2021 was the year that taught everyone around the world the value of health in a precarious time, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Since health is wealth, it is definitely one of life’s most significant assets- one that people should take care of the most.
The pandemic made everyone realize their need to commit to their health and wellness | Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
COVID-19 took a lot from us. Our lives, our loved ones, travel opportunities, work, lifestyle, and even our physical and mental health. No matter what age, gender, or occupation people had, the illness and diseases that this year brought did not discriminate. Because of this, the health and wealth industry indeed boomed, and the demand for quality healthcare systems became stronger.
However, because of the surge of patients in hospitals and the prioritization of COVID-19 cases, many people had to get creative with their own healthcare processes. Virtual healthcare consultations, stress trackers, sleep and diet helper apps became all the rage. Thanks to technology, taking care of one’s health has undoubtedly become more convenient!
Equipped with these insights, a lot of health and wellness trends bloomed during 2021. As Filipinos face the upcoming year 2022, it is imperative to look back on these trends and reflect on the best practices to integrate for the new year dawning.
1. The emergence of virtual hospitals, doctor-patient consultations, and healthcare services through mobile and desktop applications
Patients can now conduct their check-up routines with their doctors at home through the use of a mobile or desktop computer | Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Since hospitals and healthcare professionals were overwhelmed by the rising COVID-19 cases, they had to ration care and admit only the issues that were in dire need of medical intervention. Due to overcrowding, hospitals started to procure waitlists- it was a triage war as the country’s healthcare system buckled under the weight of the pandemic.
This hurdle in the healthcare workforce caused many patients to conduct online consultations instead by downloading mobile applications and websites such as Konsulta MD, DocKoTo, MedGate, and Icliniq. Patients can undergo video-conferencing with doctors with various specializations.
While some healthcare apps and sites offer free consultations, most of them have a consultation or membership fee. However, the costs are worth investing in if it means avoiding the hassles and dangers of going for a face-to-face check-up again! One of the best health and wellness trends of 2021, this feature is especially valuable for members of the vulnerable population, such as senior citizens and children!
Telehealth consultations revolutionized the medical game to be more convenient, especially for those vulnerable populations that need patient monitoring | Photo by Freestocks.org from Pexels
On the other hand, this remote health consultation is only applicable to patients that have manageable symptoms. After all, these consultations can only provide monitoring and preventive measures through the application. Still, this is a massive step towards modernizing healthcare services to cater to safer and more convenient telehealth.
2. An increase in the number of downloads for health trackers, diet planners, sleep helpers, anxiety relievers, and fitness applications began as one of the best health and wellness trends of 2021
The world is slowly transitioning to evolve to a digital-based lifestyle! Because the pandemic caused a long period of staying indoors, people had to turn to their gadgets to be productive and healthy. With the amount of free time they had, people were now able to jumpstart their goals of having a fit and toned body by exercising with fitness apps! In these kinds of apps, users can subscribe to various programs targeting areas such as abs, buttocks, arms, thighs, back fat, and even the face!
Speaking of exercising at home instead of the gym, there should be ample space for your body to move! Being limited by your place isn’t an excuse, but you are more likely to commit to your fitness goal if you are able to maximize your home space! Now that you’ve committed to making your body a toned temple, it’s time to do the same to your outside home as well!
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Alongsidefitness apps, diet apps curate your meals for a month and remind you when to eat, when to drink, and when to fast! In terms of mental health, there are also applications that help regulate sleeping patterns and induce meditation habits in order to reduce anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Since the pandemic disrupted a lot of people’s usual routines and social hang-outs, many have experienced bouts of mental health crises. Luckily, there are apps that help people get back on track with daily goal settings, reminders, and motivational activities!
