Wonderful Wellness - Next Year's Top Trends
From active meditation to healthy hangovers, we reveal what will be making us feel good in 2019.
By Susan D'Arcy
Scientists estimate air pollution now causes at least 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, while the World Health Organisation puts the figure internationally at 7 million. Pure air has never been at more of a premium, and in the coming year, we’ll see it play a bigger part in the way we travel. Nordic countries, for instance, top the air quality league, and will be actively promoting their pristine environments. We will also see spas and gyms place greater emphasis on toxin-capturing paints and plants that absorb airborne contaminants indoors.
We know the best decades of any woman’s life are those between 39 and 59 but next year we will all be boasting about hitting 50 - 50 foods, that is. The latest research shows that the gut microbiome plays a vital role in everything from preventing obesity and autoimmune conditions to improving brain function and mood. We are increasingly aware of the benefits of good bacteria, and we’ll start to see a shift from sugar shaming to gastronomic grandstanding. The average person’s shopping basket contains just 15 different ingredients, but the most health-conscious among us will be getting competitive about how wide a variety of fruits and vegetables they can eat in a week. When it comes to diet, the message for 2019 is to mix it up.
As #MeToo passes its first anniversary, its impact is reaching the wellness industry. There has been a sharp increase in women-only retreats such as Supershe Island in Finland, which provides a boutique wellness and networking base, as well as women-only weeks at destination spas. The ripple effect is also impacting gyms: expect to see more zero-tolerance policies towards sexual harassment, revised protocols in which instructors must refrain from touching students and classes held in dimly lit studios to deter unwelcome eye contact. Another noticeable impact is the revival of women’s circles, this time reimagined by hipster skincare and athleisure brands. The trend is mainly Stateside at the moment, but will start to cross the Atlantic in 2019.
Remember your first meditation session? The teacher gently asking you to take three deep breaths and then… very slowly… to let go… of your phone. I know. It’s a terrifying thing. For most of us, clearing the mind is like clearing the national debt - it’s never going to happen. Enter conscious breath work, also known as ‘active meditation’. Instead of thinking of nothing, the idea is to concentrate hard on just one thing, while breathing continuously. It’s harder than it sounds, but it does come with instant rewards. After a 30-minute session, your body is flooded with a euphoric sensation. It lasts only minutes but the clarity and calmness that accompanies it remains for days. No wonder City workers and rock stars alike are getting hooked.
We’ve got clean eating and clean cosmetics down, now it's time for our clothing to do some work. Brands such as Back Label are creating garments made from fabrics infused with nourishing ingredients such as milk protein, seaweed, vitamin E-injected eucalyptus and Sea Island organic cotton. The company’s reasoning is that your clothes are in contact with your skin throughout the day and so should be as beneficial as any lotion you apply to it.
A healthy hangover? Yes, it’s possible. These days, any morning-after-the-night-before suffering is likely to be DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), rather than the result of too many Negronis. The biggest fitness craze of 2019 will be the sweat crawl, in which organised groups jog between studios to take part in different workouts, rather than the pub crawl, where it’s unlikely you’ll exercise anything - especially self-control.