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#BizTrends2018: Mind, body and soul - holistic health is the theme of the year

Last year saw all things focused on wellness go mainstream as the public became aware of the benefits of being physically fit and healthy. Gut health became an important part of wellness, especially in the beauty industry as a surge in ingestible beauty supplements was seen, which not only tackled beauty from without, but from within. However, as the year moved on, it became very clear that the real wellness trend was mental health.
Tumelo Mojapelo, head of content at Flux Trends Analysis
As we move into 2018, we will see trends that speak to addressing and dealing with the issues around the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of humans, thus addressing what it means to be “well” in a more holistic manner. People are choosing to be proactive about their health, lifestyle, and wellness by taking preventative measures in an attempt to avoid health issues at a later stage in life.

Some of the trends that will emerge in 2018 include:

  • A move from HIIT (high intensity interval training) to LISS (low intensity steady state) training

  • This shift is a clear indication and reflection of the state people are in. They are burnt out and need exercise that is not only say on the mind, but easier on the body - the kind that allows the body to avoid injuries and to recover quickly.

    Examples of LISS training are taking time in float tanks, rebounding, cryotherapy, infrared saunas, and stretch exercise sessions.

  • Quantified and Tailored Health 2.0

  • It is not a new thing that fitness data has been collected as one uses a wearable device. The question however is how much of this data is used to help you make sound health and fitness decision.

    Health professionals are now able to use DNA information from patients to address health issues before they become a serious risk. DNAFit has been able to look into patients’ unique relationship with different food, environments, lifestyles, and toxins as well look into how they respond to certain exercises and their injury rate in order to determine which plan will be suitable for them in the fight against disease and ageing.

    More spas and retreats are using DNA testing to tailor each guest’s experience and treatment.

    Telomere testing is also another approach that can be used to encourage patients to consider the quality of life that they are living and its impact on their health. This is achieved by comparing chronological age to your biological age.

    Wearable tech has been repurposed into empathy tech - technology that takes into consideration other aspects, especially empathetic, of life besides fitness data. Opter Life’s Opter Pose pendant is an example of this technology and is just a small part of an industry that is set to grow in 2018.


  • Clean beauty and a rise in food as medicine

  • A shift has been seen in patients replacing pharmaceutical prescription drugs with natural remedies in the form of food as a result of more people being weary of ingesting toxins that come in the form of drugs or medicine. In the same vein, this trend has been seen in the rise of the clean beauty movement which has taken the world by storm.

    Wellness and fitness is not about working on the outside but, also, addressing both health and beauty issues faced by consumers on the inside - hence the growth and launch of various clean beauty brands that offer beauty-focused supplements that also do the work of healing and maintaining our bodies from within.

    Clean beauty movement will also combat products which have ingredients that might be harmful to the user. Therefore, a growth in “free -from” branded products will be seen in the wellness industry as consumer crave the natural way of life as well as the natural look.

  • Fragrances and retreats with function at the heart

  • Beauty fragrances will look to not only make the wearer exude an attractive scent, but create an enhanced the mood of the wearer, to stimulate or calm the senses, assist in falling asleep, and clearing the mind. Functional scent brands will take a cue from aromatherapy treatments and create a line of products (household scent defusers, wearable necklaces) that emit a scent that heals the heart and the mind.

    In the same vein, has been a rise in people sharing experiences which create serotonin - the hormone that makes us feel happy. Here are a few examples of these activities/ experiences: laughter yoga, smile-asanas, morning hikes, beach circuit training, group excursions, and inner-smile meditations.

  • Sleep therapy

  • Sleep therapy will be used to address and combat mental health issues as well as the growing number of insomniacs. People will seek professional help to get at least seven hours of sleep. As a result of our ever-connected digital world, we lose out on good sleep, which can have an adverse impact on our physical and mental health.

    Online and offline meditation classes


    More meditation classes and spaces will open in the online and offline world to help people look for ways to deal with a life that is becoming busier by the day. People are looking for spaces to unwind and connect with themselves and others. Creating spaces they can take moments out to do so will become more and more important. A great example of this is the newly released Bravo Tango Brain Training app, the first voice activated meditation app created by National Geographic and 360i, with the aim of providing a tool to enhance mental health support for America’s veteran community.

  • The rise of fitcations and healthcations

  • Instead of using holidays to eat, sightsee, and lounge around, an increasing amount of travellers are using their holidays to stay fit and to reconnect with themselves and their bodies. According to Pinterest, there has been a surge in fitness travel - a 618% increase between 2016 and 2017 - this number is set to rise in 2018.

    Medical Spas are also seeing their popularity rise as people become aware of the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to avoid life threatening illnesses at a later stage in life.

    Architectural wellness is another travel trend that focuses on creating ‘healthy for humans’ hotel and holiday destinations and spaces.

  • Wellness in the workplace

  • Companies are jumping on the wellness band wagon and 2018 is the year when a surge of companies will be taking the initiative with regards to the overall wellness of their employees. This will be achieved by developing corporate wellness programmes to help them cope with the demands and various stressful situations experienced in the modern world of work. Companies will move from creating a culture of being woke (social/political awareness and activism around issues of diversity and inclusivity of underrepresented groups) to creating a culture of health and wellness.

    We may start seeing companies integrating fitness and wellness centres into their buildings to ensure that employees always have a place to let some steam off or to collect their thoughts through meditation.

    Another point worth noting is the financial wellness of employees; which will also be addressed by companies. Financial matters cause stress, anxiety and burn out, costing US companies between $17 and to $44 billion in lost productivity overall.

    Even the justice courts in America are looking at setting up health and wellness programmes to assist non-violent offenders on working towards recovery.

About the author

A silent force behind the scenes at Flux Trends, Tumelo Mojapelo steers the direction of the content created by the Flux Trends team. She believes that society creates patterns and communicates those patterns freely. All one needs to do is to silently observe these patterns - watching them ebb and flow from one trend to another in order to prepare for the future. After acquiring her BA Fashion Design degree from LISOF she found a "home" at Flux Trends and has been there since 2010 where she has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in the trends analysis space. She continues to contribute to content generated at Flux, as well as guide the Flux Team and Network in generating future-focused content to feed and inspire the minds of Flux enthusiasts and clients. When she's not looking into the world for patterns and trends which will influence businesses to be well adjusted to future changes and opportunities, she is building a meaningful and long lasting relationship with Jesus Christ and His children. She enjoys mentoring and serving at her local church, as well as serving in her local community and believes that she has been placed in every area of her life to enrich and minister to people from their point of need. Her interest in trends analysis emanates from her desire to want to give people opportunities to do, think, and act better - to make better decisions because they understand the connections between seemingly unrelated factors and events and their impact on their daily lives.
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