3. The people’s procurement of their personal health maintenance, tracking, and exercising through health products, gadgets, and devices
The usage of wearable devices to track health and fitness goals truly bloomed during the pandemic | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
As mentioned earlier, one of the best health and wellness trends that emerged in 2021 is the independence of people who have started DIY-ing their healthcare processes, making them more knowledgeable and health-conscious consumers. First-aid kits, blood pressure monitors, oxygen tanks, air purifiers, and smartwatches such as Fitbits are only a few of the products that have seen a rise in supply demand. With the increased and renewed focus on health and wellness, industries in healthcare consumerization are earning profitably more than ever.
These wearable gadgets enable consumers to be more conscientious of their metric health data, empowering them on their health and wellness journey. Since preventive medicine is greatly prioritized in these times of expensive medical bills, these gadgets help track health progress and status in a time when hospital access is difficult.
In addition, a lot of other health-related products started selling like hotcakes again with the birth of new online lifestyles. Now that people face their screens 24/7, investments in anti-blue light and anti-radiation glasses have also skyrocketed as more and more people experience digital overexposure. Furthermore, household decor items, installments of home gyms and dumbbell equipment, and bicycles were purchased to keep active while at home.
4. Despite restrictions on normal dine-ins, one of the best health and wellness trends in 2021 is the switch to fast, convenient, and diverse meals
2021 saw the boom of online food deliveries, with Grab, Foodpanda, and Lalamove leading the nation’s call for immediate and available deliveries. Because IATF guidelineslimited dine-ins, many restaurants had to either shut down or maintain operations but only through take-outs and deliveries. This switch to online food consumption also caused the emergence of new businesses such as online groceries or online “palengkes.”
Currently, there is a vast array of online grocery shops that offer fresh farm-to-table produce and specialty food shops that offer artisanal food and products. Big brands like MetroMart, WalterMart, SM Markets, and Landers also became the most prominent players in online delivery, expanding from a physical establishment to an online grocery platform.
Furthermore, now that the pandemic has caused rifts in people’s schedules, many have learned the art of home-cooking in the pursuit of healthier options. People started stocking up on air-fryers, with healthy Tiktok and Youtube vlog recipes shared left and right. #YummyMommyRecipe content became a trend and organic food recipes circulated widely. People shied away from lazy food and turned to functional food, engaging in intuitive eating.
Furthermore, since people were stuck in their homes, limited activities such as sitting at home all day can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, resulting in quarantine kilos. This caused greater importance on diets and less oily food, to account for the lack of physical activities. Diets for healthy weight loss became in again, such as Mediterranean diet, flexitarian diet, and vegan diet. The soy milk industry also experienced a bloom, with soy-based and plant-based drinks replacing milk teas and other sugary beverages.
5. The demand for health and fitness products that do not only cater to physical health but also mental health
Numerous studies show that out of the various behaviors and habits that arose during the pandemic, mental health-focused activities would persist even beyond COVID-19. By taking care of their physical health, many people also took care of themselves mentally. Skincare regimens were shared, and skincare products such as masks, lotions, serums, creams, and sprays were used as self-pamper tools.
Skincare products became symbols of self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic | Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
The prolonged period of the pandemic really caused a toll on the mental health of people, to the point that even organizations recognize this issue and adjust theirwork-at-homeprocedures accordingly. This shift to being more proactive in the mental health sector was indeed one of the best health and wellness trends in 2021!
Stress-management practices were encouraged, such as lighting scented soy candles, intaking green tea and lemon balm supplements, deep breathing exercises, and journaling. Many people also decided to buy and adopt dogs during the pandemic, withdogs considered as anxiety-reducers and joy-bringers to a home. On the other hand, some people chose to be plant-parents, dubbed as “plantitos” and “plantitas,” as one of theirproductive and stress-relieving activities to do at home.
All in all, 2021 was another year that tested the resilience of everyone, especially Filipinos.
However, it was also this year that the progressive discussions on health were given emphasis more than ever. So in looking forward to better things to come in 2022, may you keep in mind all the best health and wellness trends of 2021, that you may be guided toward better things, always.