Fitness

Here's how 2018 fared in wellness

Healthy breakfast

Healthy breakfast   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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We cut through the clutter to bring you the gist of the year in wellness

WE GOT PASSIONATE ABOUT…

Beating plastic pollution, in keeping with the World Environment Day theme in 2018. Adidas organised Run for the Oceans 2018, in Mumbai, to raise awareness on the threat of marine plastic pollution. It has also supported Adv Afroz Shah, the UN Champion of Earth 2016. The brand has introduced shoes that prevent plastic bottles from entering the ocean: Female Parley, ₹15,999; male Parley, ₹17,999.We cut through the clutter to bring you the gist of the year

in wellness

WHAT GOT A BUMP IN 2018

The discussion around sexuality, with the scrapping of Article 377, and pictures of lawyers in formal black-and-white with rainbow-coloured badges did the rounds on social media.

Mental health took a front seat with several events, including Imagine: Building Emotionally Safe Spaces. “We knew we needed to get people from different fields together — education, mental health, disability — and see how we can create a space where conversations can happen,” says Shelja Sen, a child and adolescent psychologist, author, co-founder of Children First (that organised the event in tandem with Teamwork Fine Arts Society). The team looked at the core of emotionally safe spaces, in homes, schools, and communities, putting together an event in a green space filled with art and inspiration by children. The foundation of the event was WOW: “Every child must feel ‘I am worthy’ no matter what my background; original: ‘I’m unique’; and welcome: ‘I belong’,” says Sen, who speaks about the concept in her books, the latest being Reclaim Your Life.

AI in healthcare became big, with apps such as mfine. The app connects patients with doctors, reducing the time spent in-clinic. It also stores records and generates possible diagnoses, treatment modalities through diverse inputs from scientific studies, doctors’ prescriptions, reports.

WE WENT BACK TO…

Recipe books, because the look and feel just inspires us to get in the kitchen. The year began with us receiving Nandita Iyer’s The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian, (Hachette) and ended with Vikas Khanna’s The Wholesome Grain (DK). Vikas, who is partial to the underdog, says his favourite grain is buckwheat that often gets relegated to a ‘fast’ food. An excerpt:

Caprese salad with buckwheat

Serves: 4; Prep: 15 minutes, plus resting; Cook 1 HR

1 cup whole buckwheat

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or vinegar of your choice

12-15 ripe cherry tomatoes

280 gms fresh mozzarella

10-12 basil leaves

Salt to taste

1. Generously season six cups of water with salt. Add the buckwheat and bring it to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to a low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes-1 hour until tender. Drain and reserve.

2. Place the onion in a small bowl and stir in the vinegar and salt. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 10 mins.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked buckwheat with all the ingredients. Garnish with basil leaves, season with salt, if required, and serve immediately.

WE REJECTED…

Korean beauty. The mask fell off when women across Korea rejected those many layers of skincare and the need to look ‘flawless’. ‘Escape the corset’ across social media saw them destroying cosmetics. It’s a part of a larger movement of women speaking up and speaking out, whether it’s about beauty standards or sexual abuse. Goodbye BB-CC creams.

NEW IN 2018

Fitness fests. Whether it was Virgin Sport in Oxford, LoveFit in Kemsing, both England; Les Mills Live in Sweden; or We Dare to Bare and the NY Fit Fest, both in New York.

In-flight health. Even as India rejoiced at being able to keep phones on in-flight, the rest of the world has progressed to looking at better nutrition, hydration, sleep strategies, exercises in-flight. Singapore Airlines announced its partnership with wellness brand Canyon Ranch to do just this.

WE CHANGED OUR MINDS ABOUT…

Anti-ageing. It got taken down as a part of ageism, and we’re looking at longevity and minimising age-related decline instead. David Sinclair, Harvard professor and a pioneer in the field, asked for suggestions on Twitter for titles for his new book, “about the battle to slow, stop, and reverse ageing.” Some suggestions thrown up: “Everyone gets out alive”, “Curing the human syndrome”, “Surely you’re ageing, Dr Sinclair”.

