Womens health and wellness

Why Don’t More Women See Fitness as Key to Wellness?

According to Everyday Health’s Special Report: State of Women’s Wellness 2017, 21 percent of those surveyed cited fitness as a factor that positively affects their personal wellness. Fitness ranked higher than other factors, such as relationships and financial security, but the vast majority of women said it had no effect on — or even negatively affected — their well-being. This suggests that many women either aren’t sure how fitness can practically improve their lives, or how to effectively make it part of their wellness routine.

The survey results are consistent with the fact that nearly 80 percent of adults don’t meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG) released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), women are even less likely than men to meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

Fact: Fitness Can Prevent Disease, Save Lives

Most of us know that exercise is good for you. People who are physically active tend to live longer and lower their risk for disease. On the other hand, the negative health implications of physical inactivity are significant — inadequate levels of exercise are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs, according to data in a study published in 2015 in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 10 premature deaths in this country could be prevented by exercise. In terms of specific health conditions, physical activity could prevent:

  • 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer
  • 1 in 8 cases of colorectal cancer
  • 1 in 12 cases of diabetes
  • 1 in 15 cases of heart disease

The physical and mental health benefits of exercise include:

  • Preventing weight gain
  • Improving aerobic fitness, balance, and mobility
  • Improving bone and muscle health
  • Improving cognitive function and mental health
  • Lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease

There are also less obvious health benefits to physical activity, such as improving blood flow to the skin, which can stave off signs of aging; triggering the release of endorphins that promote positive emotions; and reducing the premenstrual symptoms of fatigue and depression.

Is Fitness a Challenge or an Opportunity? The Answer Is Both

Women surveyed by Everyday Health also ranked fitness as one of their top wellness challenges — along with factors such as stress and lack of sleep. This may be due, in part, to the reasons people commonly cite for not exercising, from not having enough time or access to resources such as parks and gyms, to a lack of motivation and confidence.

But for many individuals, health conditions that could benefit from varying levels of activity pose the greatest fitness challenge of all. Chronic conditions affect nearly half of all adults, according to the CDC, and managing a condition or illness was the top-ranked wellness challenge among women in the Everyday Health survey. The symptoms associated with chronic conditions, such as pain and fatigue, become obstacles to physical activity.

Case in Point: Psoriatic Disease and Fitness

As a senior editor at Everyday Health, I cover psoriatic disease — psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. There are 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis, making it the most prevalent autoimmune disease in this country. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, approximately 30 percent of those people will develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes painful joint swelling and stiffness.

For people with psoriatic arthritis, physical activity can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Yet even light to moderate exercise can help maintain the muscle strength and joint mobility that are critical to managing the disease. Range-of-motion exercises, strength training, and endurance exercises may also be options, depending on the severity of the disease.

Researchers found that people with arthritis who did at least 45 minutes of moderate exercise a week were 80 percent more likely to maintain or even improve their physical function over two years, according to a study published in February 2017 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

Exercise can also reduce the risk of developing comorbidities common to people with psoriatic disease, likely the result of systemic inflammation. According to a study published in December 2015 in the International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, psoriatic arthritis is associated with an increased risk for conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study cites related research recommending that patients review physical activity goals with their rheumatologist at least once yearly.

Beyond Psoriatic Disease: Fitness and Other Conditions

Apart from providing general health benefits, physical fitness can help manage many conditions other than psoriatic disease. Among them:

Rheumatoid Arthritis A review published in the Journal of Aging Research found that properly designed exercise programs increased muscle mass and improved physical function in rheumatoid arthritis patients without exacerbating the disease or joint damage.

Multiple Sclerosis According to research published in August 2016 in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, exercise has been associated with a reduced relapse rate, lower lesion volume, and improved mobility in people with multiple sclerosis.

Cancer A review published online in the journal Recent Results in Cancer Research found that the risk of breast cancer was 25 percent lower in women who were the most physically active compared with those who were least active. A study published in June 2016 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that leisure-time physical activity was associated with a lower risk of 13 types of cancer.

