The wellness industry has been evolving at a rapid pace over the last few years and the outbreak of the pandemic has added more fuel to fire. With health and wellness becoming a top priority for people all over the globe, the concept of wellness is gaining broader significance and constantly evolving to meet consumer demands. As per reports by McKinsey, the global wellness industry is presently worth US$1.5 trillion and continues to grow at 5% to 10% every year. With new concepts taking shape, certain trends are expected to disrupt the wellness industry in 2022. Here we take a look at some of the trends which are expected to make a major mark in the forthcoming year.
NUTRITION AND MINDFUL EATING
Food is always a crucial part of overall wellness. However, with the pandemic re-shifting the focus on better nutritional habits, people nowadays not only want their food to taste good but help them achieve their nutritional goals. As per studies, more than a third of the people around the world plan to increase their focus and spending on nutritional food, juice cleanses and diet programs over the coming year.
Another trend that’s taking the world by storm is mindful eating. Mindful eating is more about the attention the sensory awareness of eating instead of being distracted by other things that are happening around. It is also encouraging people to move away from restrictive eating habits while still allowing them to carefully consider the nutritious value of food.
Living through the Covid-19 pandemic has made people more aware of the importance of a strong immune system. Online search trends clearly indicate that immunity and other related areas continue to be hot topics suggesting that the trend is expected to continue further. People have understood the concept that there is no magic to boosting immunity but there are certain practices that can help optimise the immune strength of the body. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting good sleep and less stress are some of the key factors that are getting increasing attention from wellness seekers.
YOGA AND PRANAYAMA
The pandemic and accompanying lockdown measures caused major disruptions in people’s lives. As people were restricted inside their homes, physical and mental well-being suffered a huge blow. However, thanks to the age-old science of yoga and pranayama, people were able to maintain their physical well-being as well as deal with the uncertainties of the pandemic. During the initial lockdown and in its aftermath, an increasing number of people have turned to online yoga classes to regain balance and strength. It shows the growing importance of yoga to post-Covid-19 wellbeing. Breathing techniques like pranayama helped improve the functioning of the respiratory system. Across the world, yoga has come to be recognised as an effective tool to improve health, which, in turn, helps maintain an all-important work-life balance. In the coming years, it is expected that the popularity of yoga and pranayama will rise further and reach every corner of the globe. For those interested in reaping the benefits of yoga, there’s a wide variety of poses to try out. While some require the assistance of practitioners, others are very basic and can be practised with little to no experience.
Adaptogens are the latest superfoods known for their stress-busting properties. Adaptogenics are natural pharmaceuticals; they’re mushroom and herbal extracts that are used to alter the body and mind, whether that’s to boost mood, help sleep, strengthen the immune system or give a burst of energy. Adaptogens have been used for thousands of years in ancient Chinese and Indian medicine, but the west is only just waking up to the natural power of these superfoods.
The pandemic has had a deep impact on nearly every consumer category which has led to new consumer behaviours. There’s been a marked change in how people access wellness in an age defined by the pandemic. With restrictions and lockdowns bringing life to a standstill there was no option left to people but to accept digital wellness. These new behaviours rely on the power of the internet to maintain human connection and interaction. Digital healthcare is taking the centre stage with virtual conferencing and meeting technology more popular than ever. Now it takes only a few seconds to book virtual sessions with nutritionists, personal trainers, physical therapists, mental health professionals and sleep specialists. Digital healthcare will continue to shape the future of wellness and consumer behaviours.
The significance of nature cure and wellness is expected to gain more prominence in the years to come. It’s just not about nutrition or exercises or superfoods but the combination of all these natural therapies that’ll play a crucial role in guiding people towards health and wellness in the foreseeable future. This will remain a priority for millions of people for a long time to come.
The writer is Senior Chairman, Jindal Naturecure Institute.