What’s going to be big in the world of health and fitness this year? We gaze into our crystal ball to find out…
With veganism growing by 360 percent in the last 10 years, it will come as no surprise to learn that more of us are swapping meat proteins for pulses, shoots and soy – even if we’re not fully ‘freefrom’. And this trend looks set to continue. The drivers? Increasing concern about the footprint of meat production coupled with the health benefits of plant proteins, which, studies suggest, can prevent everything from heart disease to type 2 diabetes, as well as improve sleep and mental health. Blue algae shake anyone?
The fourth meal
Forget three meals a day: thanks to longer working hours and our 24-hour culture, a post-midnight snack now seems to be obligatory for an energy boost in the pm. And this second supper is no longer the preserve of late night clubbers and shift workers, with a growing number of 24-hour eateries, such as the Duck and Waffle (duckandwaffle.com) in London’s Bishopsgate, bringing a whole new meaning to the idea of an all-day breakfast.
Root to shoot cookery
The idea of ‘nose to tail’ cooking is set to turn vegetarian this year as we see the ‘zero-waste’ philosophy trickle into vegetable cooking. Pioneered by organic and vegetarian restaurant Tiny Leaf (tinyleaflondon.com) in Notting Hill, this culinary method attempts to use up the whole plant from carrot tops to fruit cores and peels rather than throw anything away. Crucially, it also looks to pre-cycle by sourcing ethically, avoiding heavily packaged products and meal planning.
Low alc to no alc
With Britons drinking less alcohol year on year since 2005, 20 percent of us now teetotal, and a flurry of zero percent-ABV bars opening up across the UK (Redemption, London (redemptionbar.co.uk); Sobar, Nottingham (doubleimpact.org.uk)) – it seems the low alcohol trend is moving towards zero alcohol. Look out for a growing bevy of zero percent ABV spirits and beers such as Seedlip (seedlipdrinks.com) and Kosmic (nirvanabrewery.com) this year, as well as more from the Mindful Drinking Movement (joinclubsoda.co.uk), which organises sobering events and courses for those looking to have a good time without the hangover.
Forget ‘doing lengths’ at the swimming baths, now a growing number of gyms are offering group classes and HIIT workouts in the water. Expect to see FloatFit (aquaphysical.com), essentially body boarding in a pool, and Aqua cycling (aquafitproltd.co.uk) – yes, that really is a bike in the water – making a splash at a gym near you. The appeal? Water resistance not only offers a higher calorie burn for less effort, but also a reduction in exercise-related injuries and a low impact workout for people with joint problems.
You’ll not only be able to get your fermentation fix at the table this year, but at the bar too. With 2017 dominated by a rise in the popularity of gut-friendly foods such as tempeh and kefir, the new year could see a flood of vinegar drinks such as Comvita’s Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar (comvita.co.uk) hit our shelves. Probiotic-rich ingredients will also be taking the place of juices and tonic in cocktails too: try kombucha on draft at JARR Bar, Hackney Wick (jarrkombucha.com), or a ‘Spiced Kimichi Mary’ at Jinjuu (jinjuu.com) in Soho.
Socially conscious fitness
If your new year workout is failing to get you motivated then perhaps the emerging trend for exercises that benefit you and the planet, will spur you on. Ethical gym gear brands are on the rise (think Trogymn (trogym.com) and Sundried (sundried.com)) but so too are eco gyms and classes such as the UK’s first sustainable gym, EcoGym (eco-gym.co.uk), which converts the energy you expend on the treadmill into electricity – among other ethical initiatives; GreenGym (tcv.org.uk), which offers you the chance to build gardens while building muscle, and GoodGym (goodgym.org), which combines jogging with good deeds.
While the ‘shroom cocktail trend took bars by storm in 2017, it seems medicinal fungi is set to bloom in our coffee shops this year, with everything from mushroom powders in lattes and chaga and reishi mushrooms in herbal tea mixes and smoothies. Proponents suggest these adaptogenic foods have brain and immune-boosting properties and could lower blood pressure.
No longer just for the kids, bouncing and rebounding is becoming a positively grown up activity with 140 trampoline parks opening up across the UK since 2016. Offering muscle strengthening, core toning, increased lymphatic flow and rush of endorphins – not to mention a better cardiovascular option than jogging, according to NASA scientists – it’s enough to make us all flip out.