Ice baths, breathwork and connecting to the Earth — experts reveal the wellness trends to expect this year.
In the ever-evolving landscape of health and fitness, industry experts predict 2024 will usher in a wave of innovative trends aimed at enhancing our overall wellbeing and recovery.
New recovery methods
Wellness expert Alice Liveing foresees a movement of incorporating recovery methods into our daily fitness routines. “Recovery has become far more mainstream over the last few years,” she says. “As we begin to have more research into the importance of it on the specific training we’re doing and, more importantly, on our overall wellbeing, I think 2024 will see the rise of more structured implementations of ‘recovery methods’.” Think ice baths, mobility sequences, breathwork, and good quality sleep. “I predict all of these will continue to grow in popularity and I’m absolutely here for the shift from a ‘no days off’ attitude, to one that actually takes into account the importance of rest and recovery on our bodies,” Liveing says.
Nutritionist and wellness expert Maz Packham predicts that intermittent fasting will continue to gain traction in 2024. Intermittent fasting involves the strategic timing of meals, with the 12-hour fast being particularly popular. This method promotes weight loss by allowing the body to access and convert fat stores into energy.
“There’s also research to suggest that fasting can positively influence the gut microbiome, support the production of healthy bacteria in the gut and help to reduce inflammation,” says Packham. “The body enters a more relaxed state when fasting, which can also help with high blood pressure. But do note that intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone, including those who are pregnant or have type 1 diabetes.”
TV presenter and women’s health advocate Cherry Healey champions the simplicity and accessibility of grounding — a wellness hack that involves connecting with nature. According to Healey, it’s more than just a trend; it’s a connection with the Earth’s natural electric charge that can help reduce inflammation and stress, potentially improve blood flow and enhance sleep quality.
“I was immediately drawn to this wellness hack because it’s simply about being connected to nature,” she says. “Plus, it’s accessible for all and it’s completely free. What’s not to love?” Despite initial challenges with British weather after connecting her bare feet with the Earth, Cherry reports feeling present and balanced for the rest of the day. “I think this has huge potential to be an amazingly easy way to add some daily peace and balance into your life but, for me, this is absolutely and entirely a summer activity.”
Bespoke doctor-led wellness
Sophie Woodward, founder of W-Wellness, observes a significant shift in people seeking medical advice from wellness experts. Recognising the overwhelming amount of information in the wellness industry, she created W-Wellness, offering access to leading health experts, comprehensive guidance, and a curated selection of nutritional supplements and wellness products. “Our aim is to redefine the way consumers are able to shop in the wellness sector,” she says. “Feeling well and being the best version of yourself should not be something left to trial and error. W-Wellness will take the guesswork out of this journey and create what we believe will be the true home of wellness.”
Read more: Inside London’s ‘molecular wellness’ clinic
Reformer Pilates is here to stay
“I’ve seen a huge rise in demand for my reformer Pilates classes in recent months, and there are a whole host of celebrities out there taking part in the exercise,” says Nathalie Hayward of Kokua Fit. “Reformer Pilates differs from regular Pilates as it involves using a reformer machine called a carriage, which adds resistance, providing a more challenging workout.” Nathalie highlights the holistic benefits of reformer Pilates, including improved mobility, flexibility, balance, strength and overall body alignment. “It also incorporates breathwork, which can reduce stress and anxiety, and promotes relaxation,” she says.