Published: February 19, 2021
2021 continues to challenge us, but as we wrap up the second month of the year, we are focusing our eyes to the future!
As a health coach, it’s imperative that you know about the current health and wellness trends, whether you are established in your business or just getting started. Successful health coaches spend time keeping up with the latest news and developments in their field. Staying informed on trends is important to help you build credibility and value as a coach, demonstrating that you know where your field is heading in the future. We are highlighting our top 4 health and wellness trends to apply to your practice, your coaching career, or even your own personal health!
1- Virtual Wellness
Online, at-home wellness has been on the rise since 2020, so it is no surprise that the trend is not going anywhere in 2021! With more and more companies now offering virtual wellness programs, services are much more accessible, especially for those who may live in areas where certain classes or practices aren’t offered. For almost a year, people have become comfortable doing virtual health coaching, fitness classes, and meditations at home. We are seeing this shift as a permanent behavioral and cultural change.
In the health coaching world, the rise of telehealth is the main game-changer for how we will deliver care in 2021. For the last 3 years, telehealth has remained underutilized in most markets, largely due to policies that limited reimbursement for telehealth services. But, with the rise of chronic diseases, long-term pain, and more, the need for alternative healthcare practitioners and health coaches in telehealth is growing now more than ever.
Telehealth will now allow doctors and nurse practitioners to pay for additional health professionals—such as health coaches, dietitians, and medical assistants—to help manage patients with chronic issues and to promote healthier lifestyles. Health coaches are being looked at as an essential part of the team. We are now seeing more medical practices offer virtual Collaborative Care Model and Patient-Centered Medical Home Monitoring services, meaning more opportunities for a health coach to get in the business of helping patients create lasting behavioral change.
2- Self-Care & Mental Wellness
After a year filled with personal trauma and economic stress, our mental health is highly vulnerable. It’s crucial to take action to protect yourself and your mental health by building psychological immunity and resiliency.
Self-care looks different for different people—not everyone is able to take a mental health day from work or see a therapist, for instance. You may notice a renewed interest in self-care practices, and more spiritual practices, from guided breathing to meditations, manifestation, or traditional religious activities. Now more than ever, it’s important to assess how to support and improve mental health for ourselves and others.
Another self-care trend in 2021 that is not going anywhere is biohacking. Biohacking is essentially making micro, incremental changes customized to your body for overall health and wellbeing. This is typically done after monitoring your biomeasures by using fitness trackers to look at pulse rate, heart rate, stress rate, gut, and microbiome health. Many are taking this a step further and testing for possible allergens, genetic triggers, and susceptibilities. At the Global Wellness Summit 2020, biohacking was one of the top wellness trend predictions for 2021. Experts at the summit are predicting that we will see even more customized immunity hacks, using genetic testing and biohacking to pinpoint what immune therapies best suit your system and situation.
3- Respiratory Wellness
Early in the pandemic, there was a lot of attention being paid to surface cleanliness—remember when hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes were in short supply?! Toxins in the air became a big mainstream topic in 2020, and will stay one in 2021.
According to industry analysis, the global 9.55 billion USD air purifier market took an exponential growth rate of 12.6% in 2020 and is expected to surpass 24.62 billion USD by 2027. Whether we’re talking about air filters, air cleaners, or air purifiers—the revelation that COVID-19 is airborne across the board turned our attention to air purification measures. The Global View Report noted several factors attributed to this growth, such as rising health concerns, deteriorating indoor air quality, changing lifestyle preferences, and increasing awareness among consumers regarding the advantages associated with air purifiers. Earlier, the demand for air purifiers was primarily driven by consumers suffering from respiratory disorders. However, there has been a rise in the demand for air purifiers on account of the growing number of health-conscious consumers.
Another reason respiratory wellness is trending: Studies are finding that COVID-19 can cause lung complications, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Cough and shortness of breath are among the most common symptoms for the virus, and may stick around for weeks or even months after recovery. It’s no wonder people are more concerned than ever with air quality.
4- Eating for Immunity
Functional Medicine focuses on the principle that food IS medicine, so naturally, nutrition is a critical factor in the Functional Medicine approach to immunity. We’ve seen how incorporating different foods in your diet can support your mental health and immunity during the pandemic. These healthy food trends are here to stay:
- Eat the rainbow, because every color of food contains different phytonutrients that our bodies need to thrive. Phytonutrient-rich foods boost your body’s reserves of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. From red tomatoes to purple grapes, try to eat a little bit of every color, every day.
- Add dietary fiber, preferably from whole, plant-based foods like avocados, apples, and broccoli. These can boost your body’s production of anti-inflammatory proteins.
- Try fermented vegetables or other probiotic-containing foods to help reinforce the immune system and improve gut barrier functions. Don’t be scared of a little fermentation – your body will love you for it!
- Avoid immune offenders that can stifle your immune response, like added sugars, excessive salt, processed carbohydrates, and saturated fats.
- Eat seasonally, studies show fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when they’re allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant. When you buy seasonal food grown in your area, you’re purchasing that food’s peak nutritional value and availability to the market—so eat fresh, and eat local!
While we’re hoping that life normalizes in 2021, these trends will continue to shape our field in the future. We’re excited for the possibilities these trends hold for stronger communication, better support, and improved long-term health and wellness. We look forward to seeing how health coaches can incorporate these trends into their practice, and their lives!
To learn more about becoming a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, download our free Info Packet!