Balance Festival
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Experience Balance Festival this year

The experts at Balance Festival reveal what we’ll all be doing this year…

Hybrid Workouts

Last year saw the growth of collision-style workouts – bringing together two styles of exercise from completely different disciplines (e.g. Pilates and HIIT). These ‘hybrid’ mixes are set to continue for 2017, but taken one step further – with a focus on mind and body. Think ‘mindfulness and HIIT’, ‘Yoga and Dance’ or ‘Meditation with Boxing’. This is about people embracing the idea that working the mind is just as important as the focus we already have on the body.

The evolution of boutique fitness

Next year we will see boutique studios evolve, going beyond offering just fitness classes, morphing into all-encompassing, experiential fitness destinations. No longer just for exercising, boutique gyms are already offering dedicated retail spaces, smoothie bars, as well as running social gatherings and events. In 2017 expect to spend more time than ever at the gym as more studios expand to include cafes, their own line of active wear, and holistic health disciplines, making the studio your one-stop-shop for everything fitness, health and wellness. The fitness industry comes full circle as the big gyms continue to become more personable and boutique gyms look to expand.

Elite fitness testing goes mainstream

Fitness will become more scientific as the one-size-fits-all approach gets left behind. DNA testing now allows you to find out the exact fitness and nutrition programme to suit your genes, from a simple saliva swab, and then have a complete fitness and nutrition programme designed specifically for you. Visionary fitness studios are leading the trend of providing this advanced fitness testing once available only for athletes, to the average person. Take the guess work out of your fitness programme and increase your chance of taking your training to the next level by combining the latest science and exercise.

Crawling

Yes, you heard us. Crawling. This year is set to see an increase in workouts that will include crawling. ‘Bear crawls’ and ‘Baby Crawls’ are fantastic for mobility, strength and fat burning. Crawling is being dubbed ‘the new plank’. Crawling may generally go out of fashion when we pass the age of two, but it seems that it can actually have a lot of health benefits for adults, because it gives the body such a good core strength workout and can help ease back problems that are increasingly common.

Fitness for neurogenesis

In 2016 we discovered brain teasers may not work to keep the brain healthy like we once thought, but 2017’s solution will be exercise. In 2017 more and more people will discover the benefits of fitness for Neurogenesis, promoting the growth of neurons, or nerve cells in the brain. Instead of Sudoku, expect to see people turn to aerobic exercise specifically to lower stress, depression and even lower risk of dementia and brain decay.

Slacklining

Similar to walking a tight rope, Slacklining involves balancing on a strip of webbing that is fixed above the ground. Slacklines are not taught and the aim is to walk from one side to another. Already popping up in parks around the world, slackliners use trees as anchors and arrange meetups in slacklining. Expect to see organised groups, slacklining equipment shops and even sportswear dedicated to slacklining. The trend will catch on as more people discover the enjoyment behind this fun form of exercise, while also building a strong core and often overlooked stabiliser muscles.

Sleep

Sleep will be the wellness trend of 2017 as rest becomes the new hustle. With the rise in popular, trendy HITT workouts, lunchtime class offerings, 24-hour gyms, fitness is available around the clock, perfect for fitting into the busy lives we all lead. With all this moving around, comes some much needed rest and TLC. Already we have seen a huge influx in meditation, mindfulness and night-time yoga classes to aid sleep and to relax and unwind. Expect to see a rise in boutique meditation studios and even floatation classes.

Food as medicine

Culinary medicine will replace the ‘clean eating’ trend of previous years. Combining nutrition with culinary knowledge to achieve optimal health, it integrates the evidence based science of how diet and nutrition can be used as a therapeutic tool into a practical framework – the food that we eat. In 2017 we will see more health bloggers and TV chefs incorporating culinary medicine into their recipes, creating meals specifically for different health issues.

Healthy home cooking made easy

Health for the busy person used to be all about meal replacements and low-fat, ready-made frozen meals. In 2017, more and more brands are making it easier to cook healthy, nutrition-filled meals for yourself at home. In 2017 our lifestyles will be busier than ever, but we will continue to place higher importance on our health, making convenience in healthy eating key.

Eating for your microbiome

As more people discover the connection between the gut, brain and immune system, more will begin to focus on eating for their gut microbiome. Gut microbiome refers to your unique collection of microbes or the “mini-ecosystem” that is made up of bacteria in your gut. Similar to the popularity of the Blood Type Diet, 2017 will see a rise of people choosing a diet specifically suited to their particular microflora type. While consumption of fermented foods and probiotics is already on the rise, this is not set to slow down any time soon as bacteria continues to be a hot topic.

The buzzword: adaptogen

Adaptogens will be to 2017 what superfoods were to 2015. Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs that stabilise physiological processes and promote homeostasis – meaning they promote a stable internal environment, balancing the nervous system and hormones. Expect smoothies packed with rhodiola and ashwagandha, and supplements of ginseng and liquorice root to grow in popularity.

The year of the vegan

There are three and a half times as many vegans as there were in 2006 According to The Vegan Society, making this the fastest growing lifestyle movement in the UK. More and more Brits are adopting this way of life, and we predict that this is only going to accelerate. This year will be when plant butchery – already big in the US and Canada – will really start making an impact over here. But you will no longer have to go all-in. There are growing numbers of plant-based-curious people who don’t want to eliminate meat from their diet entirely, but might want to eat it less often.

The food waste backlash

We’ve seen more and more people taking a stand against food waste this year, and this is going to continue to be a hot topic in 2017. Millennials care about improving society in this way and next year, finding creative ways to use surplus food will be even more important. This is almost akin to revisiting the thriftiness of the war years, but for a different reason. We’re talking pickling, making soups and broths out of leftover veg, and finding creative ways to use food scraps.

H20

Water will be the drink trend of 2017, but not as you know it. As more of us shun alcoholic beverages, 2017 will see us referring back to the basics increasing our water consumption as we learn that keeping hydrated makes us smarter. However, as we become bored with this necessary hydration, the search for alternative waters begins. Coconut water was so 2016! Next year we’re looking for more creative alternatives and we’ll be turning to maple water, birch water, bamboo water, cactus water, aloe water and honey-sweetened water.

The Balance Festival takes place on May 14-17 at the Old Truman Brewery, London.

Visit www.balance-festival.com for more information.

Experience Balance Festival this year

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