After a year that will certainly go down in history, 2020 will soon be coming to a close. So, what’s in store for 2021? Following are my thoughts and predictions on four wellness trends for the new year.
A hybrid of virtual and in-person fitness could become the norm. As gyms and fitness, yoga and dance studios continue to open and close, offer classes and equipment use at limited capacities, head outdoors wherever and whenever possible and adhere to other ever-changing policies, virtual workouts will continue to be an extremely important resource.
During the last nine months of quarantine, many people have become accustomed to exercising in the comfort of their own homes using fitness apps, online videos, home equipment and livestream workout classes.
While virtual workouts may not be as social as attending in-person classes or working out with others at the gym, many logistical conveniences come from being able to just get dressed and log on without having to commute and to already be home to shower and get ready for the work day immediately following a workout. Therefore, many fitness companies and professionals will likely provide both virtual and in-person options, even post-pandemic. And technology will only continue to advance to make this hybrid option work well to meet people’s busy schedules and needs and give them a mix of the social benefits of doing in-person workouts and the efficiency of doing virtual workouts.
Holistic health is becoming a growing area of focus for many people. People’s health and wellness have been at the forefront this year due to the physical health risks around COVID-19 and the mental health risks around being in quarantine and isolated for so long. Life has been far from normal, and this pandemic has impacted how people work, attend school, shop, run errands, socialize, tend to their families and communities, and more.
It has become imperative for people to pay attention to their physical and mental health to survive the current situation and thrive in the future. Getting regular exercise and steps, cooking and eating nutritious foods, managing stress through practicing mindfulness, prioritizing sleep and focusing on work-life balance are critical holistic health tools to protect against burnout and potential medical issues. This area of focus will only continue to increase in importance in 2021 and beyond.
Community is now more important than ever. During a time when there are mandatory shutdowns occurring in major cities and counties across the country, feelings of isolation are inevitable. For this reason, community is key – in virtual form for now and eventually in person as well.
The importance of community will only continue to grow in the new year as vaccines start to become approved and administered and people are able to re-emerge back into society. There will likely be a strong craving for connection, camaraderie and community like never before, so people can feel fulfilled once again by being with family, friends, co-workers, fellow classmates and others.
Public health policies will likely continue to evolve and change. When dealing with a new virus that has been foreign to the human population until late 2019 and early 2020, there will certainly be evolving research studies, findings and conclusions when it comes to public health in 2021 and beyond. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other health, science and medical institutions will be ongoing resources for the evolution of this disease and how we manage and prevent it going forward.
While there’s still so much uncertainty around COVID-19 and the future, hopefully 2021 will be the year where we make huge strides in conquering this disease, creating a new normal and safely stepping back into the world with our health and wellness intact.
Reena Vokoun is founder and CEO of the Los Altos-based Passion Fit, a health, wellness and fitness lifestyle company. Passion Fit livestreams fitness and dance classes via Zoom 9:15-10 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. For more information, visit passionfit.com.