2013 Health Trends that we Predict will be Big in 2014

2013 Health Trends that we Predict will be Big in 2014

2013 was an exciting year for health and fitness, with new foods, products, and workouts making it big, all with the goal of improving our health. We’ve taken a look at the top health trends of 2013 that we predict will be popular in 2014.

1. Water Workouts

2013 was the year of the water workout, and we expect this trend to continue in 2014. Aqua Zumba, aqua cycling, and aqua yoga all gained popularity in 2013; exercising in the pool is no longer seen as being just for seniors! When you work out in water, your body works harder than if you were completing a similar exercise on dry land. The resistance offered by water causes your muscles to work harder, leading to a better and more efficient workout.

2. Playground Workouts

Adult fitness playgrounds have been popping up in parks across the country for the past few years, but in 2013 they really seemed to take off. These playground gyms take the best elements of a child’s playground and standard gym equipment and combine the two into a fun yet challenging outdoor workout. Outdoor gyms are great for adults who prefer working out outdoors and don’t want to pay for a pricey gym membership.

3. CrossFit

CrossFit has soared in popularity in 2013. CrossFit is a high-intensity interval training program that aims to offer a full-body workout. It combines cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, and core training exercises. Devotees love CrossFit because of its competitive and communal nature; they find the motivation offered by their peers more helpful than if they were working out alone in a gym. Critics of CrossFit dislike the intensity of the workout, feeling it pushes followers too far, sometimes causing injury as a result.

4. Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes were huge in 2013, and we predict they will continue to rise in popularity through 2014. The controversial alternative to smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes give users their nicotine fix without many of the harmful toxins contained within regular cigarettes. Although they may have some benefits, health experts have significant concerns over their increasing popularity. Experts aren’t sure if these devices are safe because there haven’t been many scientific studies conducted into the health effects of using them. There are also concerns that as the industry isn’t regulated, it’s difficult to know which chemicals the e-cigarettes contain and the effect they may have on their users and other people breathing in the vapors. Many cities are banning the use of these cigarettes indoors because of these fears.

5. Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is a diet based on the principle that genetically, we are not designed to eat foods developed after the Neolithic period, when animals were domesticated and agriculture was introduced. Followers of the diet can eat lean meats, seafood, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Some of the foods banned on the paleo diet are sugar, salt, grains, legumes, alcohol, coffee, processed oils, and dairy products. Supporters of the diet rave about its simplicity, with no calorie counting needed. They love that it encourages consumption of the natural, whole-foods we ate before the development of processed convenience food. Critics of the diet say that we didn’t stop evolving 10,000 years ago or at any other point in time, so our dietary needs will have evolved since the times of the caveman.

6. Fermented Foods

Fermented foods aren’t a new phenomenon, but fermenting your own foods at home has soared in popularity in 2013. Bread, cheese, yogurt, soy sauce, and pickles are all made using fermentation, the metabolic process by which an organism converts sugar into alcohol, gases, or acid. Numerous fermented foods contain probiotics. The lactic acid found in these foods can help to replenish and diversify the bacteria populations in our gut. Healthy gut bacteria are essential for a healthy body. They help us to digest our meals and to properly absorb the nutrients contained within food. Trendy fermented foods to look out for in 2014, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut.

7. Quinoa

Quinoa was everywhere in 2013 and we predict it will only become more popular this year. Quinoa is a relative of spinach; the part of the plant that we eat is the seed. Quinoa is a wonderful protein and fiber packed choice for vegans and omnivores alike, it contains all nine of the essential amino acids our body needs. Part of the reason for its popularity is its versatility. It can be added to salads, soups, and stews, or served on its own or as a side. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations even declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa, due to its nutritional value and potential for agricultural development in nations with food shortages.

Let us know in the comments which health and fitness trends you think will be big in 2014.

Sources:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/total-body/pool-workout/ – Slim Down in a Splash: Pool Workout. Fitness Magazine.
http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20130720/adult-fitness-playgrounds-spring-up-around-la – Adult fitness playgrounds spring up around L.A. Los Angeles Daily News.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/exercise/what-is-crossfit.htm – What is Crossfit? Discovery Fit and Health.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-about-e-cigarettes.htm – 10 Little-Known Facts About E-Cigarettes. Discovery Fit and Health.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/27/257669972/was-2013-really-the-year-of-the-paleo-diet – Was 2013 Really The Year Of The Paleo Diet? NPR.
http://www.npr.org/2012/06/13/154914381/fermentation-when-food-goes-bad-but-stays-good – Fermentation: When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good. NPR.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/quinoa-facts-didnt-know_n_4494695.html – 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Quinoa. Huffington Post.
http://www.fao.org/quinoa-2013/en/ – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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