The Top Wellness Trends for Wedding Planning in 2022
In 2022, an astounding 2.6 million weddings will occur. For to-be-weds, prioritizing wedding wellness (and general wellness across all areas of life) can buffer common stresses that arise while planning, traveling, and throwing the biggest event of their lives. But the engagement period can be more; in fact, it's a precious opportunity to reset and reevaluate your health, goals and daily habits.
"Often, a wedding is an ultimate motivation for people to feel and look their best," says celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, MSc (Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences). "Too often, however, people do things that are extreme or too intense only to peak on the day of the wedding. From there, they're unable to continue the overly-stringent eating plan or intense workout programs they did leading up to the wedding. I'll tell everyone that I work with, who is getting ready for their wedding, that they are getting ready for their life." Here are the best wedding fitness and wellness trends to consider as you plan your wedding in 2022.
Saying 'Farewell' to Diets
Ask couples how they view dieting in 2022 and the answer is… most don't. Our society, at large, is moving away from the notion of deprivation to abundant, intuitive nutrition. "We've seen a lot of extremes—in diets for instance," says Pasternak. "I'm hoping… we will start to see those extremes subside and experience a return to a more balanced approach."
With a background in nutritional science, Pasternak explains why certain fad diets (such as the Master Cleanse or the Blood Type Diet) are detrimental to the overall wellbeing of consumers. "There are programs that aren't healthy in the long run," he notes. "It is so important to eat a balanced diet to ensure you're getting the right amount of protein. And also carbs to keep your energy levels up."
Consuming Whole Foods (Not Just for Groceries)
Wellness consumption priorities among couples involve healthy and balanced diets with a focus on nutrient-dense whole foods. Cooking at home with your partner is one avenue for building this healthy habit together, especially since nutrition plays an important role in wedding wellness.
Intake, after all, affects energy levels, goal progress, and even has life-or-death consequences. A 2019 study in The Lancet, for example, found diet's role in mortality. Researchers reviewed diets across 195 countries, factoring in household income, and found that more people die from poor dietary consumption than from smoking. "Our assessment shows that the leading dietary risk factors for mortality are diets high in sodium, low in whole grains, low in fruit, low in nuts and seeds, low in vegetables, and low in omega-3 fatty acids; each accounting for more than two percent of global deaths," the study explains. Finally, mind your vitamins. With so much happening, it's important to supplement your meals with proper intake of everything from Vitamins A to Zinc.
Throwing Mindful Prewedding Events
What the pandemic has also taught so many to-be-weds is that jeopardizing their wellbeing or partying without boundaries results in unpleasant consequences (hangovers, sluggishness). Instead, many couples are choosing mindful getaways for their prewedding events and bach parties. Days involve outdoor activities, like yoga on the beach or a nature walk. Evenings include a farm-to-table dinner or experience beyond the typical lounge setting.
If there's alcohol, it's quality over quantity for wellness-minded bach parties. As of late, mixologists are becoming more inventive with health-conscious mixes, including tea mixes or cold-pressed cocktails. It's no wonder matching athleisure sets are trending right alongside typical bach party swag.
Perfecting Your Posture
Posture has never been more important–especially as couples are working from home. Slumping over a computer or phone should be countered by exercises that target specific muscles. Changing form is essential for good posture on the wedding day and beyond. Pasternak shares four tips to counter poor posture, including a bent-over dumbbell row, a deadlift, his signature hips up, arms up "Harley" move and a final movement called the Superperson.
"Use your wedding as the spark to ignite a series of sustainable and healthy behaviors that you can keep up the rest your life," says Pasternak, who customizes a personal plan for each of his clients (among them, celebrity names like the Kardashians and more). Simply put, follow the wedding wellness plan and fitness goals developed by your team. You'll be surprised as you see results.
Tracking Body Movement
Basic human function requires rest, which is why it's essential for couples to get restful, quality sleep each night. Hence, why, sleep hygiene is an important practice. This includes putting down the phone an hour before bedtime, avoiding intake of sugar at night, and being consistent about the time you fall asleep and wake up daily.
"The best sleep will happen when it's natural," says Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a sleep researcher and fellow at Harvard University. "All of those good things go a long way. If that's not working, and you're having trouble falling asleep and that's happening in a chronic fashion, then that's when you should talk to your healthcare provider." Numerous tools and apps track sleep quality, which is a composite stat that includes the number of uninterrupted hours of sleep a person has each night along with positioning, consistency over time and more.
