Accepted opinion on what is best for our health is always changing over time. However, we are currently in a period of rapid discovery when it comes to health and fitness. The good news for us is that such innovations are quickly being adopted by fitness professionals and businesses, meaning we get fast access to thing that could drastically improve our lives. Read on for the top 2018 trends in this area so far.
Now, when people first think about the biohacking trend, their mind goes to some weird science fiction, cyborg type place. However, in its purest from biohacking is the quest to be the best version of ourselves. For the most part, it doesn’t include installing technical devices in our bodies either, yet, but hold onto your hats because this is definitely coming in the future! In fact, check out the weird and wonderful developments from field leaders like Grindhouse Wetware to see what we mean, and yes it is an apt name!
However, the current state of the movement is mostly regular people and small organisations using scientific methods to explore the effects of certain variables on the body, with the aim of getting the most out of ourselves we can.
In fact, you are probably already well aware of a massive biohacking trend, the ketogenic diet. However, there are some other weird and wonderful hacks for all you grinders (those that use biohacking for their own self-improvement) out there which include heart rate variability training, and neurofeedback.
Another critical trend in health and fitness in 2018 is bodyweight training, the mantra of which could be said to be that ‘your body is all you need.’ The reason for this is that bodyweight training consists of exercises that need no investment in additional equipment. This makes it not only an economically viable option for many people but also allows them to work out effectively, and regularly even if they travel around, or cannot access a gym.
Regarding exercises, bodyweight training uses what are known as closed kinetic chains, which include simple moves like lunges, squats, and pull-ups, all of which use the weight of the exerciser’s body as resistance. Of course such a training regime, if done correctly, can be excellent for improving fitness, and building stamina. Although there is some debate as to whether bodyweight exercises are the best when it comes to muscle building.
With that in mind, this trend is a fantastic one for those looking to improve their fitness without breaking the bank. However, if you are ultimately concerned with muscle gain, then another choice may be more appropriate.
Swapping tobacco for e-cigs
Not all fitness trends are related to exercise, in fact, some are more focused on cutting back or giving up things that are bad for us, as is the case with swapping traditional tobacco for e-cigarettes.
Now, most us already know that traditional tobacco is linked to cancer, heart disease, and all sort of nasty respiratory problem like COPD that are the antithesis of being healthy. However, e-cigarettes are believed to a much safer alternative to smoking, primarily because vapes contain none of the toxic chemicals that are in regular cigarettes.
Swapping normal cigarettes for electronic ones can have a huge health impact.
With that in mind, if it comes down to a choice between smoking, or vaping it is clear which one is the winner. Happily, e-cigarettes are readily available online from stores like Ecigwizard as well as in high street shops too. Something that makes them an easily accessible trend suitable for those looking to improve their health by kicking the smoking habit.
Could eating one simple ingredient drastically improve your health and fitness? Well, the proponents of the spice turmeric seem to think so. In fact, they argue that consuming more of this foodstuff has a myriad of benefits.
The first being that it is chocked full of anti-inflammatories, something that those with injuries and allergies will find most useful. Secondly, turmeric fans argue that it can have a very positive effect on brain function. The reason for this is because the active element in turmeric known as curcumin, raises level of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) hormone, something that has shown to be at least as effective as Prozac in initial trials.
That’s not all either, as an increase in BDNF is believed to boost memory and reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s as well. Something that makes then the trend of adding a little turmeric to your smoothie each morning, well worth the effort.
Fitness at work schemes
A major trend that we are seeing in 2018 is workplaces getting involved in their employees’ health and fitness. Of course, this has to be done in the right way because no one wants to be told they have to work out or take an exercise class.
However, introducing a fitness at work scheme cannot only drastically improve the lives of employees as can help to boost physical fitness and reduces stress, but also benefit the company as well. The reason being that happier, less stressed workers are less likely to take as much sick time off.
Currently, fitness at work schemes tend to be divided into two main groups, the first being those companies that offer subsidised, or even free gym membership that employees can make use of at the leisure.
While the second group actually brings the opportunity for exercise into the workplace, offering yoga or aerobic classes, along with additional activities like meditation sessions, and even fitness office furniture such as cycling seats, and treadmill desks. The latter being something, that means we could much better integrate exercise into our daily routine, and so, therefore, it has the potential to cause a dramatic and positive shift in many people’s health.
Smartphone exercise and relaxation apps
In 2018, most of us have, and continuously use smartphones, and that is why exercise and stress management apps are one of the most significant fitness trends out there. We aren’t talking about the ones that track your progress either, but ones in which you can directly access exercise routines or stress-busting activities, something that can have an instantaneous effect on your wellbeing, as well as a positive impact on your long-term health.
One of the best things about these health apps is that you can access them anywhere, from at home, to on the move to when you are travelling, meaning that there is even less of an excuse to look after your health!
The fact that such apps are usually fairly reasonably priced as well is also worth noting. This is because it means that ordinary people don’t have to spend a fortune on maintaining their health and fitness.
Of course, just like all the other genres of apps out there, there is an almost overwhelming range to choose from. Also, because anybody can make an app, not every product is guaranteed to be of the best quality, both regarding the interface the advice that it provides.
To that end, it essential to do some research and check the reviews for the types of app that you are looking to invest in. One that seems to be doing particularly well at the moment is Sworkit, an app that allows you to put in how long you have to exercise and the type of movement you wish to do, and then creates a plan for you.
Alternatively, there is the Freeletics Bodyweight which is an app that can provide you with a tailored working lasting from 5-30 mins for either bodyweight training or HIIT. Something that comes in very useful if you have little time, but still want to make some drastic improvement to your health.
Wearable fitness tech
Never have we had the opportunity to so closely monitoring our physical health and the efficacy of our work out sessions. A situation that is all down to health and fitness wearables.
These are items that digitally track, record, and send data to smartphone apps across many different parameters, including our resting and active heart rate, how far we have walked, or run, and even the quality of our sleep. In fact, some of the more high-end models on the market can help us to establish a better sleep routine by tracking and alerting us to the best time to wake up, even when we have not previously set the alarm!
There are a considerable number of fitness wearables on the markets at different price points as well, which means that this tech is accessible for a wide range of people. Of course, the market is lead by Apple, with their Apple Watch. Although there are also offering from brands like Fitbit and Leaf that are gaining ground in the market too.
Obviously, the critical benefits to such devices are that they provide consistent feedback on our physical health, as well as motivation and encouragement to build up positive habits like exercise. Something that means you don’t have to be a world class athlete to benefit from this particular trend.