DIETS WE LOVED

Intermittent fasting

Keto

Vegan

 

SO LAST YEAR

20172018
We brought menstruation out in the openWe championed #MeToo
We did #MondayMotivationWe did #Wednesday Workouts and #FitnessFriday
We were weekend warriorsWe are wellness warriors
We looked at diet cheatsWe looked at diet changes
Weight-loss was bigWellness rules

 

 

 

WE WORKED OUT…

Kickboxing became big

Bamboo workout clothing got us thinking about breathability

Playground-like gyms put us at ease

Halle Berry’s #fridayfitness gave us goals

WE LOOKED DEEPER AT…

What we wanted from fitness, and made our goals a part of our intentions. “Intentions form a part of a larger umbrella and are driven by an inner locus of control; goals become a vehicle to achieve the intention. So a goal is external: someone else can set it for me, while an intention is an inner understanding and motivation,” says Aparna Balasundaram, a Gurugram-based psychotherapist. In her practice, she sees people who talk about wanting more energy. A fitness goal (like doing 150 minutes of walking every week or losing weight) may form a part of it, but are not the overarching themes.

The World Health Organization set out The Global Action Plan On Physical Activity 2018-2030. The goal: to reduce inactivity by 10% by 2025, by 15% by 2030. The intention: to create a healthier world, through active societies, environments, people, systems.

WE EMBRACED

Nishtha Dude

Nishtha Dude   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

 

Differently-abled beauty pageants. Nishtha Dudeja became the first Indian to win the Miss Deaf Asia 2018 title at the 18th edition of Miss and Mister Deaf World - Europe - Asia Beauty Pageant. Meanwhile in Africa, Kenya held an albino beauty pageant to encourage inclusion.

Dark beauty. Rihanna’s Fenty completed a year, and finally gave us makeup for dark skin, even if it meant we had to ask someone to cart a product or two for us from abroad. The point was not the products themselves, but the fact that finally, dark people were no longer a ‘niche’ market!

Tech in toys. Besides the bots and SmartGurlz that gets young girls interested in coding, several playthings at the New York Toy Fair 2018 responded to touch and voice, with motion and sound:

Zoomer, the playful pup, a robotic dog that snuggles, cuddles and makes dog noises as you tickle its tummy; Ages 5+, ₹5,776 approximately, Amazon.in

Luvabeau, a doll that moves, talks and plays like a baby, even changing facial expression; Ages 4+, $34.99, Amazon.com

Grumblies, are literally heads that kids can poke, shake, and generally manhandle. They’ll produce sounds and reactions, going from angry to complete meltdown; Ages 3+; $19.99 per piece; Amazon.com

WE GOT PASSIONATE ABOUT…

Beating plastic pollution, in keeping with the World Environment Day theme in 2018. Adidas organised Run for the Oceans 2018, in Mumbai, to raise awareness on the threat of marine plastic pollution. It has also supported Adv Afroz Shah, the UN Champion of Earth 2016. The brand has introduced shoes that prevent plastic bottles from entering the ocean: Female Parley, ₹15,999; male Parley, ₹17,999.

THESE GAVE US A SCARE …

Zika. Even as the virus infected over 150 people, it brought into focus the book, The Secret Life of Zika Virus by Kalpish Ratna that does a biography, bringing it alive for us.

Cancer. With Sonali Bendre, Irrfan Khan, and Tahira Kashyap making their diagnosis public, self-healing and inflammation-retardants entered our vocabulary. Manisha Koirala, meanwhile, celebrated being cancer-free with her book, Healed.

MYTHS WE’RE DONE WITH

That olive oil is the only oil to cook in and that coconut oil is good

That all sugars are created equally, with jaggery getting a boost as a good cleanser against pollution

That you need to punish your body to get fit

That superfoods come from other countries and are exotic-sounding

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