There’s no one-size-fits all formula for optimizing the role fitness plays in your wellness. To find the best fitness plan for you, the Personal Activity Guidelines suggest considering three factors. First, identify the benefits of physical activities that are of most value to you. Second, set personal goals that are realistic, safe, and planned out with your healthcare provider. Finally, develop the knowledge that you need to reach those fitness goals and guide your overall wellness.

Read More on Everyday Health:

8 Surprising Reasons to Get Up and Exercise Right Now

The Right Exercises Can Bring Psoriatic Arthritis Relief

6 Workout Secrets That Won’t Worsen Psoriasis

How to Exercise With Rheumatoid Arthritis

10 Best Exercises to Boost Wellness With Multiple Sclerosis

5 Good Reasons to Exercise if You’re Battling Breast Cancer or Worried About Getting It

These Are the Best Health and Wellness Sites of 2017

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The editors at YogiApproved.com strive to bring you inspiration for your yoga journey and overall well-being. Yoga is our passion. Your health and wellness is our obsession.
Each year, we compile a list of the best yoga blogs and online publications. In addition to yoga, we are also a health and wellness publication, and take your well-being very seriously.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top health and wellness sites to help you find the resources you need for your healthy lifestyle. These websites reflect the health and wellness movement – in how we eat, think, and live.

The Best Health and Wellness Sites and Online Publications of 2017

In no particular order, here are our picks for the best online health and wellness sites of 2017:

mindbodygreen


Mindbodygreen focuses on your overall well-being by giving you tools to improve yourself and your life – mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and environmentally. Their site also focuses on aspects of your yoga practice and imparts the notion that a more holistic approach to a healthy life is the key. Mindbodygreen.com
You’ll love it if: You are seeking overall wellness tips with trending topics that aren’t afraid to push boundaries.

Yoga Journal


The powerhouse of yoga publications, Yoga Journal has been bringing amazing yoga content to yogis for over 40 years. The site’s main focus is to help you grow your practice with articles, photos, and videos. But YJ also has a great lifestyle section with lots of helpful and informative articles on health and wellness. YogaJournal.com
You’ll love it if: You are a dedicated yogi that also appreciates a good dose of wellness articles in the mix.

The Chalkboard Magazine


With a sleek design and articles on everything from how to get better sleep to juice cleansing, this online publication will have you living health and wellness from the inside out. Chalkboard Mag makes health and wellness accessible, beautiful, and stylish. Learn about beauty products that are good for you (and nature), healthy recipes, and even emotional wellness tips. The Chalkboard Mag
You’ll love it if: You have an appreciation for style and you enjoy perusing wellness trends (especially trends that feature celebrities).

Clean Eating Magazine


Clean Eating Magazine is all about food. From chocolate almond butter cups to eggs benedict, you can find your dream meal here – with a focus on healthy, clean ingredients. Get informed on a wide range of important topics, from gene-edited foods, natural remedies for allergies, healthy meal plans, and more. Clean Eating Magazine
You’ll love it if: You see yoga as one piece of the puzzle on your path to health and wellness – and the rest of the puzzle can be summed up with “you are what you eat.”

Well+Good


Well+Good is a lifestyle and news publication devoted to the wellness scene. With a focus on lifestyle, you can find articles on cutting-edge nutrition, natural beauty, healthy relationships, and more. Well+Good
You’ll love it if: You’re looking for a trusted source on nutrition, fitness, healthy travel tips, and even fashion trends for the wellness-aware.

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine


From dream interpretation to Himalayan superfoods, and crystal healing to rewiring your brain, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine covers it all! This online publication will appease the thoughtful, curious, seeking yogis out there – and provide a whole new perspective on wellness. Conscious Lifestyle Magazine
You’ll love it if: Yoga keeps you grounded, but you are curious about deeper, mind-expanding topics, and want to stay up-to-date on everything related to health and wellness along the way.

