2022 is already well underway but there’s still plenty of time to explore the year’s top trends in health and wellness. It’s been a stressful couple of years, to say the least, making it essential to put our mental and physical health first. Yet not everyone who suspects they have a health issue chooses to see a doctor right away. Many people have also delayed doctor’s visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic while others are hesitant to return even if places have opened back up.
To gain insight into what the year has in store in terms of health trends, Bupa analyzed search habits from the previous year. We look at 5 health and wellness trends in 2022 based on their findings in this Pacific Prime article.
1. Strengthen your immune system
As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust to the new normal, taking care of yourself is more important than ever. Remember that it takes some time to improve your health and fitness, so don’t expect changes to happen overnight. Whether you have an exciting or stressful event coming up, preparing your mind and body as best you can will make a world of difference.
Some of the simplest ways to enhance your immune system is to incorporate a variety of foods into your diet and get enough rest. It’s also important to get vitamin D every day, such as by getting some sun on your skin or taking a supplement if that’s not an option. While you’re probably familiar with this by now, remembering to wash your hands regularly is another must.
2. Live a more eco-friendly lifestyle
If you’re worried about the direction our planet is heading, you’re far from alone. Searches related to climate and eco anxiety have increased by 418% and 238%, respectively. These figures clearly illustrate the growing concern for our environment as people respond to global changes. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and use that as motivation to do your part for the planet.
Keep in mind that it’s better to make small changes over time so that they stick and become part of your lifestyle. You can start by carrying a reusable water bottle or shopping bag, then stop using plastic straws, and so on. Also, think about where your food comes from and opt for local foods when possible. This not only supports the community but reduces your carbon footprint and gives you access to more nutritious, seasonal foods. Food waste is another huge problem, so plan meals in advance to help.
3. Gut health is a priority
Improving your gut health is becoming a popular trend in health. Gut health describes both your digestive system (or your gastrointestinal tract) and the balance of your gut bacteria. Your gut is incredibly important. It’s home to a variety of bacteria and is in charge of digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and removing waste products.
What you eat plays a significant role in your gut health, making it vital to eat a variety of foods. Make sure you’re consuming whole foods (aka whole unprocessed and unrefined plant foods), fruits, and vegetables. Stay away from processed foods, which are loaded with harmful preservatives and additives that can negatively impact your healthy gut bacteria.
Your gut health is also influenced by your mental health, which is why 60% more people are searching for ‘gut brain axis’ on Google. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you could experience gut symptoms such as loss of appetite, stomach aches, or diarrhea. Likewise, IBS and other digestive conditions can be linked with anxiety and depression.
4. Monitor your stress levels
While you may be familiar with using a wearable to track your fitness, an emerging trend is to track your stress levels too. Wearables can now track your cortisol levels, though you may prefer a more traditional approach. Start by paying attention when symptoms of mental or physical stress start to arise. For example, you may notice you’re becoming irritable, angry, or overwhelmed by your thoughts. Similarly, you may experience an increased heart rate, nausea, or tension, to name a few.
It’s helpful to have some relaxation techniques you can turn to during times of stress, anxiety, or overwhelm, such as breathing or mindfulness exercises. Try out different techniques when you’re in a relaxed state to get an idea of what works for you. That way, you’ll know which ones to use when necessary.
Even though you may want to skip your daily exercise, you’ll feel better afterward as it releases serotonin and other ‘feel good’ chemicals into the body. You might want to take your exercise outdoors to improve your mood and get some fresh air while you’re at it.
5. Combine mindfulness with exercise
Moving your body is certainly great for your physical health, but it does wonders for your self-esteem too. It’s also a reminder to appreciate what your body is capable of. More people have been looking into ways to incorporate mindful movement into their daily lives, with increases in searches such as ‘mindful moving’, ‘mindful exercise’, and ‘mindful running’.
Mood improvement, stress relief, and anxiety reduction are some of the many benefits of regular exercise. On top of that, there are benefits to being more mindful with your workouts as well, such as improving endurance and reducing the risk of depression. Mindful running is one example of combining fitness and mindfulness. It involves building a mental connection to your movements by paying attention to how these movements feel. Similarly, you can notice the sounds and smells around you.
Put your health first with Pacific Prime
Which health and wellness trend in 2022 are you most interested in? Regardless of how you choose to prioritize your health and wellbeing, it’s important to cover the basics at the very least. That means securing health insurance so you can access quality medical care whenever you need it, without worrying about out-of-pocket expenses.
With over two decades of industry experience, Pacific Prime has the knowledge and expertise to help you find the ideal plan for your needs and budget, including international health insurance, expat health insurance, and more. By working with a reputable insurance broker, you’ll get access to value-added services such as claims filing assistance and impartial expert advice at no additional cost.