Here's how you can upgrade your wellness routine this year!
If you’re trying to start a new wellness journey or if your routine is getting a little boring, there are definitely ways to keep things fun. Social media tends to get a bad rep, but sometimes, a wellness trend pops up that can actually help you boost your health. Looking back, some of my own everyday recipes have come from scrolling on Instagram: overnight oats, smoothie bowls, and matcha are some of my staples that were trendy years ago. Even practices like strength training, HIIT training, and mindfulness meditation have gained popularity online over the years and are much more widely practiced today.
Even though I hate getting stuck mindlessly browsing on my phone, I also love to see what people come up with and spark my own creativity. Mixing up your routine and adding newness can make it more enjoyable, which can make it more sustainable too. So if you’re looking for something to try, save yourself the late night scanning TikTok. Here, I share with you some trends I think are worth a try.
Keep in mind that when spotting health trends, anything that claims this one food or workout will solve all your problems probably won't. Especially with weight loss, weight and health have many factors, including some you can’t control. So remember that everyone's body and lifestyles are different, and what works for one person may not work for another. I also recommend looking things up before you try them, and read from reputable resources. Especially if you are managing any health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional before making any drastic changes to your routine.
Hot Girl Walks
Walking is a classic for a reason, it is easy to do regardless of your fitness level, you don’t need much to get started, and it still makes a great workout. This trend by TikTok user Mia Lind takes walking to another level, and you don't even have to focus on how far or how fast you go. On a hot girl walk, you walk for 2 to 4 miles for about an hour. On this walk, you are only allowed to think of 3 things: things you’re grateful for, how hot you are, and things that you want to achieve.
I do believe that mindset plays a huge role in wellbeing: the way you talk to yourself has a huge effect on mental health. Plus adding in repetitive movement can be calming and meditative. And of course, walking has benefits for the body as well, from working the heart and muscles to strengthening the immune system, improving insulin resistance, reducing blood pressure, and more. Walking outside might not be the most accessible depending on the environment you live in, but maybe even indoor walks can get your hot girl mindset right too.
The 12-3-30 Workout
If you’re into walking but need something more, TikTok has something for you too: set your treadmill incline to 12%, set your speed to 3 mph, and walk for 30 minutes: you have the 12-3-30 workout. Created by TikTok user Lauren Giraldo, this workout is low impact and relatively quick, but you’ll still break a good sweat. If you hate cardio but still need to do it, the incline will make the time on the treadmill more efficient. And you’ll still improve your lower body strength, reap all the benefits of cardio, and get some endorphins for a good after-workout mood.
Exercise doesn't need to be brutal! Walking is also easy to pair with something else you enjoy like music, podcasts, or videos. You can always start out with a lower incline, especially if you're a beginner or have any lower body or lower back injuries. As for the claims that this workout will lead to weight loss, it still depends on many other factors. Weight is so much more than calories in and calories out. And you probably still want to do some form of resistance exercise for best results, and to work your other muscle groups too.
Shredded Carrot Salad
This pretty, trendy salad is supposed to reduce estrogen dominance, stubborn fat, inflammation, and more. The salad was created by biologist Ray Peat, and involves shredding carrots lengthwise with a peeler to make ribbons, then adding in some apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Proponents on social media claim that eating this salad every day has had positive effects on their health.
It is true that carrots contain fiber which can help to decrease extra estrogen, lower cholesterol which builds estrogen, and improve gut health and digestion. While carrots are a nutritious food, again, one food will not solve all your problems, and there are many higher fiber foods too. But carrots are high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, K, C, potassium, and dietary fiber, so I do recommend this salad because it is easy to make and the ingredients can probably be found at your local supermarket. Eating a variety of plants like fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will help you to increase your fiber intake, so that’s probably a good idea too.
If veggies aren’t your thing, you can always start with a fruit salad instead, like this one by TikTok user Sherwayne Mears. His blend of fresh berries and pomegranate seeds in a bowl of coconut water is not cereal at all, and claims to boost your energy. Berries are known to boost brain function, and even reduce risk of many illnesses including cancer because of their high antioxidant and phytonutrient content. Plus, fiber is great for (also trendy) gut health, which is linked to many parts of our health, including serotonin production and immunity.
While fresh berries are a good addition to a healthy diet, they are hard to find and usually pricey, not to mention pomegranates are a rare find in our supermarkets. Frozen berries are a more viable option that is just as nutritious, and you could substitute pomegranate seeds with chia, flax, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds- things we can actually get our hands on and still give that extra crunch. Or you could really use any fruit that you like. And while adding more whole foods is nice, I don’t think it’s necessary to cut all processed foods: there are high-fiber cereals that have a ton of vitamins and minerals as well, and milk also contains its own set of nutrients, including protein which makes a more satisfying breakfast.
It’s not clear where this combination originated, but the name “proffee” comes from mixing coffee or espresso into a protein shake. Protein itself has been very trendy in recent years, especially with the rise of fitness culture and macro counting, so it’s not surprising that people have found a way to incorporate it into their favorite beverage. Caffeine is also known to boost performance of physical activity, so this combination could make a good pre-workout snack.
If you’re a coffee for breakfast kind of person, coffee alone may not be ideal. Especially if you are looking to maintain a healthy weight, many studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off don’t skip breakfast. So adding proffee for breakfast can help to balance your appetite, lead to fewer cravings throughout the day and also support enough intake for muscle growth and repair. I recommend a balanced breakfast with a carbohydrate and fat source as well.
In general, I recommend around 1 gram of protein per kilogram, so many people are able to get enough with food. It is also worth keeping in mind that protein powders are highly processed, and it is a good idea to choose a good quality third-party tested product with minimal sugar and additives. And for caffeine, up to 400 milligrams or about 4 cups of brewed coffee seems to be a safe amount.
Chella Po, MS, RD is a New York City-trained US registered dietitian who can be found on Instagram as @betterbeing.ph. She uses science to back up her professional advice for clients seeking to create a sustainable, healthy diet without counting calories, restrictive plans, or stress! Contact her for a free discovery call today.