Greatist


Greatist is a health and wellness website that understands the secret to good health: people stick with what they love. They aim to help readers find health options that are realistic and sustainable. You don’t have to choose between being happy and being healthy (you can be both!). Greatist
You’ll love it if: You’re looking for sustainable, balanced health and wellness information to help you reach your health goals and enjoy life along the way.

alive


Based in Canada, Alive Publishing Group has been a leader in health and wellness for over 40 years. With content on food, family, lifestyle, health, and fitness, alive empowers readers to live well, naturally. Learn about everything from reinventing your favorite decadent foods with healthy ingredients to DIY energy snacks, traditional Chinese medicine, and more. alive
You’ll love it if: You are looking for a wealth of information on natural health and wellness for everything from family to beauty.

Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine

Mantra Mag is available online or in print and is focused on inspiring individual and global transformation to make a positive difference. In addition to their quality content, we love this publication’s beautiful aesthetic. MantraMag.com
You’ll love it if: You are looking for real people talking honestly about real issues on a range of topics – including yoga, health, relationships, and lifestyle.

Yoga Lifestyles

Yoga Lifestyles covers yoga, lifestyle, wellness and nutrition. Whether you are interested in plant-based proteins or Ayurvedic meal plans and recipes, this site is relatable, easy to navigate, and informative. Yoga Lifestyles
You’ll love it if: You’re a yogi who wants easy information on wellness and nutrition with a lighthearted touch.

SheKnows

SheKnows is a women’s health and wellness website that features articles on parenting, fertility, pop culture, nutrition, and more – all geared towards women. We love that you can even find information on women’s reproductive rights and mammogram technology on their site. SheKnows
You’ll love it if: You’re looking for community and a place to learn about health and wellness topics for women in particular.

YogiApproved.com

If you’re reading this, then you have found us! YogiApproved.com brings you inspiring, trending, and informative content to help enhance your yoga practice and your healthy life off the mat. We provide product reviews, free yoga classes, recipes, articles, tutorials, and more. Our new streaming site, YourStudio™ gives you access to amazing video bundles to deeply enhance your yoga practice and healthy lifestyle. YogiApproved.com
You’ll love it if: You’re a beginner or seasoned yogi looking to empower yourself with a healthy lifestyle, inspiring yoga practice, and positivity.

Find Your Own Health and Wellness Path

Health and wellness is a journey defined by its ups and downs – this path requires patience, curiosity, open-mindedness, and even conviction. This list of the best health and wellness sites is just a starting point. Find the right resources and tools for you – and remember that investing in your health and wellness is always an excellent choice. Until next year . . .

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8 Trends That Will Impact Worksite Wellness In 2018

Employee wellness

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The New Year will bring in some exciting corporate wellness trends for 2018. For employers that want to lead the pack in employee health and well-being, some of the newest trends might help you take your employee wellness program up a notch. If you’re wondering what’s next for the ever-evolving wellness industry, take a look below for some workplace wellness trends can you expect to see in 2018.

A Shift in the Focus of Wellness Programs

When corporate wellness programs first took off, the focus was primarily on smoking cessation or weight loss goals. Current wellness programs have come a long way since then – and program offerings have expanded to focus on more than just the physical aspect of health. Employers are now using corporate wellness programs to increase employee engagement and to become an employer of choice. Companies are doing this by combining more traditional well-being efforts with career development efforts.

Wellness goals and career development can be combined to create a more positive work environment and successful employees. This idea of collective well-being will not only help support a healthy workforce but will increase a company’s reputation of caring for its employees. Wellness initiatives will begin to include aspects such as learning and development classes, employee recognition and workplace design. For companies looking to increase recruitment and retention efforts, shifting a focus to include collective well-being will help keep current employees happy as well as attract new talent.

More Personalized Experiences

Employees want personalized experiences in their corporate wellness programs. Wellness isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee might not be as important to another. Every employee’s journey to a healthier lifestyle is unique, and it should be treated as such. To create a more personalized experience for employees, employers will continue to use more digital platforms to host their wellness programs.

Using these types of platforms will help employers determine specific wellness goals and activities for each employee based on their current health status, interests and preferences. For example, data can be easily collected through integrating fitness trackers with a wellness portal. This technology can be used to help connect employees with similar health and wellness goals as well as support and reward individual progress. Employers can expect to see higher participation rates with a more personalized approach to employee wellness.

