The global wellness industry is now worth $4.2 trillion with wellness tourism experiencing a 6.5% annual growth; more than double the growth rate for overall tourism. Forecasting the next big trends in wellness travel for 2019, Health and Fitness Travel live up to their reputation as the wellness holiday specialists. From tough and transformative travel, to grief retreats and wellness mumcations, discover the hottest new trends that will influence the wellness travel world in 2019.
Nature Immersion Getaways
With mental health being such a hot topic this past year, and rightly so, finding ways to combat issues such as anxiety, stress and depression has become more important than ever before. The rise of nature immersion getaways is a result of scientific studies into the effects of being outdoors, finding it results in both a reduction in cortisol levels1 (the hormone responsible for stress) and depression2. These wellness trips not only allow you to get some well needed Vitamin D, but provide an opportunity for exploration and discovery, allowing your mind to clear and relax.
Let’s begin with a harsh truth; We may believe we are healthy, yet many of us spend our lives succumbing to peer pressure that encourages life-shortening activities such as consuming alcohol, smoking and eating rubbish. These habits (as well as physical inactivity and air pollution) are the main risk factors for the top 4 major killers in the west: cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes3. Preventative wellness retreats target these risk factors by removing individuals from stimulus-inducing environments and provide them with the tools and skills needed to avoid them.
Active Lifestyle Retreats
Contrary to popular belief, an active lifestyle doesn’t mean running around like a Duracell bunny 24/7; it also doesn’t mean having perfectly chiselled abs and hitting the gym twice a day for #GAINS. An active lifestyle is about making small and sustainable changes to up your daily movement levels, thus reducing your risk of physical inactivity induced diseases. Whilst we’re all aware that we should be a little less sedentary, making lasting changes or even understanding how to change can be difficult. Active lifestyle retreats use transformative wellness experiences to introduce us to activities which we may not have had the confidence to try alone, and provide us with a handy toolbox to change our lifestyle for the better.
As one door closes, another one opens – or so the saying goes, however for lots of people going through a divorce, shutting the first door can be a task much easier said than done. This has led to a trend in people planning wellness holidays following the breakdown of a relationship. The stress and anxiety caused by major life changes like divorce, lead many individuals on a solo wellness trip to tap into the transformative power of travel. Retreats are responding to this growing trend with an array of emotional healing therapies, stress management and life coaching services.
With social media showing life through rose-tinted glasses, it is easy to understand how one could assume that holidays are reserved for celebratory occasions such as honeymoons and anniversaries. Painmoons are revolutionising the way we look at trips abroad and allow individuals going through difficult periods in their lives, to treat their issues in an environment where it’s truly okay to not be okay. Whether it’s the passing of a loved one, a bad break up or a period of depression, painmoons allow you to get the specialist treatment and time away you need to restore happiness and normality.
Tough & Transformative Wellness
Would you rather have spa and relaxation break or activities and adventure holiday? Until recently, you always had to choose, but not anymore! One for the adrenaline junkies, this trend embraces the endorphins you get from activities such as mountain trekking, kayaking and abseiling, utilising it as a tool for transformative self-improvement. If you’ve got a severe case of laziness or absent motivation, these exhilarating wellness experiences will give you the kick you need to get yourself up and at it. For a luxury twist, many hotels offer these excursions combined with a spa and holistic aspect to help you both relax and get to the bottom of any underlying problems you may have.
They say the best things in life come free, but whoever ‘they’ are clearly had never been on a wellness mumcation. Whilst it can be hard to leave the kiddies at home for the first time, according to Child Psychologist Dr Nava Silton, taking a break from domestic and family responsibilities can be beneficial for both you and the children*. For mums, a short wellness break can allow time to recharge batteries and deal with any underlying stresses or anxieties. Whether it’s a girly trip away or a solo adventure, these getaways allow you to rediscover the ‘real you’, the one who existed before the sleepless nights and dirty nappies. As for the children, they are so intuitive that a happier and more relaxed mum can only be a good thing.
MEN-O-PAUSE – there, we said it! Why is it that a completely natural process that has literally been occurring since the beginning of time itself is still such a taboo subject? Fighting the stigma one fabulous women at a time, these retreats also acknowledge there are some unpleasantness surrounding ‘the change’, primarily in the form of the unwanted symptoms that come with it. Whether you’re experiencing mood swings, hot flushes, emotional outbursts, weight gain (or all the above), wellness experts will provide you with relaxation and relief, teaching you important coping mechanisms for when you return home.
The New Middle-aged Man
Forget red Ferraris, questionable tattoos and other mid-life crisis purchases, the new middle-aged man is a ‘life’s half left’ rather than a ‘life’s half done’ kinda guy. Over the past few years there has been a big increase in men aged 50-70 booking wellness holidays, showing the modern man is investing in their health now more than ever. Whilst most wellness resorts once only catered for women, there is now a surplus of male-specific programmes offering anything from anti-ageing to golf and spa. With people living longer and longer, is 60 the new middle age for men?
Everybody knows it’s important to stay healthy whilst pregnant, but have you ever considered how your health affects your chances of conceiving? If you and your partner are beginning the process or have already started trying for a baby, a healthy fertility trip could be just what’s needed to help you conceive. Whilst falling pregnant may happen faster for some couples than others, regardless of how long it takes, being mentally strong and healthy will place you in good stead for conception. Utterly relaxing, these healthy trips help you to naturally increase your fertility by refining nutrition, promoting gentle exercise, improving sleep, reducing stress and achieving your optimum weight.
What’s white, brown, and camouflaged in nearly everything we consume? Unfortunately, this isn’t just the beginning of a bad joke. After a major scandal in the 1960’s involving the sugar industry paying scientists to downplay the role of sugar consumption on illnesses such as heart disease, we are only just cottoning on to the severe risks of having too much in our diets. Sugar detoxes, offered at many high-end spa and wellness resorts not only help to curb cravings, but also give you the savvy to spot hidden sugars in the foods we buy day-to-day. Additionally, these healthy breaks promise to deliver clearer skin, increased energy and a more efficient digestive system; Well…count us in!
An astonishing 35% of Brits* have long-standing sleep problems, with the main disturbances being stress and worry. Unbeknown to many, poor quality sleep can have strange effects on performance, increasing reaction times, injury rates and judgement errors, and decreasing accuracy and speed. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic with a specific goal in mind, or simply exercising for fun, hit the snooze button on sluggish mornings and sub-par performance. Highly specialised wellness retreats around the world are now offering programmes combining a range of holistic treatments and expert sleep tips that are guaranteed to help you reach your optimum well-being and skill.
Aircrafts above us, cars next to us, building sites surrounding us and relentless voices from the media; the modern urbanized world is overflowing with noise pollution that is destructive to our health and well-being. It is therefore no surprise that people long for silence and tranquillity to bring clarity to their lives. Practiced by Buddhists and monks for centuries, periods of silence help to establish long-term improvements in both mental clarity and mindfulness, allowing you to rid yourself of dark thoughts and negativity. Silent retreats not only allow you to experience such effects but provide a nomadic opportunity to start your journey to a calmer, peaceful you.
Top Destination: Shreyas Silent Retreat
*Global Wellness Institute
1 Natural environments, nature relatedness and the ecological theatre: Connecting satellites and sequencing to Shinrin-yoku, 2010, Journal of Physiological Anthropology
2 Ecotherapy, 2007, Mind
3 World Health Organisation
4 The Sleep Council – The Great British Bedtime Report
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