Each new year brings new challenges to industries, new science and discoveries, industry shifts, and fads change. We asked Life Time experts for their predictions on what the future holds for the health and wellbeing industry. Here are six categories they expect to see: health and wellbeing, fitness, nutrition and beauty, home design and decorating, mental wellness, and nutrition.
1. Health and Wellness
LT Expert Courtney Helgoe is the features editor at Explore Lifemagazine
Trend: Sober curiosity
Helgoe says, "We wrote a January 2021 piece on the sober curiosity movement. Not long after, I noticed that a character from Issa Rae’s series, Unsecure had returned 'Calisober' for the fifth-season -- it was evident that this trend was taking root." This is great news for our collective mental and physical health!
"We recently featured non-alcoholic spirits on our Worthy Goods product pages. There's a lot of creativity in this area. Why drink club soda when there are dry, non-alcoholic spirits that have been infused with allspice and cardamom? It's wonderful to see people discovering the joy of a relaxing drink that doesn't have the buzz.
Trend: Social connections are important for your health
Helgoe says that "Surgeon General Vivek Muthy was already concerned by social isolation during his tenure under the Obama administration." COVID-19 only confirmed and expanded his conclusion that chronic loneliness can be as harmful to our overall health than smoking. It is impossible to create thriving health by ourselves. To be our most resilient, we need to have a supportive community.
Helgoe says, "This may seem less of a trend in health than it is a pipe dream, however, as we witness what seems like a crisis for bad behavior -- on flights, at restaurants, and on freeways -- we see just how much kindness literally harms our health." It can cause actual physical injuries and create undue stress for workers in the service industry. If you can see it, the silver lining is that empathy and mutual respect are essential for our physical well-being. We can't thrive without mutual kindness and that's something we all know now.
Expert: David Freeman CPT, CCP and PES, National Digital Performer Brand Leader at Life Time and cohost of the Life Time Talks Podcast
Trend: Digital fitness growth
Freeman says that digital fitness will have a strong presence, and that more gamification will be possible in 2022. It will bring more people together and encourage more people to be more active and mindful of their health and fitness. This is why I am excited about it. The health and fitness industry continues to evolve in ways that make us more healthy. The more people who are able to live a healthy lifestyle, the better.
Trend training in-person
Freeman predicts that in-person training will be revived in 2022, thanks to digital fitness. People are rejoicing in the return to face-to-face connections, as restrictions around the globe have been lifted. Participating in a community helps us grow and develop daily, while being part of something greater than ourselves. This is exciting for me as I am looking forward to making new connections and maintaining the relationships that I have built over the years. This will bring back a sense of nostalgia and happiness which, in turn, will lead to positive mental gains.
LT Expert Paul Kriegler, RD. LD. CPT, Director of Nutrition Product Development at Life Time
Trend: There is more talk about animal-based diets and regenerative farming.
Kriegler states that while plant-based eating has been in the news for its environmental and health benefits, more people are realizing that eating only plants is difficult. Many of the food choices available to them include highly processed and fake versions of animal protein such as veggie burgers and plant-based sausages. These foods may not be so good for the environment.
Kriegler says that regeneratively raised animal-based foods and their systems, when done correctly, are extremely nutritious and can provide environmental benefits that cannot be replicated by modern agriculture. "Regenerative livestock agriculture, which is properly managed and has high nutrient content, is one of the best ways of restoring the health and nutrition of topsoil. It can also help to sequester large amounts of carbon from our atmosphere. This can then help to regenerate grasslands that aren't suitable for other crops.
Kriegler says, "As species, we are at a crossroads in which we need radical improvements to our health and we must do that while also restoring the health of ecosystems. We won't be able to switch completely to plant-based nutrition and we will probably end up in worse shape than if we did nothing. We can't afford to let our environment or health deteriorate further so we need to make big changes in how we eat and raise our food.
"There are some strong messages coming from either extreme -- vegans or carnivores -- believing their 'way is the right way. I believe 2022 will be an year when the middle ground can be discussed openly. While the solution may not be clear, the best system is likely to lie somewhere between the extremes. All of us need to shift towards healthier, more seasonal foods from closer-to-home sources.
LT Experts Erin Hickey is a licensed cosmetologist who also manages the LifeSpa category. Nikki Gnatzig is a LifeSpa artist at Life Time, Brookfield, Wis. Tarra Krper is a master colorist and educator for Wella Professional. She provides education to LifeSpa artists.
Trend: Natural hair accentuated
Kruper says, "People are embracing their natural texture and enhancing its beauty instead of trying to change it." Healthy hair is important. People want smooth, shiny, touchable hair with lots of shine and styles that are full and full.