Emphasis on Mental Health

Mental health programs are becoming more popular now than ever. While mental health remained a stigma in the workplace for many years, more employers are now embracing mental health education as a part of their workplace wellness programs. With 84% of employees experiencing physical, psychological or behavioral symptoms of poor mental health, it’s essential to break the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.

Many employers are leading the way by emphasizing the importance of mental health in wellness programs and including wellness objectives to help promote healthy mental well-being. Expect to see more employers promoting the use of mental health days, providing assistance or coverage for therapy or counseling services and encouraging employees to practice self-care.

Keeping Wellness Simple

This upcoming year, more workplace wellness programs will be switching to a “less is more” approach. One possible reason for employers not seeing the participation levels they want in their wellness programs is because the program is too complicated. Employees desire simple, uncomplicated wellness tasks and objectives – most likely because they already have enough on their plates. The last thing employers want to do is stress out employees even more by asking them to complete complicated tasks.

Workplace wellness programs can be simplified by focusing on five key factors that contribute to a successful wellness program: accessibility, communication, health assessments, screenings, and health education. By keeping employee wellness simple, employers can expect higher participation rates and less confusion surrounding wellness initiatives.

Focus on Sleep

Employers have been discovering the importance of a good night’s sleep. Well-rested employees ultimately perform better. Unfortunately many full-time American employees are sleep deprived – and it’s impacting their work. A 2016 study from RAND Corporation estimated that sleep deprivation costs U.S. employers roughly $411 billion annually. RAND also found that sleep deprivation leads to lower productivity levels, along with a higher risk of mortality.

Expect to see more employers educating employees about the harmful effects of sleep deprivation, and even adding some sleep challenges to their wellness program. Some top companies have already made adjustments to help employees get enough rest by adding on-site nap rooms and sleep pods. Flexible hours can also help employees catch up on some valuable rest.

AI and Wellness

It looks like AI might be finding its way into corporate wellness this upcoming year. Some experts are predicting that AI software will become a prominent feature of HR and wellness, as it can be used to identify trends and make accurate forecasts for the future. Employers can use this technology to collect and analyze huge amounts of data to improve their wellness initiatives. AI software will be able to provide better personalization and rapid responses for employees.

Virtual healthcare providers are another exciting prospect for employers embracing AI software. Employers could potentially use AI powered chatbots to assist employees with questions regarding nutrition, disease management and overall healthy lifestyle management. These chatbots will be available 24/7 on any mobile device – making wellness even more convenient for employees.

Healthy Vending Machines

Vending machines might just be making a comeback in 2018. While traditional vending machines serving up soda, candy and greasy chips have made their way out of most health-conscious companies, a new type of vending machine is making its way in. Healthy vending machines are stocked with nutritious snacks like mixed nuts, dried fruit, fresh veggies, hummus, and healthy drinks. Investing in a healthy vending machine could be a great way to contribute to a healthy workplace culture. Employees will be much more likely to reach for healthy foods when they are readily available in a company kitchen or break room.

Wellness Mergers

As the wellness industry continues to grow, we’ve seen a big change in the industry: wellness mergers. Wellness providers are beginning to merge with one another to become larger and more comprehensive. Large wellness providers will be merging with small wellness vendors that provide more niche solutions. These mergers aim to expand their reach as well as provide clients with a wider array of employee wellness solutions. Clients might benefit from these mergers from more competitive pricing, along with the ease of working with one wellness provider rather than multiple vendors.

This upcoming year should prove to be an exciting year for workplace wellness. With companies shifting their focus to collective well-being, providing personalized experiences, embracing AI, and continuing to support holistic wellness aspects, 2018 might be the best year for employee wellness yet. Make it a New Year’s resolution to incorporate some of these new wellness trends into your current wellness program to keep things fresh, exciting and relevant for employees.

The Health & Wellness Industry Is Now Worth $4.2 trillion

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global health and wellness industry is now worth $4.2 trillion.

