Holistic health trends will become visible in 2021. Ashley Demshki reflects on the impact of the past year and shares ideas on how your campus can capitalize on this trend.
In this unusual year it was interesting to see what trends would emerge in 2021. Would we be resurrected stronger than before or would we cease to exist? In our future, would physical fitness facilities even be necessary or would they come back with a vengeance?
While we’re still waiting to see how some of these challenges will play out, we’ve seen a push toward holistic health. Holistic health, according to WebMD “Considers the whole person – body, mind, soul and emotions – in search of optimal health and well-being.” not just medical treatment. As students become more aware of their immunity and body in general due to COVID, we are seeing a shift from the traditional “wins” or “bikini body” mentality to mental health and self-care in the fitness industry.
Holistic health trend: proof in the numbers
According to MindBody’s CEO, clients on the platform have made their mental and emotional health a priority by looking for more classes like yoga and those that focus on mindfulness.
Jason LaRose, CEO of Equinox Media said: “We have seen an incredible surge in meditation since the beginning of the pandemic. “ with a 25% increase in meditation courses. He went on “It’s evidence of how people’s thinking about general wellbeing has expanded.”
As students continue to exercise from home, they have come to realize that mental health must be the focus. MindBody and Equinox found that they were looking for yoga and meditation classes at popular gyms and booking sites. There is no doubt that 2020 was a tax year, not just with the disease overall, but political and cultural turmoil as well. It’s no surprise that members put their sanity first.
How does it look?
Holistic health also explains the need for exercise as medicine. The idea of exercise and immunity went hand in hand with the rise of COVID. Although the effects of exercise on COVID are unknown, it is still true that exercise improves our physical wellbeing and can have immune-boosting properties such as:
- reduce stress
- Avoiding unnecessary weight gain
- Improve sleep.
As students began developing these habits during their bans, home fitness is now deeply ingrained. However, we have to put aside the thought that home fitness is simply an on-demand exercise class or whiteboard workout. The idea of holistic health pushes the boundaries of what these new habits, which now include self-care, are, and what Beth McGroarty, vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute, calls “pillars of well-being,” what is “emphasis on” means exercise, healthy eating, sleep and reducing stress. “
ADDITIONAL CREDIT: The 2020 pandemic brought with it many unique wellness offers across the industry. Check out what the departments were doing.
With that, we should see a decline in detox teas and supplements and focus more on overall preventive care. No, I don’t just mean the annual doctor’s appointment. Rather, students are re-interested in ways to use fitness, meditation, sleep, healthy eating, and therapy to take care of themselves before they get mentally or physically ill.
The idea of a “Mental Health Day” is not new, but it has a new meaning. We had to cancel our vacation plans during the pandemic – a time when most of us are mentally renewing ourselves for the rest of the year. With fear of travel and other restrictions, 2021 will be a year of the wellness routine and students will take time to themselves at home with no other distractions.
Where does the nutrition come from?
Another wellness trend that falls into the holistic health category is intuitive eating. Social media are taking center stage in nutritionists and others debunking diet as they make the transition from a diet culture to intuitive eating. Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder believes in 2021 “People will continue to move away from restrictive diets, especially those that completely demonize a particular macronutrient like carbohydrates.”
She goes on to say: “There will be an increase in people adopting food in all of its forms due to the trend towards food upcycling, which means that ugly vegetables and wasted leftovers can be turned into meals and snacks. This is a step towards a healthier, more sustainable and more conscious future. “
ADDITIONAL CREDIT: At Old Dominion University, one of the student wellbeing offerings offers nutritional programs through campus dietitian Tracy Conder.
This is a big trend for leisure centers to think about in their future programming:
How can we not only incorporate nutrition into our programs, but also work with food security offices in our locations to minimize food waste and encourage donations to local food banks and organizations?
Conclusion: Don’t ignore holistic health
While the pandemic has disrupted much of our daily activities and fundamentally changed our industry, I believe the shift towards holistic health is positive. Our students take a step back from stress and anxiety. Instead, they find ways to deal with it healthily and preventively. It is worth investing the time and money in helping students achieve these goals. Indeed, in the long run, it can change the way we program.
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