Outdoors, wild swimming and off-line – the hottest health trends for the 2020s
A fresh decade is here, bringing new and revived ways to promote well-being and take care of ourselves. Here are some of the hottest health trends for the next few years.
Nature, our true element. The trend is growing stronger and stronger – we want to be outdoors! Let nature do us good. Find calm and relaxation in the forest, on the mountain and on the sea. We run, hike, bike and go canoeing. The very latest trend is to sleep under the night sky. We are returning to the way of life enjoyed by our ancestors, and it makes us feel well.
In the wake of the climate problems, we stay on home ground and discover everything that our local area and home country have to offer. We bring our sleeping bag and cook over an open fire in the outdoors. A short vacation that brings down the stress level, for sure.
An associated trend is to think of the impact our actions have on the planet. To walk instead of taking the car, to go by train rather than by plane. Refraining from consumption, for the sake of the climate and ones self, is becoming more common. More people see a freedom in not owning so many things and living a more minimalist lifestyle.
The cold water makes us feel alive! Social media shows more and more proud winter swimmers, not afraid to knock a hole in the ice to get into the lake.
Research proves the wild swimmers right. The body benefits from being put out of its equilibrium. When exposed to ice cold water, a stress reaction is triggered in the body. The blood vessels contract, making the blood pressure rise in the central parts of the body. The blood circulates more in the torso than in the limbs. At the same time, stress hormones like adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol are sent out to raise the blood sugar level.
Studies show a lower risk of infection, decreased inflammation and improved stress control. Depression is another area that can be positively affected by winter swimming. The participants in a study felt more energetic and active and experienced an improved self-esteem.
The effects of swimming in cold water are further enhanced in combination with a hot sauna. First, it’s easier to get into the water when the body is already warm. And, with bigger differences in temperatures, the positive effects are emphasized even more.
We are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of disconnecting from the digital world and just living in the present. A slower pace of life that allows us to clear our minds. The trend is to let out our creativity and find the true meaning of being kind to ourselves.
Studies show that on average, we are online nine hours a day – on holiday! The reason is that we want to stay in touch with people at home and update our social media on what we are doing. The future trend will be to spend considerable amounts on holidays that promise a full detox from the digital world. Preferably combined with yoga, meditation and relaxation, aimed at promoting our physical and mental health. Tomorrow’s spa is about a different kind of luxury.
Eating a plant-based diet is becoming a way of life for many. The movie ”The game changers” advocates that a vegan diet gives advantages in performance and is superior to a diet containing animal products. The film has had a huge impact.
Athletes promote this new healthy way of fuelling our bodies. Among them Swedish swimmer and Olympic gold medallist, Sarah Sjöström, testifies about becoming stronger in the gym after having changed her diet. Several nutritionists consider it an exaggeration to claim that performance is increased by a vegan diet and that it lacks scientific proof.
Regardless, many now choose to eat a plant-based diet – for the benefit of personal health and its impact on climate change.