Touching every facet of your life
Story by Karen Moraghan
Wellness is big business — an economic powerhouse worth $4.2 trillion worldwide. If that doesn’t get your attention, consider that wellness now encompasses almost every aspect of our lives, from fitness to athleisure apparel, spas and skin care, to healthy eating to real estate.
So how is wellness affecting us here at home in the Lowcountry?
Jogging to Jazzercise, there’s always a new fitness craze sweeping the country. Today, our limited time and overly connected lifestyles have brought fitness into our homes, 24/7. Peleton offers a cycling-studio experience at home, while Mirror offers cardio, strength, yoga, boxing, Pilates, and other regimens, with live or on-demand classes, through an immersive display that hangs on your wall.
As Baby Boomers age, they are committed to maintaining physical fitness, with emphasis on flexibility and balance. New facilities like Stretch Zone (with locations in Hilton Head and Bluffton) offer proprietary stretch methodology that improves circulation and creates better resting muscle tone. Integrated programs, like those at Hilton Head’s Pulseology, create individualized approaches to optimal health that could include fitness, physical therapy, acupuncture, and massage.
Recovery from workouts is an important wellness trend, says Chad Cannon, health and fitness coach and founder of CannonFit Transformation Center in Bluffton. “Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise, and the real training effect takes place,” he says.
Fitness is everywhere: on vacation, in what you wear, the technology you use (how many steps did you walk today?), and in your home. It’s also constantly changing, so there’s sure to be something — or many things — right for you.
A healthy planet
More consumers than ever are repairing not just their own health but the health of the planet. Throughout the area you can get involved with sea turtle protection, recycling programs, and ocean conservation, to name just a few.
How we shop & eat
People have been purchasing fresh food from outdoor markets for centuries, long before the term “farm-to-table” turned up in menus and magazines. Demand never has been greater for organic, just-picked fruits and veggies, locally raised meats, and fresh fish at local farmers markets. You can find them in Hilton Head, Bluffton, Port Royal, and Beaufort.
You’ll even find healthy options in big supermarkets. Furthermore, home delivery of groceries, make-your-own menus, and organic produce are growing in popularity, as are restaurants and chefs who cater to special diets like keto, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free. Ask your favorite restaurant how it’s satisfying the taste for wellness.
Spas, retreats, and other forms of health-based tourism are among the fastest-growing wellness segments. Spas are now a $118.8 billion market, powering tourism and employment as consumers increasingly choose self-care oases as escapes from work-obsessed lifestyles. Thermal and mineral springs are increasingly popular, particularly among women who enjoy warm water for stress release. Wellness travel continues to grow. Anne Dimon, president of the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), says, “There is nothing more vital to the continued growth of wellness tourism than for consumers to be clear on what awaits them in their travels.”
WTA has specific criteria for any region proclaiming itself a “Wellness Destination,” among them a safe, secure, and clean environment; abundant natural assets; in-place sustainability policies and practices; accessibility to wellness professionals and practitioners; restaurants offering healthful cuisine prepared by chefs who are committed to clean eating and partner with local growers; and availability of a range of fitness-based activities and tours. Last but not least, the physical environment must be somewhat removed from the noise that surrounds our daily lives.
Real estate and wellness
Developers are incorporating wellness into the design, materials, and building of residential communities. Many properties also offer healthy amenities and programming, bringing wellness home for their residents. Does your community promote a healthy lifestyle? If not, what can you do to promote one?
Healthy Carolina Wellness
The University of South Carolina has taken the lead in offer a healthier lifestyle by offering students the opportunity to participate in physical, mental, and spiritual wellness programs. There’s even a special dorm with an in-building kitchen and gym.
Wellness at work still has a long way to go, particularly compared to the productivity lost due to an unhealthy, disengaged workforce. But companies are incorporating employee wellness programs into their business models and insurance offerings.
The public’s demand for health and wellness choices is only going to grow. As a new decade begins, consider what will aid your long-lasting well-being. Chances are it’s already out there, and if not, it will be soon.