From trail running to obstacle courses and long-distance mountain bike races, the beautiful South African outdoors is where it’s at

These days, health isn’t just something we focus on in January as we chase New Year’s Resolutions. Health and wellness have been a growing global phenomenon now for years, and this mega trend is not going anywhere. Rather, it’s having an impact on many other aspects of our lives, from how we work, to what we eat, to how we travel (and more).

With that in mind, here are five wellness trends that Fedhealth says you should watch out for in 2018:

The Great Outdoors

Diane Teles is a physiotherapist and strength and conditioning coach based in Johannesburg and she says that outdoor fitness events are booming. “From trail running to obstacle courses and long-distance mountain bike races, the beautiful South African outdoors is where it’s at!” comments Teles. People are forgoing the sanitary conditions of the air-conditioned gym and choosing instead to get out into the nature that surrounds them.

DNA Testing

People love products or services that are customisable and this latest trend is already growing in popularity in the US. We all know that we’re unique but do you know what sort of exercise suits your unique body best? Are you a natural marathon runner or more of a weight lifter? By taking an “at home” DNA test, you can have your genetic make-up analysed so you can see the best exercise for your unique body shape and genes.

It’s as simple as swabbing the inside of your cheek, registering your sample online, posting it off to the lab and then waiting for the results. As with all things, do your research, read the reviews and use an accredited company if you’d like to go this route.

High Tech Sleeping

We all want better sleep but few of us are getting it. That’s according to sleep scientist Matthew Walker, who says we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation epidemic, and that it’s affecting our health, globally. 

Technology is at fault for much of this, but it could also be our saviour. Imagine smart beds and pillows, new apps that track how many times you turn over each night and even temperature regulating pyjamas. We’re so desperate for more zzz’s that we’ll try anything.

The Meat of the Matter

More affluent members of society are increasingly choosing to forego commodity meat bought at the supermarket, and instead trying to source ethically raised meat where they know the source. Instead of becoming a vegetarian or vegan (another growing trend), some consumers are choosing to consume meat less often, but pay more for meat of a better quality. 

Another trend linked to this, is the rise in popularity of plant based proteins such as legumes and pulses, which consumers are using to replace meals which may have formerly been focused around meat.

Minimising Waste

Nose-to-tail eating has been on the rise internationally for a while now, but the arrival of restaurants such as La Tete in Cape Town, signal a significant shift in thinking for South African restaurant goers. By eating the entire animal, from pig’s tails to chicken hearts – consumers are choosing to minimise food waste by playing their small part. 

Linked to this concept is root-to-leaf eating, eating the entire vegetable or fruit: think snipping carrots greens into your salads, adding cauliflower leaves into soups or making a coleslaw using broccoli stems.