top-health-trends-2020-nurse barb

Here are my predictions for the Top 5 Health Trends you’ll be seeing in 2020.

Yes, the ball dropped, January is in full swing, you’re back to work after a break. In other words, 2019 is over!  The top Health Trends were: 

  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Essential Oils
  • Healthy Food delivery – Think Door Dash, Blue Apron, etc.
  • Virtual exercise coaching
  • Apps to track everything from your heart rate and sleep to your periods

Now, it’s a whole new year and this is what you’ll be seeing in the coming months.

1. Mindfulness: Yes, you’ve heard all about it and you’ve thought about maybe meditating or looking into one of the apps. Now that the concept of mindfulness and meditation are peaking, people are more aware and now ready to give it a try. Why now?

More and more people of all ages are complaining of burnout – Yes!  Burnout and over productivity. All of the time-saving apps, sites, services, you know what I mean from using Uber or Lyft to get to the airport to have an app for every store you visit virtually or in person.  

We are efficient and yes, more productive now than ever before. We are accomplishing more in the morning that we used to in a month. That leaves many of us feeling more and more exhausted. The remedy: Mindfulness and/or Meditation

2. Paying attention to your Gut Biome: Really! There’s a universe of microbes inside your digestive system that influences every aspect of your life, from how fast you burn calories and your mood to whether your immune system is high functioning and your likelihood of living a long, healthy life.

What’s the best way to nourish your Biome? 

Your Biome loves the following foods:

Yogurt

Blueberries

Granola, bran, and fiber

Whole grains

Avocado

Kale, Zucchini, Carrots, Beets, Lettuce

Plant-based oils – Olive, Avocado, Walnut, Sesame

3. Beat-To-Beat Variability –Your heart health continues to be a priority, but you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually your heart rate variability –that is the spikes in heart rate that are above your resting heart rate. This beat-to-beat variability is an indirect indicator of your stress and cortisol levels. Understanding the spikes in heart rate is an important indicator of your heart health.

4. Coronary Artery Calcium Scores – We are going beyond just measuring the cholesterol levels in your blood. Look for your health care provider to order a Coronary Artery Calcium Score – This measures the amount of thickening from calcification in the teeny tiny coronary arteries that nourish the heart. 

5. Plant-based not plant exclusive diets: Anti-oxidants here we come. Look for the Blue Zones Kitchen, which has recipes from the Blue Zone areas of the world, where people live very long, healthy lives. (link: https://www.bluezones.com/blue-zones-kitchen/)

The emphasis is on lots and lots of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, healthy oils, and plant-based fats, with a little bit of dairy and animal-based protein. 

There is more and more recognition that our previous emphasis on low fat meant that people were hungry, didn’t feel as full and compensated by consuming a lot more carbs than they needed, leading to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

6. Sleep: Thank you smartwatches!  People can monitor their sleep and the stages of sleep. Guess what, few people get enough Delta Wave, deep restorative sleep, leading to crankiness, low productivity, etc. Time to get on the Sleep train.

Having trouble getting to sleep?  It does take about 3 weeks to retrain yourself to sleep earlier and deeper. How to? Well, everyone knows to turn off their screens, here’s more that helps:

  • Do use eyeshades to block the light
  • Don’t want to spend for a weighted blanket: DIY: use several blankets layered under a comforter
  • Melatonin supplements: Use 2-3 mg  for a few nights
  • Play a guided meditation: The first few nights, you may need 30, 60 or more minutes to help your mind relax, but after 1 week, your brain will have set up new neural pathways to sleep so that after 5-10 minutes of the same guided meditation, you’ll be in dreamland.
  • If you don’t like any noise, then, by all means, use earplugs, but get the ones made of wax, as they block more noise

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