The industry has been growing with 12.8% between 2015 and 2017 and represents 5.3% of global economic output.

The Health and Wellness industry encompasses all activities which promote physical and mental wellbeing: from yoga to healthy eating, personal care and beauty, nutrition and weight-loss, meditation, spa retreats, workplace wellness and wellness tourism.

Once upon a time, our contact with wellness was occasional: we went to the gym or got a massage.

But this is changing fast: a wellness mindset is starting to permeate the global consumer consciousness, affecting people’s daily decision-making — whether food purchases, a focus on mental wellness and reducing stress, incorporating movement into daily life, environmental consciousness, or their yearning for connection and happiness.

Wellness, for more people, is evolving from rarely to daily, from episodic to essential, from a luxury to a dominant lifestyle value.

And that profound shift is driving powerful growth.

Katherine Johnston, senior research fellow, GWI

Read more: The Health and Fitness Industry Is Estimated To Reach $100 Billion in 2019

What is driving the growth of the health and wellness industry?

Here are 4 factors driving the growth of the Health and Wellness industry:

1. The clean eating trend — free-from and organic foods

Consumers are increasingly focused on living longer and healthier. Healthy living starts with healthy eating.

The consumer’s preferences have shifted towards eating more natural, free from additives or preservatives, organic food. Today eating clean means eating a diet made of gluten-free, dairy-free, non-refined carbs, sugar-free food.

Millions of people worldwide are suffering from the celiac disease which drives the demand for gluten-free/wheat-free food market.

The global gluten-free retail market is estimated to grow to $12.5billion by 2024 at a rate of 9.5% from 2017.

According to Statista, Italy is the leading gluten-free and probiotics market in Europe.

image source: gminsights.com

2. Wearable devices and virtual assistants usher in the personalization of health and wellness

Demand has increased for all kinds of health-focused wearables: smartwatches, health and fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, apps which support the emotional and mental health of users and virtual assistants.

Learn more: This App Supports Your Employee’s Emotional Wellness

A 2018 Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) report has found that almost half (49%) the people in the United States own a wearable device.

Health-conscious consumers expect their wearable devices to help them live longer (70%), maintain a healthy weight (63%) and pay less in insurance premium (62%).

Wearables Market is expected to grow to $27 Billion by 2022.

image source: CSS Insights

3. Wellness tourism is growing

The wellness travel market is worth $639 billion and has been growing at a rate of 6.5% from 2015–2017. The growth rate for tourism overall is 3.2% so wellness travelling is growing twice as faster.

Wellness trips account for 17% of total tourism expenditures. Wellness seekers travel to Asia-Pacific, Latin America-Caribbean, Middle East-North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa to get in shape and return home relaxed and ready to go.

Over the past five years, Asia is the #1 destination of wellness travellers, attracting both trips and revenues.

In the last two years, trips to Asia grew by 33% to 258 million annually. China and India rank #1 and #2 for growth worldwide, adding over 12 million and 17 million wellness trips respectively from 2015–2017.

4. Amazon — the consumers’ preferred channel for nutritional supplements and skincare

The 2018 Beauty, Health & Wellness Survey conducted by LEK highlights the latest trends and offers insights into consumer interest in nutritional supplements and skincare.

Here are the survey’s findings:

  • Average consumer spend — more than $100 per month — totalling $1,300 a year on nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbal and sports nutrition products, and skincare products such as creams, lotions and sunscreens;
  • Gen Xers and boomers spend on nutritional supplements, while millennials spend on skincare;
  • Personalization is trending also with nutritional supplements and skincare — 39% of Millennials and 36% of Gen Xers are highly interested in receiving personalized programs; these programs consist of selecting nutritional supplements tailored to their individual health needs or a custom skincare program augmented by a beauty box delivery each month;
  • Amazon has established itself as the №1 preferred channel for nutritional supplements and №2 preferred channel for skincare.

image source: lek.com

If you enjoyed the article and would like to discover information on other growing industries, we invite you to read our previous in-depth articles on pet-food, gaming and health & fitness.

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