Jessica Cooper
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Wellness Trends 2016

Our team has been researching what trends are becoming popular in health, fitness and wellness.  Here's what we think will become really big in 2016.   Check out what we found...


Top Wellness  and Fitness Trend Predictions for 2016


1.  Fitness Wristbands


The days of just tracking your fitness with an app on your phone are over.   The rise of portable, wearable fitness trackers is upon us.   Fitness wristbands have recently become ubiquitous among athletes and people who frequently workout.  There are so many stylish options and products with different features to choose from.  



The market for these products is growing so fast that tech companies have been scrambling to compete with each other, and have been creating a ton of products to choose from.  Each device has it's own unique features to suit individual needs.   There are the basic features like heart rate monitoring, time keeping and calorie counters, but you can even get wristbands that do even more.  Some of the other features you can expect for these multi-use devices are things like, all day activity tracking, reminders to move, exercise recognition tracking, auto sleep tracking, social media sharing options, and of course, a clock.

Fitbit was one of the first companies to produce portable fitness devices since the company started in 2007. They have set the gold standard for all portable fitness devices and they now have a ton of great wristband options to choose from.  Other great brands to choose from include Misfit, Garmin, Jawbone, and Apple. 


Fitness wristbands allow you to track your fitness activities which is fantastic for any one wanting to improve their fitness, lose weight, track their daily activity levels, or take part in fitness and wellness challenges.  These devices can give you daily stats and updates on your progress for goals that you set for yourself, and also offer tips and advice for reaching your goals.  Most wristbands out there cost anywhere from about $100 - $250.


Portable fitness devices are here to stay, and we predict that everyone you see at the gym or yoga class will be wearing one soon.


2.  Probiotics 


Having excellent gut health is the newest revelation in the scientific understanding of human biology and how our immune system works.   Gut health is now known to be essential to fighting and preventing illness, maintaining a healthy weight, energy levels, healthy digestion and even brain function.



Taking probiotics has become the new way to help build up your immune system and cleanse your body.  No need to get crazy with juice detox diets anymore when you can do something as simple as eating a pickle or drinking a glass of kefir.


The latest scientific research shows that the type of microorganisms and bacteria in your intestines can be a major influence in determining whether you are overweight or not.


There is also growing scientific evidence to support the idea that poor gut health is a major reason for weight gain and diseases associated with obesity.  Many people are taking a more holistic approach to health and working towards preventing illnesses by way of better nutrition.   Many nutritionists and doctors now hold a general consensus  that processed foods are a big reason for the increase in people with obesity related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.   Processed foods often contain chemicals and sugars that kill off good bacteria in your gut and encourage the growth of bad bacteria.  The simplest way to think of good gut health is to work towards maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut - the ratio to aim for is roughly 80% good bacteria to 20% bad bacteria.


Since it's hard to determine exactly what each individual persons gut health looks like, the number one thing you can do is increase your intake of probiotics (good bacteria).  Probiotics are by no means a cure all for gut health but they certainly can make a huge difference.  Other ways to improve gut health and overall health is to decrease the amount of processed and sugary foods you eat (especially soda!  Diet soda is bad too) and try to increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.


So where do you get probiotics?  There are a number of foods, some that may surprise you, that contain a good amount of healthy bacteria or probiotics.  Probiotics rich foods are becoming the new kale for nutrition and diet enthusiasts.  There are many different strains of good bacteria that exist in various foods.  Some of the best foods rich in probiotics to add to your diet include:


- yogurt, kefir, pickles or any kind of pickled vegetables, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, miso soup, soy sauce, buttermilk, some aged cheeses and olives.


The most effective way to ensure you get the right amount and best strains of probiotics is to take a supplement.  It's important to do your homework when deciding on what supplements to take since like all vitamin manufacturers, some are a lot better than others. 



3.  Cardio Barre


Cardio Barre has been around since the early 2000's but has recently seen a spike in popularity, especially with women who love Pilates and yoga type workouts. 


It was created by, Richard Giorla a former professional dancer who suffered an injury that brought his dancing career to an end.   He wanted to keep fitness a priority but found there were no fitness classes that suited his needs.  He came up with Cardio Barre which focuses on ballet based exercises that lengthen and strengthen your muscles, as well incorporating cardio elements that help burn fat.


This unique exercise class combines barre work and light weights with continual fat burning motion.  The workout also helps tone muscles for your butt, legs, core and arms to sculpt muscles and elongate the appearance of your body. 


One of the most appealing aspects to this type of workout is that there is no jarring movements that could potentially cause injury.  There is no kicking, no punching, no jumping up and down. 