Hickey concurs: "Super shiny, healthy hair will be the leading trend in hair fashions in 2022." After years of the epidemic, many people have returned to their natural hair colors. However, there is one thing that has not changed: a love for healthy, shiny hair. Glossing takes hair color to the next level, giving it a beautiful vibrance that highlights your hair's health.
Trend: Softer hair colors
Gnatzig says that "Dimensional color will continue to trend in 2022." Highlights can be used to highlight your facial features by adding a glow or brightness around the eyes. The dimensional balayage looks effortless but is still very noticeable because it gives the hair movement. It's versatile and can be used by anyone, because it is so customizable!
Trend: Layered cuts and curtain bangs
Hickey says, "Next year, we'll see more of what LifeSpa artists recently provided to clients: long layers and modern shags. And what I think will really have its moment in 2022 is side-sweeping curtain bangs." These bangs aren't the bangs of a child's youth! These bangs are full and sexy. They're reminiscent of the 1970s but modernized. Curtain bangs are a favorite of LifeSpa's artists because they offer a contemporary cut that isn’t as intimidating than straight, shorter bangs.
Trend: CBD services
Hickey says that CBD was once a popular buzzword in the ingredients industry. "CBD is here to stay and will grow in 2022," he said. While the origin of the ingredient was initially a focus because it is derived from cannabis, it soon became apparent that the non-psychoactive compound also has many other benefits for tired muscles and busy minds.
Hickey says, "At LifeSpa we are so excited that we will be starting 2022 with our new services which combine beauty and wellbeing featuring this must-experience component: the CBD manicure and CBD pedicure, which join the larger LifeSpa Body Massage CBD service menu."
5. Decorating and Home Design
LT Expert: Elaine Van Someren, senior interior designer at Life Time.
Minimalism is the new trend
Van Someren says, "Humanity has become more earth-conscious." Van Someren says, "I believe that reusing and recycling, thrifting and upcycling are big trends in home decor in 2022."
Trend: Deliberate home-office design
Van Someren said that making a few deliberate decisions about how you set up your home office can increase productivity. Van Someren suggests choosing a space that has a lot natural light, buying a comfortable, adjustable desk chair and an adjustable height desk. It is vital to understand ergonomics for our health.
Trend: Pet homes
"Our loyal friends deserve the best. Van Someran says that creating a pet house or doghouse that matches the decor of your apartment or home is a fun conversation piece. There are so many great ideas online.
Trend: Botanical design
Van Someren says that plants purify the air and bring color to your space. A wall-mounted planter is a great option if you have limited space. Succulents and mosses are still very popular and require little maintenance.
6. Mental Wellness
LT Expert Brie Vortherms: Brie Vortherms MA, LMFT. Mind Coach, and director of Life Time Mind
Trend: Continued destigmatization around seeking support
Vortherms says, "Throughout the pandemic we have seen more people reach for services either after realizing that they are in dire need or as preventative measures." "Further normalizing psychological wellness is very important. I am delighted that more people are turning to services to improve their overall wellbeing."
Vortherm added, "I can also observe, when I refer to self-care people expanding their views of what it is to include more effort to support their mental well-being, such as mental fitness and mental workouts in their health and wellbeing routine."
Trend: Technology-based tools for wellness
Vortherms says that technology has provided new opportunities for people to gather data and improve their understanding of themselves. Data is powerful and can help you make informed decisions about how to support yourself. The MUSE meditation headband can tell you when your mind is active and when it is in a calm, peaceful state. This way, one doesn't have the burden of trying to relax or guess what their mind is doing.
Vortherms says, "I believe the technology and data collection will appeal more to people than just those seeking mental support. That is amazing!" People are moving closer to regulation and feeling safe and secure. These devices are often well-researched and have a lot scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Apollo Neuro is another one that I like. It uses low-frequency vibrations (worn around your wrist) to improve the nervous system's response to stress. As we become more interested in mental well-being, I expect we will see more wellness products.
Trend: Sound healing
Vortherms says that while research is still ongoing on whether binaural beats actually work at a brain-based level but hypnosis has numerous studies that show it alters the way the brain processes information. I believe it is a valuable resource that should be used. It can help with anxiety, smoking cessation and chronic pain management. There will be more research and interest. You can explore great apps such as Reveri or Harmony Hypnosis, which have a lot of excellent content. Binaural beats are either scientifically proven or a placebo. I have experienced great relief from them and so have many of my clients.
Trend: A world that is more trauma-informed
Vortherms says, "After George Floyd's murder, we saw at most some increase in awareness of how relationally traumatizing our culture and society can become." We still have a lot to do before we can see systemic changes, but Resmaa Menaken’s books and courses can be a great place for us to start. I hope that this isn’t a trend but a long-term, committed effort.
Experience Life's first article, Health and Wellness Trends to Watch for in 2022, was published by