Health & Fitness: Aspria explains how we should approach our holistic wellbeing over the coming year.
1. Applied data: Heart-rate monitoring is booming, and for good reason. Where much of the exercise tracking technology out there gathers reams of data, but without any immediate application for the exerciser, heart-rate monitoring adds immediate value to any workout in the shape of that most invaluable of resources: motivation.
By showing exercisers how they’re doing in their workouts – in real time and based on their own personal effort levels – colour-coded heart-rate training zones encourage everyone to put their all into their training, and with it get better results from their workouts. This technology has been around for a while now, but it’s fast becoming an indispensable part of a workout.
2. Recovery for results: When you want to achieve results fast, it’s all too easy to think you have to push yourself to your exercise limits every day. In fact, the key to maximising the impact of your workouts is building recovery time into your routine.
Recovery time not only helps protect the body against injury, it also gives muscles the time to rebuild after the stresses of a workout. It is during recovery time that they upgrade, whether that’s building endurance, strength and/or size. It’s one of the many reasons why Aspria takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, recognizing that, some days, time out in the spa is just as valuable as a workout.
3. Mindfulness: And it isn’t just about physical recovery, but also mental recovery. In parallel with a growing awareness of mental health issues across society and rising acceptance of a more holistic style of wellbeing, we’re seeing meditation and mindfulness go mainstream.
Research has shown that meditation can lower blood pressure, strengthen our immune system, lower stress, sharpen our focus, boost memory… the list goes on. Perhaps less tangibly, it also increases the joy and compassion we find in our everyday life. It is a contraindication-free route to improved physical and mental wellbeing.
With a number of apps now available to support people through this journey to enhanced self-awareness, meditation is fast becoming an everyday self-help tool – something people can tap into during their working days, or even on their commute home.
4. Digital detox: Research suggests use of mobile phones is negatively impacting our self-esteem, relationships, sleep, decision-making skills, productivity, memory, etc.
By chronically raising our levels of the stress hormone cortisol, mobile phone use may even have long-term health consequences; raised cortisol levels have been linked to higher risk of a whole range of serious health conditions, including depression, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, fertility issues, high blood pressure, heart attack, dementia and stroke.
Of course, going totally tech-free in our digital world would be a challenge – but for the sake of our health, 2020 should be the year we all start to take some time out to digitally detox.
5. Sleep: The vital role sleep plays in our overall health has long been neglected, but that finally looks set to be addressed in 2020. And this couldn’t come soon enough, with lack of sleep contributing significantly to a number of health issues, from stress and weight gain to risk of stroke.
In 2020, there will be more and more focus on the quality of our sleep – specifically, how to achieve the health- restoring deep sleep we all need, from monitoring our diet and alcohol intake, to mobile phone use, to exercise choices.