December 31, 2019
As we all ring in the New Year, many of us will be making resolutions for healthier living. Whether it involves losing weight, exercising more or finally getting around to scheduling those doctors' appointments, health and wellness issues will continue to be a priority in 2020.
To help you start out the new year right, here are eight of the biggest health trends expected in 2020:
Running in road races hasn't been as popular as it was in its heyday in 2013, but that is about to change, according to Alex Hutchinson, Outside Sweat Science columnist and author of "Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance." He predicts the number of people signing up for road races in the U.S., which dropped to 18.1 million in 2018 from 19 million in 2013, will spike this year, not only from new runners but also from those returning to racing after hanging up their running shoes.
Expect more people to equip their homes with high-tech exercise equipment. Andy Petranek, co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, says more people will choose to work out with virtual training programs like Mirror and Tonal than sign up for a gym membership.
Cauliflower has been getting the star treatment in the world of healthy eating for a while, but 2020 might be the year of the sweet potato, according to experts. Despite most people associating it with holiday meals, it is actually one of the most nutritious vegetables and a good source of vitamins A, B and C.
While vegan and vegetarian options have come a long way, even more plant-based products are expected to hit the market in 2020, including seafood alternatives such as Tuno made from soy protein and seaweed and oat-based drinks from Chobani.
Artificial intelligence technology already is helping patients better manage their health (think wearable devices) and aiding doctors in interpreting test results, Dr. Felix Matthews, a managing director and physician leader at Deloitte tells HealthTech. But he says there is still plenty of room for growth.
"Right now, artificial intelligence is mostly individual companies with one variable and one AI algorithm solving one problem," he says. "What I believe we will see in the next year or two is algorithms that interpret multiple data sources at the same time from different variables. Once you've got that, the sky is the limit."
Not only will more health systems be providing telehealth services, but Matthews also predicts more patients will be willing to use it as they realize the benefits of not having to worry about physically getting into the office.
"I think FaceTime and Google Chat have really opened people's willingness to do remote things; you're comfortable talking with your grandmother over Skype, so you also understand this is a normal type of communication you can have with the clinician," he says.
Fitness experts predict that many people will continue to prefer to work out in small groups. Marie Urban, a personal trainer and regional group training coordinator at LifeTime, predicts that personal connections along the fitness journey still will be important.
"Working out with a group of friends is not only impactful for yourself but for others as well," she explains to SheKnows. "Working out and fitness breaks down natural barriers and gets people to feel more comfortable and confident with one another."
Francheska Martinez, an Austin, Texas-based fitness and movement trainer, expects that in the coming year more training programs are going to focus on recovery. She explains that "if you train at a high capacity for weeks on end without proper rest and recovery, your returns diminish and you're increasing your risk for injury."
Megan Roup, creator of The Sculpt Society, also tells InStyle that we will be seeing even more recovery products and services like compression boots, cryotherapy and recovery IVs, as well as fitness studios that focus on recovery.