WANTED: Wellness!

We are living in a wellness culture. More than ever before, we are people focused on living a life that considers our health to be much more than the absence of illness – it’s a holistic sum of our physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual health.  According to the Global Wellness Institute, the health and wellness industry has swelled to a staggering $4.2 trillion.

TREND: Generation Z says “We’ve got this!”

In a recent How America Shops report, WSL Marketing reveals that 80 percent of Gen Z (the oldest of which are 22 years old) feel they already know how to live a healthy life. 63 percent say looking better makes them feel healthier, and 50 percent of Gen Z women purchase products that make them “look healthier.” (Note: Millennials lead in spending on wellness trends, but the confidence expressed by GenZ-ers stood out to me. It’s like they’ve got it all figured out!)

I recently spent some time in France with my nephew, Victor, and his friend, Hannah, two of my favorite Gen Z-ers. Ever the researcher, I asked them what wellness meant to them.

  • For Victor, wellness is “having the physical and mental freedom to enjoy life however you want to.” They both go to the gym to support their wellness goals, and Victor says he focuses on staying hydrated and including necessary vitamins in his diet.
  • Hannah says, “I notice that I’m in better spirits after the gym and that it gives me an overall better mood. I will also spend money on myself doing my nails or a little retail therapy. If I feel out of sorts I’ll usually take time to myself to relax and get away from the world.”

As a Gen X-er, I’m right alongside these generations in their pursuit of wellness. Work and life have me fully challenged and stretched. But all this ‘stretching’ gets exhausting, so, like many of us, I aspire for balance. Yoga, kick-boxing, running and cycling are a part of my routine… always a challenge with a moderator’s travel schedule!

I realized recently that what I wanted was to find a benchmark of where I’m at so I can challenge myself to achieve the next level — whatever that may be.

So I embarked on a 10-day summer adventure where I cycled 50-70 km/day through France’s Loire Valley, hiked the rugged shore of Corsica and even tried my hand (and feet) at a little rock-climbing. And you know what? I surprised myself!

I felt whole, challenged mentally and physically, and I discovered I could certainly up my game physically. And what else can I do? I’m still figuring that out, but the possibilities are endless!

What have you wanted to just try out? Beyond work, how do you want to stretch yourself? I say JUMP . . . and you may surprise yourself, too.

Here’s a peek at my summer wellness adventure…