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20 Health Insiders Predict the Next Big Thing in Fitness

It’s clear that 2015 will go down as the year of liberal coconut-oil application—and although it’s only January, there are plenty of new healthy food and fitness trends already shaping up to reign in 2016 (RIP acai.) We chatted with 20 wellness insiders, from health-obsessed models and actresses to celebrity trainers and fitness entrepreneurs, to sound off on their predictions for the health trends primed to dominate in 2016.

Eastern medicine: “I think people are really beginning to look at wellness in a more holistic fashion. Eastern medicine has looked at the integrated approach for so long, and it seems to me that the Western world is catching up. I started to examine all this stuff about seven years ago when I first started seeing an Ayurvedic doctor in California. She taught me so much about the difference between causes and symptoms, and put me on an anti-inflammatory health plan (which sometimes I stick to and sometimes I don’t!). My asthma virtually went away—it was unbelievable. That’s when I really started looking at food as medicine—I know it can be tough, but seeing the results of whole body health that come along with treating myself from the inside out is just incredible. I think that’s why plans like the Clean Program and Whole 30 have really taken off and become such a part of our experiential lexicon. They’re teaching people new habits of self care by experiencing the benefits that come with change.”—Sophia Bush

Stretching classes: “In 2015 we saw the rise of super-fitness, with regular pedestrians training like athletes. With that I think the fitness population has become super strong, but also super tight. I think stretching-based classes will be on the rise as a result. We are adding stretching reformer classes to our schedule to help stretch out those too-tight bods!”—Heather Andersen, New York Pilates founder

Nutritional beauty: “We are seeing a big trend in the development of more nutritional-based beauty products. More and more companies are creating farm-to-beauty organic, sustainable, natural, eco-friendly, and super-green-based skin care. Some beauty ranges are even edible and give a mountain of health benefits. It goes without saying, what we fuel our bodies with we should be doing the same to our skin. One of my favorite products is the Sukin Chia Seed Oil. Although tiny in size, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, and fiber, and have been linked to just about everything from aiding weight-loss to fostering bone growth.”—Bianca Cheah, Sporteluxe managing director and founder

(Bianca Cheah)

High-fat diets: “Following a low-carb diet while eating more fat [will trend], I think.”—Lakey Peterson, pro surfer

Inner body wellness: “I believe people are really starting to focus on inner body wellness—beauty from the inside out, eating in cleaner, more nourishing ways, and being knowledgeable about what they put into their bodies and how this affects the way they feel and look.”—Elle Macpherson

Superherbs: “Superherbs and adaptogens are a trend I see going big in 2016 that I’m really excited about. We’ve all been informed about superfoods and the nutrients they pack, but superherbs do more than deliver vitamins and nutrition—they help the body adapt to stress whether emotional, environmental, or immune related. Ashwagandha, maca, and moringa are just a few of these supercharged herbs that can help our bodies adjust and rebalance in response to stress. I think many of us will be taking herbs over prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs as our remedy of choice.”—Annie Lawless, Suja Juice cofounder

Mindful exercise: “More forms of exercise are starting to incorporate mindfulness into their methods. People nowadays are starting to look for more than just a sexy body from their exercise, but also a space for them to develop their mindfulness practice, whether that be breathwork, meditation, affirmations, etc. Plus, the exercise is guaranteed to be more effective in your body if you include any of the above.”—Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise, Sakara Life founders

Holistic happiness: “A trend that’s been on the rise that I see carrying into 2016 is a holistic approach to health and happiness. It’s no longer just about working out, healthiness is now very much a lifestyle choice, it’s what you eat, it’s how you dress, it’s all encompassing. I believe that to live your best life you have to practice active living—by moving your body every day, nourishing from the inside out, and believing that anything is possible.”—Lorna Jane Clarkson, Lorna Jane Activewear founder

Obstacle-course racing: “The explosive growth of boutique fitness studios and obstacle-course racing, like Spartan Race demonstrates that people don’t just want to go to a warehouse of treadmills to sweat, they want a unique experience that is both health-promoting and memorable.”—Pete McCall, ACE expert and personal trainer

(Substance Blog)

Foundation training: “The next big health and fitness trend will be foundation training.”—Karina Petroni, pro surfer

Organic bone broth: Bone broth, of course from organic, rich ingredients.“—Karolina Kurkova

High-intensity circuit training: “High-intensity and circuit-training workouts. They will literally kick your butt into gear and really, really work. I love the glow of my skin after I have a good sweat session.”—Molly Sims

Hybrid Pilates and cardio workouts: “The next big health and fitness trend will be SLT.”—Megan Williams, model

Wearable technology: “The next big health and fitness trend will be wearable technology.”—Ashley Graham, model and body image activist

Intensive fitness classes: “Americans love the idea of transformation. Witness the success of ‘The Biggest Loser’ and shows of that ilk. With intensive fitness programs we can engineer our own transformations with the help of our very own dream team of experts. And even more appealing is the idea that this transformation kick-starts real longer-term lifestyle change. For example, after working out six times a week and eating a very clean diet during the program, someone usually nets out at working out four or five times a week and eating moderately well, which is generally an improvement on what came before. Also, I think that we all know that healthy weight loss should be gradual, but sometimes people get into bad habits and we need a program to help break us of 400 cookies and lazy, phone-’em-in workouts. These intensive fitness programs force participants to take it up several notches, thereby kick-starting new healthy habits.”—Alexia Brue, Well+Good co-founder

Boxing: “There seems to be more and more people getting into it. I think hitting something is a stress reliever, so even the girliest of girls and supermodels can enjoy it. It’s meant to be great for toning the arms and abs too.”—Thássia Naves, blogger and Instagram star

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