Did you follow a new lifestyle trend last year? At the beginning of a new year, we tend to assess what we did last year and determine what we might do differently this year. Some people may decide to take an academic course. Others make a list of books they’d like to read. Some social media influencers suggest people to pick a word or phrase of the year to live by.
There are also new products, or “new and improved” products that promise to help you achieve a more balanced lifestyle. Others promise you can make healthy lifestyle changes almost magically. All most of them deliver is disappointment. Sometimes it’s because what’s being offered is unrealistic. Other times there’s not enough empirical evidence to know what the results will be, but the product is rushed to market anyway.
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to know that at the start of a new year diet and exercise-related advertising are prevalent. This is because many people’s thoughts turn to health and wellness. To diet or not. To exercise or not. To toss out the scale or not. Yet the smartest and least expensive move you can make to improve your health, and lifestyle balance is to make better choices. Even consistently making one better choice can make all the difference in the world. One woman I know decided to eliminate sugar during the week but allowed herself sweets on the weekends. She lost ten pounds, and it never came back. No dieting. No denial. No saying goodbye to cookies forever. Those are the kinds of small decisions that can have a lasting impact.
Nevertheless, as far as wellness and healthier lifestyles, none of us are immune to wanting an easy way to make positive changes. So, we research the newest suggestions. Sometimes we get lucky and find something that works for us. Other times we live in hope, spending a lot of money keeping it alive without experiencing any true results.
So, to help with any 2020 healthier lifestyle trend resolutions you may have made, let’s take a closer look at what was popular in 2019 and consider leaving them all behind.
CBD in everything
Shortly before the American Thanksgiving, I heard an ad for turkey gravy that included CBD. A few days after that, I saw an advertisement for CBD in beer.
CBD was on full display in 2019. I suspect almost everyone has heard of it in one form or another – pills, oils, and tinctures for people and pets. Lots of people, including medical professionals, claim CBD can reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation. But remember, the compound is not federally regulated, which means no one knows for sure what’s in various CBD products. Because CBD isn’t regulated, we don’t know if people are experiencing short-term benefits but setting themselves up for long-term problems. Science doesn’t know enough to provide you with reliable information.
If you’re taking CBD, or considering it, bear in mind that it does interact with many medications, including blood thinners and anti-anxiety medications. Adding CBD may lead to unexpected side effects. So, if you want to try CBD, talk to your doctor. And maybe not chug a CBD beer.
IV drips for hydration
Destination cities for weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties are prevalent. In some cases, they are so popular that you may see shops offering intravenous hydration and vitamin drips. The idea isn’t unique, but its appearance in the mainstream is. It’s not really a lifestyle trend because you don’t do it on a consistent basis. Its chief goal is to counter the effects alcohol consumption has on the body which it does by rehydrating your body by pumping fluids into your veins.
Many of us know after a night of binge drinking, ingesting water before going to bed can help ward off some after-party affects. So, in theory, an IV drip to reintroduce fluids makes sense. But like CBD, the practice is unregulated and often performed in non-medical settings. Since there is not much scientific evidence to support its claims of rehydration, all you may receive is a high-priced bill for a lot of water that ends up in the toilet.
Your best option is something you probably learned growing up, and oddly enough is written in small print on all alcohol-related products and advertising. Drink responsibly. That will save you time, money – and lots of headaches.
There is little doubt that people are fascinated with the lives of celebrities. Playing into that fascination, many celebrities have developed their own lifestyle trends. Most of the individuals offer advice to reach goals they claim can be achieved by everyone, although a closer look at what they do and what they can afford may be very different from what’s available to you.
Nevertheless, I’m not here to debunk their advice, nor am I here to support it. But all of you have been gifted with common sense, and I encourage you to use it. Most of these sites are types of affiliate or endorsement sites. The celebrities are getting paid for some of the products they support, and not all of them are good for you. A few may even trigger new habits that you’ll wish you hadn’t started.
If your goal is to improve your health or to develop a better lifestyle, you probably already know what’s right for you, or what isn’t. Before ingesting any new medication or supplement, check with your doctor.
Micro-dosing used to be known as self-medicating and included anything from drinking alcohol to smoking or injecting chemicals, many of which are illegal. These days micro-dosing means taking tiny doses of LSD, mushrooms, and other kinds of psychedelics to achieve subtle improvements in focus and mood.
Like other things discussed in this article, there is not a lot of scientific research outlining long-term health effects. And getting reliable data is difficult. Even if you have a connection to obtain these substances, dosage and availability are inconsistent.
Micro-dosing can be dangerous, so if you include it as part of your lifestyle, be aware of the risks. While there may be benefits to some people, like improved focus and a happier mood, others experience high levels of anxiety and discomfort. Regardless of any decision you make concerning this lifestyle path, do not replace your prescribed medications or treatments.
Overuse of wellness apps
We have become a nation of people who rely on apps for everything, from scheduling tasks and appointments to clocking our steps and calories. Now, we have health-related apps that individuals use in place of a doctor. Again, this is not a lifestyle trend as much as it is a method of measuring, or assessing good health and good health practices.
I cannot comment on the efficacy of one health-related app over another. Nor am I going to discuss the cost and availability of healthcare overall. But I will say that there are times when an app cannot and should not replace a face-to-face appointment with a qualified healthcare provider.
People sprinkle specific ones on their pillows to promote sleep. Others burn oils in a diffuser to maintain an atmosphere of balance throughout their house. Some people just like how they smell and use them as a sort of incense.
Essential oils are not new in the marketplace. People use them to heal burns, reduce stress, and minimize motion sickness.
As pleasant smelling as some of them are, do they have an enduring effect on your health? Probably not. So, while they cannot harm you, as a lifestyle trend with health benefits, they are not apt to help you long-term, either.
Vaping started out as a fledgling lifestyle trend and quickly turned into a nationwide epidemic. There is substantial evidence that vaping can destroy your health, and may cause your lungs to give out. While there is sufficient evidence available documenting the short-term effects of vaping, it has not been around long enough to predict long-term effects. If you’ve never vaped, don’t start. It has no health benefit and can only hurt you.
You have probably heard of vitamin water, but gemstone water? Drinking gemstone infused water had been around for about ten years, but it is just now taking root in the mainstream. Its claim is that a gem, or combination of gems inserted into water will enliven and restructure it by the natural vibration of the gems.
You don’t drop gems directly into your water. You first buy a special water bottle complete with a pod in which you insert your selected combination of crystals. For example, if you want love in your life, the theory is you could put rose quartz, garnet, and clear quartz crystals into your pod. You insert the pod into your unique water bottle or glass and fill it with water. In theory your water will be infused with the vibration for love, which will enter your body when you drink the water.
There are crystal blends for anything from improved focus, calmness, better fitness, harmony, beauty, happiness, etc. There is even a diamond one that proposes to build strength and stability.
These gem combinations with the pods are not cheap. The diamond one could run you more than $300. Others run as low as $60. Plus, there are accessories you can purchase – gem decanters and droplets.
This health fad will not harm you in any way. If you believe it is helpful and you can afford it, then by all means incorporate this into your life. Plus, the gems inside of a clear water bottle are beautiful and generate interesting conversations. But if you have limited financial resources, I’d use them for something else.
It can be fun and even motivating to try something new to achieve a goal you have. But when it comes to your health, make decisions that benefit you. Fads and trends are exactly that – fads and trends. They come and go and don’t necessarily help anyone except the person or company manufacturing them. Your best lifestyle resolution is to make one small, healthy change that you implement consistently. You may find that’s all you need to be successful.