5 wellness trend predictions to inspire your 2024 goals
Sometimes it feels like health trends move faster than a toddler you just took your eyes off. You catch wind of the current zeitgeist — what the heck even is mouth taping?!? — and you wonder when looking after yourself got even more complex.
“Health is a constantly-evolving landscape.” explains Ro Huntriss, SIMPLE’s Chief Nutrition Officer. “There’s always something new happening.”
So, do you need to be on the cutting edge to live a healthy life?
“Of course not,” says Ro. “Many of the trends you see are just fads. But knowing what’s hot — and what’s not — can inspire you to think about health and well-being from fresh angles.”
Come with us as we rub our crystal ball and explore our Science team’s wellness predictions for 2024.
#1. Looking beyond the scale
Hey, bathroom scales! Get ready to move over, because in 2024, we’re ditching weight as the sole focus of our health improvement efforts to focus more on all the other, every-bit-as-important-if-not-more-so aspects of our health.
At SIMPLE, we’re here for all the health goals you come to us to achieve. If weight loss is important to you, we get it. As a goal, it’s often emotionally complex, tangled up in our history, and hard to shake (society’s beauty standards sure don’t make it any easier).
But it’s high time we put body weight — and BMI — into context.
Body Mass Index (BMI) has long been used as a proxy for health, but it’s now well accepted that a higher BMI doesn’t necessarily mean poor health, just as a lower BMI doesn’t necessarily mean better health. BMI is a single indicator that doesn’t tell even close to the full story of our health status, which is far too complex to reduce to a simple ratio of weight:height.
Add how fatphobia and weight stigma hinder rather than help people to improve their health and it’s clear that to achieve better health outcomes — and to create a more inclusive, caring society — we need to decenter weight loss as the main purpose of living a healthy lifestyle.
Our 2024 prediction
We’re currently seeing restrictive diets drop in popularity, and a growing desire for sustainable habits that support our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
In 2024, we’ll embrace health and well-being as a multi-faceted mix of factors and move away from chasing the scale number as if it’s the only thing that matters. As long-standing members of #TeamSelfCare, we couldn’t be more excited by this shift. We’re all in to keep driving this trend with innovations and new features in the SIMPLE app.
#2. Eating for planet health
We hear a lot of talk about the impact ultra-processed foods (UPFs) like candy, cookies, soda, etc., can have on our health. Now, the environmental impact of UPFs is coming under the spotlight too.
A recent research review found that UPFs contribute more than other food groups to greenhouse gas emissions, contribute significantly to food and packaging waste, and account for 36–45% of total diet-related biodiversity loss. UPF production is also linked to many other environmental harms, including:
- land degradation
- destruction of ecosystems and wild habitats
- clearing hundreds of thousands of hectares of rainforest
- pesticide poisoning
- soil erosion
Our 2024 prediction
As plant-based foods also have a lower environmental impact than animal-based ones, it’s clear that eating in a more planet-friendly way means both embracing plants and eating fewer UPFs. In 2024, we’ll find new ways of creating healthy, environmentally-sustainable diets. If the health of the planet matters to you as well as your own health, getting plant-curious and eating more whole foods is a trend well worth pursuing.
#3. Embracing period positivity
Period positivity is growing. We love to see it!
Conversations around periods are becoming more mainstream, putting menstrual health on the global agenda and reducing negative stigmas. The language and imagery around period care is shifting too — rejecting shame and embarrassment and embracing menstruation as the natural, healthy part of life it is. (It’s about time, huh.)
Research in this area is growing and driving creative solutions in period products and clothing — like environmentally-friendly tampons and reusable period underwear — and practical ways you can support mental and physical health throughout your cycle, like these five mindful things from our sister app, Flo.
Our 2024 prediction
Empowering women, girls, and all those who menstruate to understand, openly discuss, and feel good about their bodies’ needs is something we wholeheartedly support. So, 2024, we’re expecting great things in this arena — and we’re confident our colleagues over at the Flo app will be leading the charge!
If you haven’t already experienced why Flo is the most popular female health app worldwide, make 2024 the year you check them out.
#4. Soothing stress with self-care
Our mental health is under mounting pressure.
With the pandemic only just in the rearview mirror; 2023’s heavy layoffs, job insecurity, and financial pressures; plus information overload from our constantly-connected digital habits, stress is showing no signs of slowing.
In response, we’re taking more proactive control over our well-being.
Practices like sound baths, somatic healing, and digital detoxes continue to rise in popularity, as more of us seek to get out of our heads and into our bodies to find balance. And technology (because not all screen-time is stressful) is advancing to support our peace-promoting habits with innovations like wearables that track our vitals and provide real-time stress data.
Our 2024 prediction
In 2024, we’ll tackle our ever-growing list of stressors with increasing determination to support mental health and avoid burnout.
High on the list of up-and-coming self-care strategies will be sleep. It’s always been there, but in 2024, it’ll finally receive the attention it has long deserved. Sleep is A1 at improving emotional well-being (as you’ll know if you’ve ever had one of those days where you alternate between crying and punching things for no reason other than you’re somewhat sleep deprived).
Soothing stress through self-care is a trend that SIMPLE is well tuned into. Join us in 2024 if you want to become more stress-savvy — and feel a whole lot better for it.
#5. Harnessing AI for health
However you feel about AI, it’s here to stay and getting all up in everybody’s business, even healthcare. In our opinion, this is a good thing. (Yes! Believe!)
AI and robotics have massive potential for positively transforming health services. In fact, AI is already used widely by the UK National Health Service (NHS) for analyzing test results, making diagnosis quicker, and supporting patients to monitor their conditions.
By analyzing our needs, preferences, and progress — and using that data to optimize our experience — AI can help us to have more satisfying and productive health practices.
It can provide real-time feedback and personalized recommendations across many areas of health — meditation practices, fitness plans, nutritional guidance, stress management, sleep routines, and so on. This gives us a unique opportunity to make faster progress without the hefty price tag often associated with 1:1 coaching.
Our 2024 prediction
In 2024, we’ll see more health technologies and apps use AI for personalized support and coaching — whether for those managing health conditions, or simply those who want to engage in new health habits.
At SIMPLE, we’re already leveraging AI through Avo, your wellness assistant, who’s trained by our in-house dieticians and medical experts to guide you safely through your health journey. Watch this space, because Avo’s support is going to boom in 2024!
There are infinite actions you could take in 2024 to boost your health and well-being. Maybe something here could spark a new journey of discovery for you.
And if you need a hand getting a headstart on your health goals, stay tuned in January to be part of our #ResolutionRevolution!