The wellness industry is changing so fast; it is hard to keep up with the launch of new products and machines. However, there are two over-arching trends that I’m particularly enthusiastic about: the first is a movement known as ‘biohacking’; the second is a trend in demand for services targeting seniors.
Biohacking is an approach to wellbeing that started quietly in Silicon Valley around 10 years ago, but has grown exponentially and become global over the last couple of years. In essence, biohacking is about manipulating your biology, psychology, lifestyle and environment to get the best possible health outcome in the shortest time and with the least effort. Innovations range from food to fitness; mindset to mood enhancement; sleep to stress management; energy to environment…it covers all the bases for successful living.
One example is from fitness: we’re now able to do the equivalent of 2.5 hours heavy weight training in twelve minutes. Using computerized resistance that responds to each user’s ability, the workout is not just more effective – it’s also much safer, so is equally beneficial for elite athletes as for fragile seniors with conditions such as arthritis.
Speaking of seniors, I’m delighted to see so many businesses targeting this market – especially in China. Many of the biohacking innovations effectively manage the aging process and reduce the incidence of chronic disease, however the movement is still young so the market requires education. The technology is also currently limited in its availability, however China moves so fast in adopting new technology, I’m sure it will catch up soon!
Physically, apart from the muscle strength training previously mentioned, we can boost bone density in as little as 10 minutes a week, and cardiovascular fitness in 21 minutes a week; again from a very safe machines specifically designed for aging populations. These workouts also boost youthful hormones and reduce inflammation in the body, so are fantastic for overall rejuvenation.
Even more exciting are the interventions around brain training, as loss of memory and cognitive function is the number one fear in aging populations. Using technology from simple apps to high tech headsets, significant improvements can be made, not just in memory and intellectual capability, but also in mood – helping to alleviate depression and anxiety. Results are even better if we combine with food therapy and other lifestyle interventions.