Most people could do with a pause after having endured the chaos that has dominated society over the past 18 months. It’s no surprise that those who are planning their first getaways since travel ground to a halt are doing so with greater intention.
After the stress of 2020, it’s not just about getting out and enjoying a holiday. Travel provides an opportunity to recharge your mental and emotional wellbeing, both of which may have taken a significant knock.
August is Wellness Month and so why not find some wellness travel inspiration with this round-up of the top 5 wellness trends set to dominate 2021.
Cold therapy is the most significant wellness trend to watch out for this year. It involves exposing your body to frigid temperatures, usually after being immersed in much warmer temperatures beforehand (such as a steam room or a heated pool). The notion behind this therapy is that the drastic temperature change activates the body’s natural healing powers. It is said to enhance blood circulation, alleviate aches and pains, and the symptoms associated with numerous afflictions, such as chronic migraines and high blood pressure.
Other benefits of cold therapy include boosting the immune system, improving the lymphatic system’s efficiency, and reducing muscle inflammation.
So how can you incorporate cold therapy into your holiday? You may be surprised to hear that you can enjoy this wellness trend on a cruise.
“Our Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Escape vessels boast an impressive thermal suite that also features a snow room. The snow room is an unparalleled opportunity to experience a magical snow-covered winter wonderland – but at sea,” comments Nick Wilkinson, Regional Vice President Business Development Middle East & Africa for Norwegian Cruise Line.
“Guests are encouraged to venture into the snow room following some time spent in the sun on the deck, or after exploring the other spa facilities. The key is to transition quickly from hot temperatures to a chilling -10 degrees Celsius. Along with the snow room, our Mandara Cruise Spa on all our ships also offers access to over 50 speciality spa treatments and a salt room,” he adds.
After so many weeks spent under lock and key, it’s no wonder why people are so keen to venture outdoors. It’s great news then that walking therapy is quickly emerging as a leading wellness trend. It involves meeting with a therapist and setting out on a brisk walk together as part of your therapy session instead of simply sitting on a couch indoors.
It is a fantastic alternative for two reasons. Firstly, it makes it easier to ensure social distancing and reduce the risk of COVID-19. Secondly, it has been scientifically proven that
spending time outdoors in the sunshine – often referred to as ‘ecotherapy’ – can combat depression, anxiety and many other mental health concerns.
If walking therapy appeals to you, be sure to look into a holiday that allows you to hit the streets, mountains or anywhere where you can rack up the miles walking – with or without the therapist.
There’s a reason why ancient therapies are so respected amongst communities around the globe. After all, many of them have been around for centuries and have proven effective time and time again. A few of the most popular ancient therapies receiving plenty of attention include steam therapy, acupuncture and Turkish baths.
· Steam therapy: Steam therapy can refer to the process of inhaling steam to alleviate congestion, or it can refer to spending time in steam rooms. Either way, steam is a potent tool when it comes to promoting health and wellbeing. Sitting in a steam room, in particular, has been said to boost circulation, optimise skin health, soothe muscle pain and lower stress levels.
Incorporating steam therapy into your holiday can be as easy as finding a local spa or booking a hotel with a sauna or steam room.
· Acupuncture: Many people shy away from acupuncture because they are terrified of needles. The reality is that acupuncture isn’t painful, and it promises several health benefits, including reduced stress, headache relief and enhanced concentration and mental clarity. Some individuals swear by this therapy for relief from allergies and certain chronic digestive conditions.
Acupuncture plays a crucial role in traditional Chinese medicine that has branched out to many other countries in Asia. Travelling to the continent will provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture.
· Turkish baths: A traditional Turkish bath, known as a hammam, relies on steam and hot water to maximise physical and mental health. Like the therapies mentioned above, relaxing in a Turkish bath can reduce stress and improve circulation.
Enjoy the hammam experience across the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia or central and eastern Europe – all have adopted variations of this age-old wellness trend.
Mindful eating is in; fad diets are out. People are turning away from restricting themselves and cutting out certain food groups in their quest to lose weight or feel better. Instead, the focus is moving towards paying more attention to your body, eating when you feel hungry and stopping just before you feel ‘full,’ and opting to use fresher, better quality ingredients.
If you’re interested in exploring the power of mindful eating, be sure to investigate the restaurants and local markets in your chosen destination, try the regional specialities, join a local cooking class and mindfully enjoy all the fantastic culinary experiences on offer.
Never before have we spent so much time online – whether sitting in Zoom meetings all day or scrolling through the news on our smartphones. As such, it isn’t surprising that everyone is craving a digital detox!
People are deciding to swap out their digital habits for screen-free activities throughout their holidays, like long strolls outdoors, meditation, reading, sightseeing or getting creative with hands-on local experiences. Incorporate a digital detox into your travels by only connecting to wifi at certain times of the day or head off the beaten track to find a “no signal” destination.
Are you feeling inspired to take to the skies or set sail once again? Use this time wisely to plan your wellness boost of a holiday!