Well folks, we’ve (almost) made it through another year. And with the turning over of a new leaf comes, you guessed it, new trends. For the sake of this article we’re going to focus on wellness trends, because there are some *really* good ones to look forward to. From adaptogenic drinks to an emphasis on immune health, here are five wellness trends we’re willing to bet will be everywhere come 2022.
I’m a Wellness Editor and I Predict These 5 Wellness Trends Will Be Everywhere in 2022
1. Immune Health
Nearly two years into a global pandemic, many of us are more aware than ever of the importance of building and nurturing a strong immune system. It’s important to note, though, that the term “immune-boosting” is often misconstrued. Rand McClain, M.D., who tells us, “One’s immune system is developed mainly during the earliest part of life, starting with immunity conferred by mother to child during the third trimester of pregnancy and later through breast milk and challenges to the adaptive immune system into adulthood through which the body fights and learns (read ‘strengthens’) throughout the remainder of life.” He adds, “The idea that we can take a Chevy and turn it into a Ferrari is not possible…yet.” But while we might not be able to overhaul our immune system, Dr. McClain stresses that it can certainly be assisted by eating healthfully, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding stress (as much as possible) and even taking care of our gut health.
2. Sexual Wellness
Did you know that, according to BusinessWire, the global sexual wellness market is expected to reach $125 billion (yes, billion with a b) by 2026? In 2022, there’s more to sex than just, you know, doin’ it. Sexual wellness—self-pleasure, in particular—will continue to be seen as a form of self-care this coming year. In fact, per a summer 2020 report by pleasure product brand Tenga, 84 percent of Americans now recognize masturbation as a form of self-care (compared to 44 percent in 2016). So go ahead and order that sex toy you’ve been eyeing and treat yourself to a little extra self-loving.
3. Adaptogenic Drinks
You’ve likely noticed an increase in non-alcoholic drinks meant to aid in a California Sober lifestyle or just in an attempt to curb excess drinking. In fact, the IWSR (the leading source of data, analysis and insights on the global beverage alcohol market) predicts that sales of no/low alcoholic beverages will increase by 31 percent in volume by 2024. In 2022, expect these drinks to go one step further with adaptogenic ingredients. “Adaptogens are basically a group of plants that you take over a long period of time in order to help your body adapt to stress and other ailments,” says nutritionist Chelsea Williams. And while these herbs, roots and mushrooms are definitely having a moment, they’ve actually been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. But it’s important to know, they don’t eliminate stress. Instead, adaptogens help you cope with stressful circumstances by regulating hormones. Some of the most common ones include ashwagandha, ginseng, holy basil and maca, which you can find in delicious drinks from Vybes, Recess, Sunwink and Kin Euphorics, which recently relaunched with Bella Hadid as co-founder.
4. Outdoor Fitness
With new COVID variants popping up (looking at you, omicron), some folks continue to be wary of crowded gyms and indoor fitness classes. Enter hiking. According to data from the Outdoor Industry Association, looking at April, May and June of 2020 versus the same period in 2019, unweighted participation rates for day hiking rose more than any other activity measured, up 8.4 percentage points. If you’re looking for trails near you, the American Hiking Society has a handy tool for finding the best local options.
Here’s a trend straight from the experts from Whole Foods Market’s Trends Council’s seventh annual Top 10 Food Trends list. It’s all about reducing the impact we have on the planet by being more mindful of the types of foods we’re eating. If you’re a plant-curious eater who isn’t ready to give up meat entirely, reducetarianism could be right for you. It basically means reducing your consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely. When animal products are on the menu, make them count and opt for premium grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs.