Global wellness trends from immune balancing to mindful travel

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This year is a “watershed moment” for the multi-trillion dollar wellness industry, say experts from the Global Wellness Summit (GWS). Here we look at the top global wellness trends they predict will dominate 2021…

Global wellness trends 2021

Bingeable wellness

Wellness has slowly begun to arrive on our TV screens – and you can expect more of it in 2021. The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) says Hollywood and the entertainment industries will continue to merge with the wellness world. “If wellness programming on TV (whether Oprah or the Goop Lab) has been about wellness as a topic you passively consume, the future is TV content and platforms that involve and impact you,” the 2021 Wellness Trends Report reads.

For example, meditation-apps Calm and Headspace recently scored TV shows on HBO Max and Netflix. We’ve also seen brands such as Apple and Samsung integrate wellness with their smart TVs. Samsung Health allows customers to binge 5,000 hours of free fitness and meditation classes, while Apple Fitness+ allows users to connect their TV with their fitness watch.

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Immune balancing

Stop boosting and start balancing, says the GWS. Experts agree consumers will still be obsessed with immune health post-vaccine but they believe the focus should be on immune balancing. “In 2020, people were blitzed with ‘immune-boosting’ supplements, foods and therapies. But the idea that you can ‘boost’ your immunity is unscientific nonsense, and ‘more boosting’ is precisely the wrong approach. The future: approaches that lead to immuno-stabilisation, immuno-balance,” the reports states.

This means less trendy quick fixes like immune-boosting IV drips and more science-backed approaches. Metabolic health, the microbiome and personalised nutrition will lead the trend. Plus, there will be more experimentation with everything from ‘positive stress’ experiences to intermittent fasting for immune resilience.

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Breath as a powerful health tool

Breathwork will be elevated to exciting new realms this year. Get ready for breathwork to be taken to ever-larger audiences and the rise of breathwork parties and festivals. Major universities like Harvard and Stanford are also recognising breathwork as a powerful health tool. “Breathwork used to sit squarely in the woo-woo side of wellness, but today top medical schools agree that how we breathe has a profound impact on our physical and mental health,” the report says.

Global wellness trends 2021

Mindful travel

The pandemic has ground the tourism industry to a halt and given us time to think more carefully about how we travel. The GWS predicts 2021 will be the year of the “travel reset” and all travel could become wellness travel. Instead of the “manic getaways” of 2019 – the ninth year of record-setting growth in travel – we’ll enjoy “slower, nearer and more mindful” experiences. Expect regenerative travel (to leave a place better off than you found it) to become a buzzword.

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Adding colour to wellness

Diversity and inclusion are popular topics in the wellness industry, prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests of last summer. The GWS says to generate substantive change the wellness industry must recognise and address the “false narrative that wellness is for affluent white people”. The report describes the different ways black people actually experience wellness offerings and spaces. It also outlines ways in which companies can change the wellness narrative. “Wellness enterprises that value diversity, respect black wellness needs, and work to support more equitable access, represent the future of wellness,” it says.

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The self-care renaissance

Healthcare and wellness will converge for the first time ever as we witness a new kind of medical renaissance. “Wellness is learning to lean into science, establish standards, and hold itself accountable. At the same time, healthcare is beginning to borrow from the wellness playbook—transforming a once sterile and strictly curative industry into a more holistic, lifestyle-oriented, and even pleasurable one,” the report reads. Think of a future where prescriptions may be coupled with hyper-personalised guides to optimal health and hospitals may take inspiration from five-star resorts.

Download the full Global Wellness Summit report here for $85

Main image: Shutterstock

By Sam

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