An aerial photo of Centr trainer Alexz Parvi sitting on a yoga mat, with a takeaway carton of salad,
Centr Team

Your 2024 well-being trend report

Centr Team

Spending big is out. Mind-body connection is in. And food isn’t just fuel, it’s a ticket to feeling good.

With 2024 already ticking along, it’s time to get up to speed with where health, fitness and overall well-being are heading this year.

Get ready to take notes, then take action – we’ve tracked the top 10 trends so you don’t have to.

1. Biohacking in your own backyard

It’s official: biohacking has gone mainstream. This year we’ll all be looking for ways to stay fit and healthy as we age.

While hyperbaric oxygen pods might not be on your shopping list, there’s growing demand for down-to-earth biohacks that won’t break the bank. Leading the way are tools that put our individual health data in our hands.

For instance, more than 200 million people worldwide (and counting) use smart watches to track their steps, heart rate and stress levels, while at-home biomedical tests have made it easier than ever to monitor our well-being (though questions on quality and accuracy remain).

An infographic comparing expensive biohacking activities and more accessible, every day activities that can be of similar benefit for fitness and recovery.

Tap into our most-read article of the year so far to find the best biohacking techniques for non-billionaires.

2. From strength to strength

Everywhere you look, strength training reigns supreme.

Free weight sales have more than doubled over the last 4 years, big gym chains are downsizing cardio machine stations to make room for strength equipment, and we’ve seen demand for resistance training increase to the point where it’s now the most popular workout style offered on Centr.

Why will strength training continue to be so, well, strong? The physical results play a part, but there’s also a growing awareness of strength training’s long-term health benefits like maintaining bone density and preventing muscle loss. It’s also recognized as a key strategy for shedding fat while maintaining muscle – another trend we’ll explore below.

3. Prioritizing plant protein power

It doesn’t matter if you’re young, older, building muscle or burning fat – protein is essential to so many of the things we want our bodies to do.

But this year, you don’t have to get your protein from the same old chicken and steak dinners. Focus will shift onto the power of plant proteins, which pull double duty by also delivering goodness like antioxidant polyphenols and fiber for good gut health (which in turn positively impacts mood).

Before you reach for meat alternatives to meet your protein needs, hold up – ultra-processed food is usually low in nutrients and high in sodium, which doesn’t make it a great choice. Go whole instead with lentils, soy beans, nuts, seeds and green vegetables.

A bowl of Centr's Chickpea Coconut Dahl rest on a grey linen napkin on a wooden table, with black-handled spoon, ready for eating.

Put the protein power of plants into action with Centr chef Dan Churchill’s Chickpea Coconut Dahl.

4. Mindful movement for mental health

We all know that movement is beneficial for our minds as well as our bodies. Research has even shown that physical activity can be more effective in certain situations than medications for improving symptoms of depression and anxiety.

With mental health complaints climbing – especially among young people – it only makes sense that we’ll be looking for ways to make exercise even better for our minds. Enter: mindful movement.

Mindful movement is all about the mind-body connection, tuning into how your body feels and using movement as a way to be present.

This could look like combining breathwork with stretching, slower workout styles like yoga and Pilates, or even mindful strength training. Another popular choice is ‘silent walking’ (more on that below).

5. Fat loss over weight loss

BMI is out, body fat calculations are in.

As scientists learn more about the markers that predict long-term well-being, lowering body fat – as opposed to lowering overall weight – will become a greater health priority.

An infographic showing what BMI tells us, and what it information it doesn't describe.

Learn more about where BMI can go wrong – and the tools our dietitian recommends you use instead.

This means tactics like food deprivation or constant cardio in pursuit of weight loss at all costs are making way for methods that allow us to maintain muscle while shedding excess fat.

Think strength training, which helps your body burn more fat by adding more muscle, a whole foods diet, helping to keep you full and prevent overeating, and stress reduction to counter hormonal muscle loss and fat gain.