Recently Cardio Barre classes have gained in popularity and is a favorite workout used by many celebrities including Taraji P. Henson, Ashlee Simpson and Dakota Fanning to name a few.   Lots of new Cardio Barre fusion classes are popping up in gyms and boutique fitness centers.   These ballet inspired classes are amping up the traditional Cardio Barre workout by adding a lot of variations, like more cardio, yoga moves and Pilates.  This types of workout helps avoid the kind of impact on your joints you might get from a weight lifting class or traditional aerobics class which involves a lot of jumping might and may not be ideal for anyone who has had any kind of injuries.  


Barre-cardio fusion classes are focused on sculpting lean muscle, slimming down your body, and getting your heart rate up by doing high-intensity motions and active recovery.   For people who love dance classes or just want a dancers body - this may be the workout for you.


I recently started taking my first ever Cardio Barre class.  Let me preface this by mentioning that when I was younger I had many years of formal ballet and other dance training.  I assumed this class should be relatively easy for me since I am familiar with the poses and ballet exercises.  Initially I couldn't decide on whether or not I should sign up for the beginner class or a more advanced class.  I decided to start in the beginner class since this was my first try at Cardio Barre.   I was certainly glad I chose the beginning level!   I have to say I was very surprised on my first workout on the level of intensity and difficulty.  This workout will definitely test your limits and get your heart rate up.   If you are looking for a workout that will really amp up your fitness level, this is it!  I am definitely going to stay in the beginner class for a while! 


Now I know this is just the type of workout I have been searching for.  It combines all of the elements I love in a great workout like cardio, muscle lengthening strength moves, ballet and dance poses, and stretching; while leaving out some of the things I try to avoid, like too much pressure on my joints. 


This year it's sure to grow in popularity and we foresee that it's likely that Cardio Barre Fusion classes will be coming to a gym or boutique studio near you!


4.  Athleisure Wear 


Athleisure apparel is essentially athletic clothing that people can wear in non-sports related settings as well as at the gym.


All though the rise of athleisire wear has been steadily growing in popularity over the last couple of years, we are predicting that 2016 will probably be looked back as THE year of athleisure wear.   Ever since Lululemon introduced yoga pants that used sizing focused around how they want to feel instead of a number, the brand has really been able to reach a diverse market of new customers.   Wearing yoga pants and sports bras under tank tops has already been a hot trend for a while - think of bralettes and racer back tops.   Now this trend is really set to explode as the combination of “athletic” and “leisure” wear becomes the new go to look for every aspect of daily life.  


Thanks to the influence of millennials on the market and their fitness-conscious  lifestyle choices, we are now moving into an era where being fitness conscious and having clothing that represents that identity is really taking shape in our popular culture.  Of course everyone wants to look great while they are working out but now we are seeing a trend towards people wearing  their stylish workout clothes to do everyday activities like having lunch with friends, going shopping, going to parties and all sorts of other things.   Athleisure wear is quickly becoming King in the fashion industry.  


Millennials are setting shopping trends right now, and are paving the way for the world to embrace more active, leisure loving lifestyle choices - the market has taken notice, and it set to deliver in a big way.   Stores like Old Navy, Nordstroms and Victoria's Secret have very large selections of altheisure wear now.  There is also growing number of high end specialty boutique brands with stores devoted exclusively athleisure wear like Lorna Jane, Lululemon, Tory Burch and Phat Budda that have a cult like following among their customers.   Big name fashion brands like Nike and Calvin Klein are ramping up their athleisure wear lines as well to keep up with growing demand.   Also, add to that a number of celebrities, like Kate Hudson who have developed their own lines too, and now what you have is an explosion of athleisure wear on the market this year.  


5.  One-Stop-Shop Wellness Centers 


Say goodbye to the traditional gym and say hello to a wellness center.  These new all inclusive hang out places for fitness and wellness devotees are cropping up all over the place.  Wellness centers are a kind of oasis of health and social hangout places for active lifestyle lovers, where you can do everything from workout, meditate, get a spa treatment, hit up the juice bar,  grab some dinner, or just hang out and drink tea with your friends.  


Los Angeles is leading the way with tons of popular wellness places already enjoying growing popularity, like Wanderlust Hollywood, The Springs and Health LA.  


The trend really comes from a growing demand for people wanting to hang out and eat with their friends after working out, and in the past you would need to find a place to meet up after the gym since traditionally food at gyms has been somewhat mediocre at best.



6.  Work Place Fitness Options 


Over the last five years or so there has been an increase in the number of companies and small businesses that offer workout options in the workplace.  Since Google has become pretty much the most enviable place to work with it's relaxed atmosphere for it's employees, beautiful facilities and amenities that include yoga and meditation classes, people have really noticed the benefits it has created with employee moral and productivity.  Other companies wanting to emulate their success have started following this philosophy of offering things like yoga classes at work to their employees.  


