10 Top Health and Wellness Trends of 2017

Woman at the gym.
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What's new in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.

Step aside, green tea. You’re so 15 minutes ago, paleo. Sorry, kale. There are some new health and wellness trends taking center stage this year. If you know what “athleisure” means (or you are wearing fractal-patterned leggings as you read this), you probably already know some of this year’s trends.

We’ve reached out to experts to get the skinny (pun intended) and find out which fun or befuddling health practices will be coming our way this year.

1. Make time for recovery

More people are taking muscle recovery seriously after hard workouts, says national fitness trainer and founder of Get Healthy U Chris Freytag. “Baby boomers still love to work out, but I think people are doing things like foam rolling, more yoga, acupuncture and cupping (an ancient practice of using bamboo or glass suction jars to enhance circulation and relieve pain). People are choosing more natural ways to take care of their muscles after a hard workout rather than taking an anti-inflammatory,” she says.

2. The new happy hour

MocktailsGoing sans-alcohol is the new cool. Look for more bars and restaurants that feature fun, healthy “mocktails”—cocktail-like beverages made with fresh seasonal ingredients but minus any alcohol. More people are touting the health benefits of living permanently on the wagon and this is leading to social gatherings with a focus on connections over cocktails. Some of the health benefits in addition to no hangover? Abstaining from alcohol can mean improved mental clarity, less body fat, a better mood, enhanced quality of sleep and improved relationships. If that doesn’t make you want to put down your glass of red wine, we found this compelling: Some experts say your life’s purpose can sometimes be masked by even moderate alcohol consumption. Going dry may be the new non-smoking.

3. Fitness anytime, anywhere

“In today’s world, where everyone is time-starved, health-conscious, individuals sometimes struggle to be as active as they’d like to be,” says Chuck Runyon, CEO and founder of Anytime Fitness, “our job as fitness facilitators is to help others lead healthier, more active lives whenever they can find the time—be it in the gym, at work, at home or while running errands.” Like other mobile workout businesses, Anytime Fitness has become less gym-centric, working to meet clients where they are. “We’ve also learned a great deal from millennials and that’s why we’re using multiple social media platforms, and a new mobile app, to coach and connect with our members. Imagine providing each of your customers with a personal wellness coach in his or her pocket.  That’s precisely what we’re aiming to do.”

4. A hot mug of bone broth

While kombucha was last year’s magic elixir, bone broth, packed with minerals, is the healing tonic of choice in 2017. Mark Sisson, the author of the book The Primal Blueprint, calls bone broth an original superfood. The suggested health benefits are myriad: improved immunity, better sleep, improvement for a leaky gut, increased energy and a more youthful appearance. Mark writes, “A bone broth habit may allow you to enjoy the benefits of a diet rich in animal protein—good body composition, superior recovery from training, strong bones, overall robustness—while avoiding the downsides.” Where do you get this primal concoction? Look for bone broth bars, order it online or make it at home by roasting animal bones—beef, turkey or chicken—overnight with veggies. Enjoy a mug of the broth served hot.

5. Unplug using technology

Meditation AppYes, tech can help us chill out. Start by downloading and using some of the great meditation apps available, such as Calm, Buddhify and Headspace. There are apps that remind you to breathe  and whole gadgets made just to monitor your vitals for stress, such as the WellBe. “People are stressed and becoming more educated on the benefits of deep breathing and meditation even if just for a few minutes during the work day,” Chris Freytag says. Yes, our amazing, addictive devices have become a huge cause of stress and anxiety. Why not also let them help solve the same problem?

6. Veg out and get your protein

Old school eating meant meat was the center of your meal and your main protein source. Modern nutrition is all about getting protein from plants. “Plant-based diets are becoming more common,” says Hillary Goldrich, a registered dietitian based out of Asheville, North Carolina. “Eating plant-based meals can improve inflammation, heart health, cholesterol and weight,” Hillary says. “Seeds such as chia, hemp and flax that provide omega-3 fats have become pantry staples. Protein-rich grains such as quinoa, amaranth, sorghum and teff are more accessible. Nuts, beans and avocados provide fiber, healthy fat and protein. Add these healthier proteins to a colorful array of vegetables and fruits, throw in some spices and herbs and you get a flavorful, well-rounded meal.” Meatless Monday may extend further into the week!

7. Don’t toss out the ugly apple

Ugly produce needs love too. Social awareness regarding food waste is moving to the forefront, Hillary says. NPR reported that there was enough food waste last year in the United States to fill 44 skyscrapers. “People are seeking ways, on small and large scales, to reduce food waste and repurpose foods,” Hillary says. There’s a movement to love ugly produce and grocery stores are getting in on the love. You should be able to find some bruised and misfit fruit and veggies at Whole Foods and Walmart stores this year. Don’t judge a veggie by its looks. By buying them, you're helping ease the landfills and save the planet!

8. Health meals delivered 

Want to whip up some butternut squash agnolotti for the family? Order up your meals and just follow the prep and cooking instructions. “Home cooking has seen a surge and continues to be on trend with the meal delivery service market growing,” Hillary says. “The ease of making a healthy, complete meal in conjunction with pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions make these services overwhelmingly appealing. The competition seems to be keeping costs reasonable.” Hello Fresh, Plated and Blue Apron are some of the most popular meal delivery options.

9. Mindfulness is ever-present

Mindfulness remains a focal point of yoga and meditation, but is now increasingly available as an immersive multisensory experience at wellness centers around the country. These spas aim to heighten your senses and increase mindfulness using sound healing, visualization techniques and aromatherapy. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental in Boston, for example, launched a multisensory experience this year designed to “restore health and a sense of well-being,” including sound therapy inspired by the ancient healing art of Himalayan singing bowls. Enjoy vibrations and harmonious tones meant to restore balance and energy. Mindfulness vacations and Zen retreats, once niche escapes for Buddhists and seekers, are also becoming more mainstream. 

10. Gym clothes at work?

Last year “athleisure” went from being a momentary trend to a lifestyle. Now it’s common to see people wearing fashionable and comfortable workout wear not only outside the gym (at the supermarket, in line at Starbucks), but also crossing over to the final frontier: the workplace. Athleisure is coming to cubicles and offices across the country. More of us are leading active lives and don’t have time to change shoes once we get to the office, let alone entire outfits as we dash to appointments or head to yoga class after work. “Business casual” is about to look—and feel—a whole lot more comfortable. Just think, soon you might be able to wear the same outfit in the office as you do to morning boot camp. “Workleisure” may be the new casual Friday.

What new health and wellness trends are you seeing? We’d love to hear from you! Talk to us in the Comments section, below, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Read more: 8 Surprising Happiness Perks You Get From Exercise.

Listen to our podcast Mindfulness is Pure Awareness With Meditation Ex Jon Kabat-Zinn.


Sandra Bilbray is a contributing Editor to Live Happy and the founder and CEO of TheMediaConcierge.net.