6. Doing recovery like a pro

We don’t just want to perform like the pros, we want to recover like them, too.

The use of saunas and ice baths will continue to surge, as devices like Whoop and other feature-packed wearables allow us to track our recovery with precision. We’re also waking up to the power of sleep for recovery, and the market for tech, tools and supplements that help us get some shut-eye is growing to meet our demands.

Recovery has also hit our plates. The majority of US adults take a dietary supplement, and recovery-focused ingredients like magnesium and creatine have gone mainstream as everyday athletes look for an edge.

Three different sized white bowls holding supplements rest in a mid-green background.

Sports dietitian Angie Asche is here to help you understand which supplements are actually worth it.

7. Feel-good food is healthy food

For too many of us, food has long been a source of angst: Am I eating too much? Not enough? The wrong thing?

Thankfully, the tide is turning as more and more of us recognise food is a means to feeling good – emotionally and mentally, as well as physically.

As nutrition expert Angie says: “Food is so much more than just calories and macros. It’s something we share with other people – on holidays, on special events and birthdays, to simply catch up with friends and family.”

That’s why in the year ahead, even the most health conscious will embrace the benefits of comfort and community by serving up nostalgic family favorites. Think classic meals you grew up with, or the dishes you crave after a hard day, like Dan’s much-loved Healthy Colorful Mac & Cheese or Baked Meatballs with Ciabatta.

A skillet of Centr's Baked Meatballs with Ciabatta rests on a grey linen napkin on a wooden table, ready for serving.

Don’t tell your mama, but Sergio’s Baked Meatballs with Ciabatta might be even better than hers.

8. Curating your digital life

In a recent study of UK adults, 50 percent admitted that, despite their best efforts, they often can’t stop checking their smartphones when they should be focusing on other things.

Most of us need (or at least want) these devices, but we’d also love it if they’d stop distracting us from the stuff that really matters in our lives.

But what do you do when going cold turkey with your devices is impractical? After all, your phone and computer aren’t just distractions, they’re also the tools you use to work, stay in touch with loved ones, do workouts or meditations and take photos of special moments.

The trending answer is digital curation – being mindful about how and when you use your devices without ditching them entirely. This will take the shape of phone-free weekends or vacations, ‘silent walking’ without headphones (what past generations simply called ‘walking’), or swapping a morning scroll for a sunlight meditation.

An image, half-blurred, of the top end of a slept-in bed, white sheets pulled back, with white pillows crumpled.

Try the trend and swap your morning social media scroll for a Wake-up energy meditation with Chris Hemsworth.

9. Getting seriously sober curious

Sober curiosity – questioning the impacts of alcohol and the benefits of cutting back – has gained steam in the last few years.

It’s both a health thing (as people become more interested in maximizing recovery) and a cost of living thing, with booze being among the first things to go when we start tightening the budget. It’s also become more socially acceptable, with a rise in ‘dry’ month campaigns, the rise in non-alcoholic bars and the popularity of zero-proof drinks.

That’s right, you’re not just stuck with soda or mocktails anymore. Functional sports beverages like nootropic drinks have taken over as the alcohol alternative of choice for many.

As alcohol falls out of favor, cannabis use will likely continue to boom in places where it is legal. There’s a perception that it has fewer consequences than alcohol, and some athletes even believe that CBD (cannabidiol) and THC can aid in recovery – but it’s important to note that research is yet to confirm this.

10. Tuning in (and out) with sound therapy

The noise of the city. The constant buzzing of your brain. We’re all looking for ways to drown out distractions and calm our minds.

The answer is soundscapes and colored noise – audio that activates the brain without overwhelming it, helping to turn down the volume on internal chatter and mask noise pollution.

Studies have shown the benefits of listening to the sounds of nature – such as catching a wave in Byron Bay – and white or brown noise for cognitive function, focus and sleep quality. And with another busy year ahead, we’re looking for any edge we can get…

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