From nifty gadgets and technologically-enhanced clothes to virtual wellness and all sorts of testing now available, there are so many ways that we can better understand our bodies and improve our overall wellbeing. Here, we’re giving you the lowdown of the most interesting ways we’re revolutionizing wellness in the 21st century.
Professional athletes put their bodies through a lot, especially when they’re in the throes of the season and playing games almost every other night. How do they get through it? With plenty of hacks to soothe their muscles. You’ve seen them dunk themselves in ice baths and submit to the ministrations of a masseuse. But now, many athletes are taking charge of their health with percussive therapy. And the average wellness warrior can do so, too, with at-home percussive therapy devices like Theragun by Therabody.
A leader in percussive therapy devices, Therabody’s Theragun line offers four gadgets beloved by sports superstars like Christiano Ronaldo, DeAndre Hopkins, Maria Sharapova, and Sir Mo Farah. After a motorbike accident, Dr. Jason Wersland struggled to find pain relief and created the original Theragun. With its customizable settings, the Theragun devices offer highly effective “massages” that help decrease muscle soreness, boost blood flow, increase range of motion, and improve recovery and sleep. While they’re useful for recovery after serious activity, they can also be incorporated into warm-ups to help you perform better at the gym – or on any field or court. The Theragun is transforming the way athletes – pros or amateurs – think about caring for their bodies and are going to be game-changers for the industry going forward.
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It was only a matter of time before we began figuring out how to apply 21st century developments to changing our biology and bodily processes. In case you need a refresher, biohacking is the use of different methods to enhance the chemistry and physicality of our bodies.
Of course, there are many ways to do this. Those just testing the waters might begin with wearable technology like the Apple Watch – but more on this later. The more intrepid of us might try dietary hacks like intermittent fasting. But the most advanced of us turn to extreme biohacking methods such as ice baths a la Wim Hof, and even the use of binaural beats to boost our productivity and moods. Whichever method you choose, biohacking is certainly completely changing the wellness landscape.
Officially called nutrigenomics, genetic testing is changing the way we think about hereditary wellness. With simple kits – like those from CircleDNA and Prenetics – we can test our DNA to unlock a wealth of knowledge about our bodies. Wellness retreats such as Kamalaya have also just launched pre-arrival functional testing assessments to enhance the programs.
When the results come back, you’ll be able to figure out everything from whether carbs or fats work better for you, if running or strength training will help you reach your fitness goals faster, and even whether you have intolerances to gluten and alcohol, for example. With the results, you can choose to change your diet, training, sleep, and even your lifestyle, to achieve your ultimate state of wellness.
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Whether we choose to or not, the majority of us walk around with wearables that track different wellbeing factors. Yes, there are high-tech versions like the latest Apple Watches and Fitbits. But, if you’ve got a smartphone, chances are very high that you’re unintentionally tracking your step count, at least.
Right now, there’s an absolute smorgasbord of wearables on the market, each one designed to track different things. Whether you want to track your sleep patterns, how many calories you burn each day, your menstrual cycle, your heart rate, or hearing exposure, there’s a wearable – and app – for that. The latest innovation is a little patch you wear on your arm and sync with your smartphone to track your glucose levels – perfect for those struggling with sugar and insulin issues. With these nifty little devices, the wearer can trace what their body is doing and begin taking charge of their wellbeing.
We’re already used to the plethora of apps available for optimizing our fitness and wellbeing. Whether it’s Headspace for meditation, myfitnesspal for tracking nutrition, DownDog for yoga, or – perhaps more controversially – the Peloton app for at-home bike workouts, many of us have loaded our phones with apps to help us cope with the pandemic. So obviously, the next evolution is virtual wellness.
With the metaverse slowly seeping into our every day, it’s no surprise that fitness is its next frontier. Virtual reality fitness may still be in its infancy, but it’s being embraced by industry experts for its ability to change the game. Software giant Microsoft, for example, has developed Box VR, a virtual reality game that delivers a heart-pumping cardio workout that has proven effective at conditioning the upper body.
See also: 17 Wellness Trends for 2022