There is a huge growth in popularity among millennials in particular, with working out during work hours and on lunch breaks.  Since millennials have demonstrated a greater concern for life-work balance, they are helping push companies who want to retain their workforce by adopting more relaxing work environments.


Look out for more of this type of work place fitness and wellness focus going forward in the next few years.



7.  Social Media Fitness Challenges


Okay we know everyone is sharing everything they do on instagram and other social sites these days.   A growing trend on social network sites is to post workout photos and videos.


Recently there has been a surge of personal trainers and celebrities creating fitness and weight loss challenges using social media to create exclusive members only groups where people can get together and work towards their fitness goals.

Facebook has really capitalized on this growing trend since they offer the ability to create private Facebook groups where you have to be invited or added by the creator of the group.  Many of these challenges have a multi-platform approach to connecting with their members by having a website where you can sign up, a Facebook group you can join to stay in touch with all your fellow challenge members and even sometimes a phone app that helps you track your journey.


Many of these groups also have charities that they donate most of their proceeds to which makes them even more appealing and is a great motivator for participants to sign up and work hard toward reaching their goals.  People from all over the world can join a group on Facebook or instagram, share fitness goals with fellow enthusiasts and keep each other motivated.  


Here are just a few examples:

My Peak Challenge, Nike Training Club, Squat Challenge, Fitocracy and Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide.  


There are so many to choose from - they are ubiquitous on social media right now, so it's easy to find one right for your personal goals.




8.  Beauty Drinks


Beauty drinks are becoming big business.  The biggest growth in skin care you will see this year isn’t about what products you are applying to your skin, but rather what skin care products you are drinking.   



Lots of companies are jumping on board with this popular trend like Hum Nutrition, Fountain, Moon Juice, —are making beauty beverages loaded up with nutrients that promote healthy skin and hair from within.   Many ingredients like turmeric, probiotics, zinc and lots of super foods like acai, pomegranate, kale and more are packed into these powdered mixes that you just add to water.   Different beauty drinks are reported to deliver different results, with everything from fighting acne to anti-aging benefits.  


As good nutrition has come into the spotlight more and more over the last few years, women everywhere are looking boost their nutrition through supplements and healthier eating strategies.  These beauty drinks make it easy to get that extra boost of nutrition women are looking for in one easy step.  The fact that each drink is formulated to meet specific beauty concerns make them all the more appealing.


Sephora is one of the major retailers to stock beauty elixirs.  You can purchase a whole range of Hum drinks from your local Sephora



9.  Juice Flights 


Want to try juicing without all the hassle of making them yourself?  A ton of juice bars have cropped up over the last few years where you can get everything from fresh vegetable and fruit juices to healthy smoothies.  


Now the juicing trend has evolved even further to include juice flights.  It's still an emerging trend, with one company in particular paving the way.  In Los Angeles a small chain of juice stores called, 'Juice Served Here' has formed a collaborative relationship with a popular coffee chain called 'Verve Coffee Roasters' to create a new concept that serves awesome coffee along with 23 different kinds of pressed juices. If you want to try them all in one shot you can, by ordering a Juice Flight from their menu which has up to 10 juice shots.   You can get a range of things to suit your taste from tangy beet and vegetable juices to sweet lemon and fruit juices.


Even though this trend is in it's infancy, it is already proving to be enormously popular with local customers and has the potential to grow nationwide.



10.  Kayla Itsines 


Kayla Itsines is the Australian personal trainer who has become an overnight fitness sensation.  Since amassing millions of followers on instagram, she has basically become the worlds most loved fitness guru. Kayla started her empire simply by posting videos and photos on instagram offering inspirational advice about how to become a fit and confident person.  In a very short amount of time she has created what has become the largest women's fitness community in the world.


Kayla offers a 12 week program (BBG - Bikini Body Guide)  which combines workout training and her own personal nutrition plan to lose and maintain a healthy weight.  The program philosophy focuses on building a healthily lifestyle and confidence, as well as offering a path to losing weight and building strength.   She has a really positive persona and message that is resonating with women all over the world. 



Kayla even has a phone app which you can use to follow along on daily workouts, track results and connect with the community of other Kayla Itsines fans.  After following her on instagram myself I can see the amazing power that her movement has created.  Everyday she posts amazing before and after photos of her legion of BBG girls so you can really see how the program has transformed their bodies and their lives.   She also regularly posts photos of herself in all her cute workout gear.  It's addicting to follow her!  I'll be starting her 12 week program soon myself - I just have to give it a try!


What do you think about our wellness trend predictions?  Follow us and let us know what you think.





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