By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
Flu season may be over, but that’s not all that’s gone viral — here are the anticipated health and fitness trends of 2019 that’ll make you go, Oh Kale Yeah!
Catch Your Breath while Losing Your Breadth
The fitness world has realised that pain does lead to gains…in cortisol levels (the stress hormone that increases fat storage). So, while cortisol-conscious workouts have hit the ground running, you shouldn’t — at least, not every day.
Shorter, more efficient workout courses are becoming the norm, with High-intensity, Low-impact Training (HILIT) gaining traction over last year’s High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) trend. With this fad, fitness trainers and gyms worldwide are jumping on a kinder approach to fitness, offering 30-minute strength-training sessions that use your body weight to get your heart rate up without risk of injury or burning out.
Rise and Shine, It’s Moringa!
Moringa, or marum in Thai, has long been celebrated by farmers in South and Southeast Asia, but it has only recently entered the wider public’s consciousness. The superfood took off in 2018, but this year it’s set to take the crown as the morning pick-me-up of choice for health-conscious early risers.
Sprinkle a little powder in your smoothie, or steep the leaves in water to make tea. Moringa tea is 100 percent caffeine-free, but it packs quite a punch beneath its naturally nutty flavour. It’s got anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties, as much protein as eggs, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges, more Vitamin A than carrots, and more potassium than bananas. Truly more-inga!
The Keto (Meat) Veto
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet that has burned through the weight-loss scene in the last couple of years. However, in 2019, the diet is turning greener – in more ways than one.
Whether you’re looking for more eco-friendly options or a full vegan diet, fear not! Alternative fat sources are set to become all the rage. Gaining particular fame is MCT oil (extracted from coconut oil), which is widely available in Thailand as a health food supplement. Other popular alternatives include coconut butter and the desi staple, ghee.
Alternative proteins are also rising in popularity, and not just meatless meat: plant-based seafood is having its day in the sun with algae-based tuna alternatives, kelp noodles and seaweed butter.
Lobe Your Brain
In 2019, brain health is at the forefront of everyone’s…well, minds. Conversations about mental health are being actively encouraged, and wellness experts are offering a variety of tips to avoid brain drain.
Firstly, this year will be all about brain food. After all, a poor diet inhibits brain function first and foremost. Colourful foods such as blueberries, red onions, and tomatoes contain natural plant pigments that boost your brain. Essentially, bright foods will translate into bright ideas, while fried foods can lead to a fried brain.
Secondly, health wearables are beginning to track more than just your daily steps – they’re tracking your circadian rhythms, stress levels, and even hydration levels, all important aspects to maintain mental health. 2019 will see the rise of apps that use this tech for your brain’s gain.
Find Your Swole-mates
In 2019, fitness will no longer be a solitary affair. Group training — a workout with more than five people — is becoming one of the most popular workout trends this year.
Studies have shown that group activities can boost oxytocin (the “happy” hormone) and that friendly competition can keep you motivated for longer than working out alone. Indoor group rowing classes are making waves, and in Thailand specifically, gyms are offering new “hybrid” classes for large groups that keep it fun by mixing it up — literally. Bring your friends to Muay Thai and Zumba, or Piloxing (Pilates, boxing and dancing) to keep you close-knit while getting fit.
Follow these inspiring health and fitness experts on social media to keep you on track:
A fitness warrior (sometimes literally — check out her cosplays), Massy is a CoverGirl, the founder of the MA30Day Programme, and a working mum who keeps it real.
Instagram: @massy.arias; @mawarriors
A former British TV presenter and fitness coach, Joe focuses on shorter workouts and scrumptious 15-minute healthy recipes in his 90 Day Plan.
Award-winning fitness instructor and creator of the PIIT28 workout programme, the Sheroic Podcast, and clothing collection Bodypop, Cassey is also a strong advocate of body positivity and working out for the right reasons.