Because of lifestyle choices, more and more people are becoming prone to developing chronic, debilitating diseases or facing increased risk for early mortality. For instance, statistical data reveal that the numbers of Americans that are obese are increasing year after year. There are various information drives and health-oriented campaigns targeted at the public, with the main objective of promoting healthier food options and lifestyle modifications. People who want to lead healthier lives were given numerous options, as one health trend came after another. The year 2014 is almost over. It is now high time for us to look back at three of the biggest fitness and health trends that became popular during the year.
Locally sourced food for economic and environmental gains
This year, there has been a lot of buzz about the numerous benefits of patronizing locally sourced foods to to individuals and communities. This entails buying grocery items, including meat and fish, from the local farmers’ market. It also involves planning the daily menu based on the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Eating locally produced foods is not only good for your health. It is also friendlier to the environment, and definitely helpful to the local economy. Since the raw ingredients are not transported a long ways, and are not subjected to too much handling, their freshness and quality are retained. The end user benefits from the nutrients more. By purchasing locally, consumers also have the assurance that the foods they eat are not contaminated.
“Superfoods” for better health and longer life
If you believe the experts, then “superfoods” do not only provide you with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They also ward off potentially fatal illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and heart disease. The foods also lower the risk for depression and promote a stressful lifestyle overall. No, these are not foods that have been manufactured in laboratories. These are regular supermarket fare that are “nutrient powerhouses,” especially when eaten raw.
What exactly are the benefits of superfoods? Well, instead of taking drugs to lower the risk for various health conditions, including foods such as yogurt, soy, walnuts, hemp seeds, quinoa (ancient grain), freekeh (young wheat), amaranth, oats, broccoli, beans, spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, buffaloberries, pumpkin, oranges, kale, salmon, turkey, as well as green tea and black tea. They are affordable, delicious, and there are no side effects, unlike some medications of food supplements that may have adverse effects on the body in the long run. These superfoods come highly recommended by nutritionists because of their nutritive and protective qualities.
Functional fitness programs for health-conscious adults
Lastly, “functional fitness” became the go-to workout program this year. The approach is rather simple, incorporating strength training for specific muscles with a more generalized fitness program. Older adults in particular became more interested in trying this out because it helps to improve a person’s capacity to perform activities of daily living. Aside from developing strength, the program has been shown to improve balance and coordination and promote weight loss as well.