2020 TREND FORECAST
Every year, WTS gathers the latest trends in spa, fitness, lifestyle
and wellness from our global staff of directors, service providers
and industry experts. Our findings are presented below.
e p i g e n e t i c s a n d h e a lt h
Epigenetic, meaning above the genome, is the science
behind how we can modify the way our bodies utilize
genetic code. Even though we can’t change the genes our
parents gave us, we can improve the way our bodies work.
Some factors are in our control and through a healthy diet
and exercise program, we can decrease the development
of disease. New to the research are the effects of lifestyle
choices. By reducing stress and promoting a holistic look
at wellness, people can improve their health and not just
blame our genes. More medical centers, spas, and fitness
facilities with this broader understanding are offering
programs that intersect and focus on the whole person.
b l u e l i g h t p r o t e c t i o n
Most people know about the importance of wearing sunscreen to
protect from UV rays but research shows there is potential long-
term harm from blue light exposure. Blue light is emitted from
electronic devices like computers and phones and can damage
our eyesight and skin. Also, blue light may disrupt sleep cycles
and cause wrinkle formation and hyperpigmentation. Wellness
facilities are selling products that protect your skin and eyes and
offering digital detox programs to promote less screen time.
r e c o v e r y e q u i p m e n t
Recovery has become a key component in achieving fitness
goals. Professional athletes are sharing their training techniques
and how restorative tools and sessions allow them to play longer
and injury-free. Gyms are adding assisted stretch sessions,
percussion and compression technologies, cryotherapy
chambers, and creating partnerships with chiropractors and
acupuncturists. Home equipment sales are up with people using
some of this same equipment away from the gym to prevent
fatigue and to allow their bodies to recover and get stronger.
o l d e r a d u lt t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m s
Even though Baby Boomers will be outnumbered by
Millennials for the first time this year, people are living
longer and want to live with meaning and purpose. Long
gone is the modest, gray-haired image of the over 50 crowd.
Emerging is an engaged, strong, and fit consumer. More
programs will be offered catering to the active needs of older
adults focusing on bone density, balance, mobility and brain
health. Physical activity can reduce the risk of falls and fall-
related injury. Also, fitness programs can lower your risk of
developing new chronic health problems like heart disease
and diabetes and allow adults to thrive independently longer.
06 n u t r i t i o n-b a s e d f i t n e s s The conversation around fitness and food keeps growing. With the proven importance of a healthy diet in conjunction with an active lifestyle, a shift toward this relationship has never been stronger. A lifestyle medicine approach or proactive health will be prominent in most fitness centers. Messaging and programs will be geared towards helping members adopt healthy behaviors. Look for more classes and workshops that include diet and lifestyle as part of a preventive approach to wellness.
t e c h i n w e l l n e s s
Wellness has become more personalized with individual health-
care devices. You can easily track your activity, your diet, your
water consumption, sleep, skin PH, sun damage, stress levels,
and noise levels. You can set reminders to move more, drink
more, or set a feature to “celebrate” when you achieve a certain
level of activity. All this data can give you a holistic look at
your overall health and inspire you to make better choices
every day. We see this trend expanding from wearables to
smart toilets (collecting data that was only previously shared
in the doctor ’s office) to mobile apps that organize your health
records, monitor specific biomarkers that could detect changes
in blood flow, glucose levels, and warn you about blood alcohol
exceeding legal levels. In the near future, these apps could
incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to help with psychiatric
care, binge eating, migraine prevention, and much more.
c u s to m i z e d s k i n c a r e
Skincare of the past meant topicals with a few basic options.
Customers would self-select a routine based on their
perception of their needs. They could go to a local drug store
or department store. However, today people are turning to
experts to customize their care to meet their individualized
concerns. This includes results-driven products, laser and peels,
supplements, lifestyle, and diet suggestions. Tailored treatments
are surfacing in spas and fitness centers plus at home beauty
devices and regimens for “between” services. Skincare has
become yet another piece and indication of overall health.
f u n c t i o n a l t r a i n i n g
Functional training continues to remain a top fitness training
modality. It goes beyond a typical workout in that its purpose
(or function) is to help you perform better outside the gym.
Consisting of a mix of circuit and HIIT styles with an emphasis
on lunges and squats, it concentrates on groups of muscles
working together instead of isolated muscle work. Functional
training uses free weights and not machines to incorporate
the way your body naturally moves. This workout style can
help prevent injuries and build balance, coordination, and
core strength. What is different this year is that the methods
are becoming more diverse with regard to the types of
equipment used. Steel maces, Bulgarian bags, and high tech
pieces like the Reax Board are being introduced. Also, we are
seeing old style gym class equipment making a comeback
to change up workouts and create play-based training.
a lt e r n at i v e t h e r a p i e s g o m a i n s t r e a m
Mind-body therapies, or alternative therapies, are not alternative
anymore. Most fitness and spa customers will expect to
have access to integrative treatments like acupuncture,
meditation, reiki, massage therapy, and a range of movement
programs. New to the scene are sleep specialists, life
coaches, healers, and spiritual guides. Members want their
health and wellness needs to be met under the same roof
and we see this shift strengthening in the coming year.
s u s ta i n a b l e w e l l n e s s a n d b e au t y
Consumers want their impact on the environment to be reduced.
They have shown with their spending habits that they will pay
more for products with an eco-friendly mission. They expect
less packaging, recyclable or biodegradable containers and
that is just a starting point. They want to support innovators
in the marketplace that are using refillable packaging or
reusing plastics that are collected from ocean waste or
product concentrates that remove water from the ingredient
list to save on shipping resources that use smaller containers.
Consumers not only choose this for home use but it is an
important factor when becoming a member of a gym or spa.
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