The major health trends for 2022 are revealed.

The top health and fitness trends for the new year include tracking your stress levels and improving your immune system.

As 2022 draws near, we looked at previous search patterns to forecast the most popular topics in health, fitness, and wellbeing. These trends are explained here by Dr. Elizabeth Rogers, Associate Clinical Director of Bupa Health Clinics.

Increasing gut health
Increased Google searches for “gut health” by 83 per cent
60% more people are searching for “gut-brain axis” on Google.

Your gut health is becoming more and more important. Gut health can relate to both the balance of microorganisms in your gut and your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, sometimes referred to as your digestive system. Your gut digests food, supports a variety of microorganisms, assimilates nutrients and energy, and eliminates waste.

Your diet is one of the biggest influences on our gut health, so it’s important to eat a variety of foods, including whole foods, fruit, and vegetables. Processed foods are often high in additives and preservatives, and these can disrupt the healthy bacteria in your gut.

Mental health may also impact your gut health, also known as your ‘gut-brain axis’. Remember that it might take your gut time to get used to a new eating pattern, so make changes slowly to give your body time to adjust.

Live more sustainably

A 418% rise in “climate fear” searches on Google
A rise of 238% in “environmental anxiety” searches on Google

Growing environmental and climatic fear may be a legitimate reaction to what’s going on in the world. Millions of individuals all across the world will be experiencing the same things as you, so you are not alone. Taking note of your emotions and acting on them in a healthy way might not only improve your welfare but also the environment.

Start with one or two small modifications to live more sustainably and gradually increase them to ensure that your environmentally friendly habits stick. For instance, wherever possible, buy seasonal, local foods, and plan your meals in advance to prevent food waste.

Boost your immune system

84% increase in searches on Google for ‘boost immune system’
60% increase in searches on Google for ‘low immune system’
50% increase in searches on Google for ‘strengthen immune system’

It has never been more crucial to take care of oneself as we work to recover from the global coronavirus pandemic.

In the weeks before a big event, improving your health and fitness can make a significant difference. A healthy immune system is not something you create overnight.

Start the year off well by strengthening your immune system by eating a more diversified diet, getting enough sleep, consuming your recommended daily allowance of vitamin D (add a supplement during the winter), and regularly washing your hands.

Monitor your level of stress.

Increased Google searches for “fitness tracker” by 83 percent
80% more people are searching for “stress tracker” on Google.
50% more people are searching for “cortisol level” on Google.

Monitoring your stress levels is another trend for the next year. There are additional solutions besides some wrist-worn fitness and stress trackers that can monitor your cortisol levels. Try keeping track of any signs of physical or mental stress, such as body aches or tension, digestive issues like nausea or constipation, and an accelerated heart rate. You should be on the lookout for emotional indicators such as impatience, rage, overwhelm, and racing thoughts.

Relaxation techniques – like breathing exercises or mindfulness – can ease any stress or worry you’re feeling. Practice these techniques when you’re feeling relaxed to start with and find out what works best for you. Whilst you may not feel like it, daily exercise releases feel-good chemicals in your brain. Exercising outdoors has plenty of benefits too, including boosting your mood and improving your self-esteem.

Remember – there is always support available.

Aim to drink mindfully.

Google searches for “mindful drinking” will rise by 127% in 2021.

According to a recent survey, 36% of adults who increased their alcohol intake during the first lockout. The idea of “mindful drinking” has gained popularity among those seeking a healthier relationship with alcohol. This involves being conscious of your motivations for drinking and the amount of alcohol you consume. Google searches are predicted to climb even more in 2022 after spiking in 2021.

Mindful drinking often leads to healthier relationship with alcohol and less consumption. It’s a simple trend to adopt – to practice mindful drinking, pause before each new drink and ask yourself why you’re drinking. From asking how it feels to drink this alcohol to if you feel good, all these simple techniques can improve your relationship with alcohol.

Create a mood journal.
Increased Google searches for “mood tracker diary” by 88%
Google searches for “mood journal” will rise by 50% in 2021.
Mood journaling is gaining popularity as a result of the stressful year that has put a lot of strain on our mental health.
Keeping an emotion or mood journal might be a helpful strategy for identifying the causes of persistently bad moods (and increase positive ones). This enables you to identify unpleasant feelings and take action to alleviate them, whether that action is confiding in a friend, loved one, or mental health expert. It has been demonstrated that writing down your emotions can help you feel less anxious and depressed.

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