By Sarah Jio
I don’t know about you, but for me, 2021 (so far) has been all about wellness. Guys, I even forced myself to make the dentist appointment I’ve been putting off for an embarrassingly long time. (I blamed it on Covid, but, I’ll be brutally honest: It had nothing to do with Covid and everything to do with my fear of Le Dentiste).
But this year’s wellness expedition goes far beyond teeth. In fact, I’ve been on a constant search for the latest and greatest—basically, anything to boost health and happiness. Gadgets and gizmos? I’ve tried them. Weird new yoga moves? Those too. Somewhat nauseating vitamin elixir that promises amazing results? Yup, I drank it. The elixir aside, here are my favorite (and slightly weird!) new trends you should definitely put on your list:
In all my years writing for magazines about healthy living, one of my biggest takeaways has been how closely our overall health is tied to our mouths. I know, it’s not the sexiest health headline, but did you know that research has linked gum inflammation to a long list of startling conditions, including heart disease and dementia? You already know to brush and floss, but if I could convince you to make two changes this year, it would be these two:
Calling all water evaders! I know, plain ol’ H2O is a little boring. But not only that, did you know that most tap and bottled water is sorely lacking in the minerals our body needs to replenish our cells and remain optimally hydrated? In fact, if you’re like me—someone who drinks a lot of water and still feels a bit thirsty shortly after—you might be low on minerals.
There are lots of ways to boost the mineral and electrolyte content of your water, but my favorite hack comes via The Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, where I learned about adding trace minerals to my water and taking QuintEssential from Water & Wellness, which serves up more than 78 essential minerals. And, consider stocking up on my ultimate fave: Wanu Water, which packs its bottles with 25 percent of your daily fiber needs, plus B vitamins and electrolytes. Yep, fiber water is a thing! Best part? This stuff is so yummy and your kids will love it, too. The peach-passion flavor is my go-to (and I may or may not hide them from my husband so I never run out!).
By now, you’ve probably heard about the “grounding” movement—aka, the practice of placing your bare feet on the earth (the sidewalk, a sandy beach, your lawn, etc.) to soak up all the beneficial ions that our shoes typically block. I admit, this may sound a bit woo woo, and I love my shoes as much as any girly girl, but after delving deeper into the science, I’ve become a convert. These days, if I have the chance to have a bit of barefoot time, I do it. And, the results are real (and what our shoeless ancestors already knew): better sleep, reduced anxiety and a boost in overall wellness. But you don’t have to get all hippie mama to reap the rewards. I recently learned about a company called Earthing that makes grounding products for the home—including mats that you plug into a grounded outlet and sit or sleep on (I’m loving the one I’m using on our king-sized bed, and I also bought one for each of my boys’ desk chairs. They may think their mom is a little nuts, but I can handle that).
The darling of the supplement aisle, vitamin D, has legions of fans in the medical world—especially since recent research shows that most people are deficient in this vital nutrient (especially if you live in a cloudier area of the globe, as I do—hello rainy Seattle). But if you’re averse to taking pills, try my favorite new hack: vitamin D lotion! I recently discovered the D+ Lotion from Amp Human (it’s currently out of stock, so here’s another to try). Not only is this an easy addition to your self-care regimen, many health experts believe that the skin is the best mechanism to absorb the D your body needs. Win-win!
Okay, this may sound a bit mad scientist, but decades of research has proven that all supplements and compounds carry specific wavelengths, and if you can identify the exact code, you can transfer that to something like … a glass of water. Stay with me, here. Imagine infusing your glass with vitamin C when you have a cold, or a dose of happiness-boosting supplements when you’re feeling a little down—but without actually taking any supplements.
One new company, Infopathy, designed a device that you connect to your computer to download the specific herbal or pharmaceutical wavelength you’re after, which then transfers it to your water glass. Another, called HapBee, does something similar, but with a wearable device that looks sort of like a headband. Just choose from their list of dozens of “channels”—such as “Calm,” “Happy,” or “Focus”—and let the wavelengths do their work. I’ve tried both devices, and while this all may sound a bit voodoo, I was shocked to discover that I felt a noticeable difference after using them. Though no one would suggest forgoing your prescription medication for wavelengths, I do think that using something additive like this is a fun and fresh way to boost wellness.
Sarah Jio is a journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels with Penguin and Random House Books. Find her on Instagram (www.instragram.com/sarahjio) or at her web site (www.sarahjio.com).