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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

A Brave New Year

Dec 28, 2021 03:48PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

Welcome to 2022, a new year which also marks Natural Awakenings’ 28th anniversary. So much has changed since we began publishing in 1994. While our quest for optimizing health has always involved a combination of good nutrition, exercise and stress management, this month’s special focus on health and wellness trends presents an array of cutting-edge scientific research and innovative tools to help us make the best, most efficient lifestyle choices with confidence. 

This year promises an intensification of natural health trends that have been gathering strength over time. As Sandra Yeyati details in our feature story, “Health in the New Year: 10 Top Wellness Trends for 2022,” experts predict that plant-based foods will take center stage as supply chain problems hamper meat production and plant-based proteins that replicate meat grow in acceptance. Telemedicine, wearable devices that monitor personal biometrics, approaches like saunas and intermittent fasting that leverage low-energy stress to improve metabolic health and surges in mindfulness and health coaching are also trends to watch. See page 28. 

In “Whole-Person Fitness: Current Trends in Wellness Tools,” experts predict that fitness buffs will be turning their attention from adornments like six-pack abs to inner fitness goals that emphasize overall health, often using wearable technology like rings and smartwatches to monitor biometrics. Technology will also be harnessed to monitor water bottle use, while resistance bands that strengthen muscles are embedded in clothing. See page 36.

We aren’t leaving our pets behind when it comes to their health needs, either. In “Pet-Pleasing Food Trends: What Dogs and Cats Will Eat This Year,” Ronica O’Hara reports that pet owners are demanding the same high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients that are free of questionable byproducts in their dog and cat food as they require for themselves. See page 44.

With the growing public and legal acceptance of cannabis, that industry is making great strides, as you’ll read in “High Times for the Cannabis Industry,” by Jim Motavalli. Dispensaries have become commonplace, and “ordering edibles is as easy as getting pizza,” reports a marketing firm. CBD, said to have healing and pain relief properties, is being sold as oils, edibles, sprays, creams and pills, and may soon be available in cocktails and dietary supplements. Hemp fiber, recently legalized as a farm crop, may expand beyond clothing lines into such areas as auto and industrial parts and building materials. See page 32. 

If you don’t drive an electric car yet, it’s likely in your future, according to Motavalli’s report, “The Electric Vehicle Revolution.” As major automakers pledge to stop their production of gas and diesel cars and governments increasingly ban them, electric cars are hot this year. The good news is that technological advances have improved range, acceleration and fuel costs, and with battery pack improvements, prices are starting approximate internal combustion models. The growth in public and home-based charging stations, which are increasingly powered by alternative energy, is making EVs not only more viable. but even more planet-friendly. Read more on page 24 and find out where you can power up your EV locally on page 26. 

It’s a brave new world we’re living in as we learn how to navigate emerging challenges and opportunities. Everything and anything is possible if we join together, hold our highest visions and take action to create the kind of world we want to live in.  

Here’s to a bright New Year!

Sharon Bruckman