• January 23, 2020

STONE: Wellness trends for 2020 to live by - Odessa American: Levi Stone

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STONE: Wellness trends for 2020 to live by

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2020 4:30 am

Transitioning into a new year lends a period of self-reflection, evaluating prior year’s goals of either being reached, missed, or put aside altogether.  Whether it’s setting new goals or adjusting old ones, the benchmarks we often set for ourselves are health and wellness related.

Unfortunately, much of the preparation in setting such goals is based on unrealistic expectations, set to even more improbable timelines to accomplish.  In this “got to have it now” and “immediate results” world we live in, the majority of people’s health and wellness plans die well before the first sight of St. Valentine’s Day candies hit store shelves. 

With a new year comes a laundry list of fresh wellness trends as well.  While most are complete marketing ploys to part ways with your hard-earned money, some are actually worth jumping onto.  Determining what is hip, which to skip, or give it a rip can be tricky and even downright confusing.  Using the power of research and a bit of skepticism, let’s cite 5 of the 2020 wellness trends in helping guide you toward finally crushing your health and wellness goals.

Wellness Trend No. 1: Plant Based Diets

Going plant based can yield significant benefits to overall health, particularly in the managing diabetes and lowering the risk of Type II diabetes. While the definition of “plant based” can vary between others, the mindset is sticking to a diet that is all or mostly consisting of foods derived from plants such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes. 

However, just because a certain type of food is “plant based” doesn’t mean it’s a healthy alternative. Take for instance Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. At 630 calories, 34 grams of fat, 58 grams of carbohydrates and whopping 1080 mg of sodium (pun intended) this fare is nothing more than plant-based junk food.  The best way to maximize the benefits of plant based diets is by sticking to whole foods that haven’t been overly processed to the point of being unrecognizable.

Wellness Trend No. 2: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT workouts have emerged as a very popular choice over the past few years and it’s showing no signs of slowing down into 2020 and beyond. By incorporating periods of intense cardio exercise with shorter resting periods it improves overall body conditioning and glucose metabolism. 

Adding strength specific movements into your HIIT sessions yields even greater benefits by increasing core and muscular development. The great thing about HIIT programs is it takes only 30 minutes to 1 hour a day to complete. 

Workouts involve multiple movements, targeting the entire body, and are different from one day to the next. This helps eliminate the boredom some experience with traditional gyms or exercise routines. Bottom line, forgo the cheap $10 a month membership type gyms and splurge on a gym that offers certified staff who actually work with you to execute movements properly, safely, and within your activity level.

Wellness Trend No. 3: Telemedicine

We use apps on our phones for so many things; food delivery, ride sharing, and even managing utilities remotely from our homes. Why not use this convenience to manage your health as well?  In our busy world, time is a valuable commodity. 

Scheduling doctor appointments, reading old magazines in the waiting area before finally seeing your provider, and taking the time to drive back and forth may be a thing of the past.  Telemedicine provides a way to use our modern technology in seeing a primary care provider and to proactively manage your health. 

Patients, especially men, often let barriers such as embarrassment and inconvenience keep them from seeing a physician. 

Telemedicine helps eliminate these issues, by providing consultation, evaluations, and even prescribing treatments from the comfort of the patient’s home. 

A word to the wise though, prior to using a telemedicine program check first with your insurance provider to make sure it’s covered under your policy.

Wellness Trend No. 4: Digital Detoxification

Unplug and unwind are words to live by, yet we struggle to put out phones away and dedicate time to ourselves, friends, and loved ones.  Our current digital world is creating an introversion movement in which people are inept to carry out face-to-face social interaction.  Set one of your 2020 goals to reduce time spent on smartphones and other digital devices that otherwise are keeping your bum on the coach or bed, rather than getting outside, exercising, or nurturing relationships with those that really matter.

Wellness Trend No. 5: Mocktails over Cocktails

Data from the Texas Comptroller’s Office confirmed Odessans and Midlanders love their alcoholic beverages. 

In fact, beer, wine, and liquor sales increased by more than $8 million from the prior year.  Alcohol sales were around $125 million overall between the two cities, suggesting consumption extends far beyond the 1 to 2 drinks per day practices often cited by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  Aside from damaging the liver, alcohol abuse increasing one’s risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.  Judging by the weekly alcohol sales reports from local media outlets it’s time for many west Texans to swap cocktails for mocktails.

Usher in not only a new year, but a new decade by making your health and wellness goals set to living life to its fullest.

Odessa, TX

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