on mental health by making a happiness list. Write down all the activities, people and things that bring you joy. Take time once a week to pore over the list. If you’re not doing the things that bring you joy, what are you waiting for? Lastly, expressing your gratitude is an instant pick-me-up. Research has proven that being grateful has a positive effect on your well-being.
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