Top 10 wellness trends that changed our way of thinking about exercise and eating this year | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Here are the top wellness trends that changed our approach to health and fitness based on world fitness trends, current research, the latest news, personal experience, and inputs from wellness conferences (online and in-person) I attended this year. 

Digital wellness for health and weight management

I started recommending the use of a pedometer to track the number of steps for my clients two decades ago. Through the years, I have observed impressive improvements in weight management with the latest wearable devices. We used to believe that to lose weight effectively, one should be completing 10,000 steps on a daily basis. Nowadays, we are considering this lot more through using a fitness tracker. Considered the top fitness trend for 2022, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), it ensures a well-balanced approach to weight management such as total calories burned (resting and active calories) for the day, stress level, sleep quality (duration of deep and light sleep, Rapid eye Movement stage or REM) fitness performance and a lot more.

Hybrid fitness

Before the pandemic, people used to rely on face-to-face sessions with personal trainers and group fitness instructors to accomplish their fitness activities for the day. However, there were more session cancellations due to unpredictable work schedules, sudden errands, and traffic. The rise of online fitness training models at home using Zoom and Youtube videos gave everyone more options to make exercise more consistent, convenient, and accessible than ever before. Online training sessions became very convenient for fitness professionals as well. In fact, as of this moment, I still conduct all my exercise and lifestyle fitness coaching sessions online.

Hybrid fitness (combined at-home and in-person studio workouts) offers various options to achieve exercise consistency depending on your schedule, budget, exercise preference, and overall health and wellness goals.

Wellness travel

We used to think of a vacation as a period of total rest and relaxation, away from work and the usual routine. Now, the ultimate pursuit of stronger immune health led us to the idea of active wellness escapes such as walking, doing water sports, outdoor biking, and joining yoga classes even when we are away from home. 

Exercising even while on vacation by doing different fitness activities and sports can condition your mind to avoid overeating and post-vacation blues, making it easier to resume the usual physical activities after coming home from a trip. Most people find it hard to exercise again if they don’t incorporate any form of physical activity while on vacation.

Outdoor workouts

Years ago, most people believed that enrolling in a gym would help them achieve their fitness goals such as; weight loss, muscle building, and an improved sense of well-being. We realized this year (after almost two years of home confinement during the pandemic) that we can also fully enhance our mental and emotional health when the activity is done outdoors, such as walking or running. You can destress from the daily hassles, become fully in touch with nature, and feel that sense of freedom.

This year, more people resumed walking around their villages and parks, joined run and triathlon races again, and explored various hiking spots just a drive away from the city. The integration of home workouts, fitness studios, and outdoor activities happened this year for a more holistic fitness experience.

Healthy and graceful aging

Most people were confined to the idea that older people should take it easy and accept a decline in metabolism and function because of age. The latest studies about health and fitness however show that your body’s age can still be reversed. You can still achieve the best body for your age and genetic makeup if you will really work for it. 

Don’t be hesitant to increase your workout intensity and duration and try other exercises to stimulate your mind and body. Get a health clearance from your doctor. You can still run, do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and try the latest fitness classes as long as your body can handle the physical stress from these workouts.

Hormonal changes due to aging might have caused weight gain, mood fluctuations, and health issues, but changing your way of eating, improving your sleep, and staying active can still effectively balance your hormones. Women should be preparing (food and exercise) for the menopause stage for at least ten years to avoid unwanted signs and symptoms such as the middle age spread, hot flashes, and mood swings.

Gut health and immune system

We used to focus on counting calories and following the latest fad diets to manage weight. The pandemic inspired us to find more ways to strengthen the immune system by choosing quality foods that can keep the gut healthy, making weight loss a bonus.

The goal of healthy eating shifted to effective food absorption rather than calorie counting or food group restriction (avoiding carbs or fats) to get the most needed nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Focus on immune-boosting foods has increased- foods high in fiber (fruit, vegetable, healthy grain, seed, and nut) omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed and fish), and supplements for gut health (probiotics and fish oil).

Managing sugar cravings

Health professionals focused on encouraging the public to eat well-balanced meals consisting of healthy grains (oats, whole grain bread, and brown rice), healthy fats such as olive oil, fish, seeds, and nuts) and good quality protein (lean meat, poultry, egg, seafood, tofu, and beans) to lessen hunger pangs and unnecessary cravings for ultra-processed foods, junk foods, and sweets (cakes, pastries, sweetened beverages, and candies). 

The pandemic resulted in more health and weight issues due to the lack of activity and the availability of food. Blood sugar regulation strategies were given more importance this year (avoiding late-night eating, eating on time, walking after a meal, and practicing more strategies to lessen sugar cravings).

Personalized approach for stress and health management

We used to relate stress management with a calm environment, focusing on breathing, and being away from home to recharge and recover. You need to realize that we respond differently to stress, and you have your own ways of managing it. Exercise can be your best stress management tool, but it can be the opposite for others. This is why a personalized approach to wellness plays a huge role in achieving results.

Intermittent fasting might have worked for your friends, but may not work for you because of your lifestyle, exercise schedule, fitness level, health condition, and genetics. Small and frequent meals might best work for you when it comes to controlling your overall intake. 

Your muscles can respond right away when it comes to lifting, even with a moderate amount of weight, but others might be in need of heavier loads and more recovery periods to build more muscles.

Chronobiology: Giving more importance to the timing of sleep, eating, and exercise

An effective approach to overall wellness goes beyond the amount and quality of food, exercise, and sleep. Studies have confirmed the role of the right timing of meals, sleep and exercise according to your body type while aligning everything with your circadian rhythm (a sleep-wake cycle that repeats every 24 hours) to maximize your performance and improve overall health.

Find the perfect time to exercise when your body is at its strongest, eat meals during the day when you are comfortably hungry, and sleep at the right time when you can get a good amount (7 to 8 hours) of quality sleep (good amount of deep and REM cycles). This will depend on your unique body type, hormones, health condition, and current fitness goals.

Finding balance in wellness by understanding your uniqueness, but involving others in your journey

Finding balance in your life while experiencing happiness is important to sustain a healthy lifestyle. You have your unique way of creating balance in everything that you do. Do not compare yourself with others and stop focusing on the things you can’t have right now. Learn from the past and use your strengths to achieve your goals.

Before the pandemic, you might be used to doing things the usual way with less involvement from others like working out alone or just focusing on your own healthy meals. Now, we realize how social support and how we positively affect the lives of others can play a big role in our wellness endeavors. Now you can exercise with your family at home, you can prepare healthy meals for the whole family, and communicate more with your loved ones on how you support each other to achieve your wellness goals while establishing balance and harmony within the family.


Email the author at or follow/message her on Instagram @mitchfelipemendoza

Header photo from THE 5TH via Unsplash

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