Pasternak encourages couples to use their phone, smartwatch or another tool to account for everyday behaviors. "Track consistent daily habits that are sustainable," he notes. "Up to, through and after the wedding."
Practical Goal Setting
Part of wedding wellness is being kind to yourself and setting goals that are not only realistic but also attainable. With every tiny victory, you'll see yourself move ahead. Habits are developed with increased practice, so setting lofty expectations for yourself can be a deterrent.
"The planning process has begun and sometimes, included in that process, are goals to look your best on your wedding day," says Robia Smith-Herman, LCSW, The Renfrew Center, which has promoted healthy body image and largely treats patients with food-related disorders. "These objectives can become overwhelming and add to the stress of planning because often, if you're on a diet, it's restrictive. If you have a workout plan, it can be excessive. Set goals that feel genuine rather than overwhelming."
Sure, wedding planning is a hectic time, but this precious period is a great time to jot down your thoughts and dreams for the future with your partner. Journaling is a solid practice for mindfulness. Gratitude journals and couples' journals have become especially popular throughout the pandemic–self-reflection and self-awareness both promote growth, after all.
If that's not enough to convince you to pick up this life-changing habit, know that "the greats" (Leonardo Da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Oprah) turned to this habit to inspire creativity and innovation.
One of the most underestimated tips for anyone looking to be in optimal shape is hydration. The human body is about 60% water, according to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry. Within that, the skin is comprised of 64% water, while the muscles and kidneys are 79% H2O. For beauty and for general bodily function, then, water is a necessity to glow and perform at your best.
Activity or any kind of energy exertion requires replenishment of fluids in the body. A tip from experts is to start the day with a glass of lukewarm water to activate the body. Also, cut back on drinks with additive sugars. If you still find yourself craving soda and other carbonated drinks, there's nothing better than creating your own spa water. Cut cucumbers and lemons and infuse them into your water. This will encourage you to hydrate frequently.
Taking Invigorating Walks
Studies reveal that daily walks are effective with weight loss and mindfulness. In fact, social media now refers to hitting daily step counts as taking "hot person" walks. Together with your partner, it's a great time of day to talk through life and get the heart rate up. "Wearables are continuing to play a major role in wellness, with consumers having more access to data than ever before and really paying attention to what that data means," says Pasternak, who's also the Kardashian Family's personal trainer. "Use your Fitbit [or Apple Watch] to try and get at least 12,000 steps a day, at least seven hours of quality sleep at night, and keep track of your food intake."
Personalizing Your Fitness
Yoga, a HIIT workout, dance or even a brisk outdoor walk can help increase your heart rate. The options these days run the gamut, especially with the rise of live-streamed classes and fresh boutique fitness options. Most trainers recommend a minimum of three to four sessions of cardio of at least 30 minutes each time per week. Replicate that model for strength training, which is also very important for long-term fitness goals. Of course, it compounds over time, so the more you move, the more results you'll see over time.
"One piece of wedding fitness advice for couples is to focus on finding activities that are fun and enjoyable rather than activities that feel like a chore or burdensome," says Smith-Herman. "Fitness activities that you can do up to three times per week and that you actually enjoy doing together, or separately, can be a great activity throughout the wedding planning process."
Glowing From Within
TikTok beauty favorites, like Charlotte Tilbury and Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty, are just a few brands to have embraced the "glow beneath the surface" wellness trend, driven by Gen Z and Millennial consumers. Riley Christopher and Kristen Depowski, founders behind wellness and beauty app Skoop, have seen a surge in demand for consumers prioritizing what's beneath the surface. "Everyone wants the 'glassy' smooth glow to look like they're glowing while wearing minimal makeup," they explain. "In the US, we used to be all about 'covering up' imperfections with our makeup. Now, we see more makeup that doubles as skincare and contains topical ingredients to also treat the skin in different ways, like hydrating."
Dermatologists and other skincare experts can provide a program to help address your needs. "Products can only do so much," explain Depowski and Christopher. "We've seen a rise in these treatments [on our app] and get a lot of questions on the differences between certain lasers and peels." Daily care is incredibly important too with facial massages and gua sha easing into mainstream, daily self-care routines. "Everyone is obsessed with Face Gym," the app's co-founders note of the New York-based facial-muscle-training destination. "A stagnant lymphatic system also impedes glow – lymphatic drainage massage and infrared sauna appointments are on the rise to overcome this, and further help consumers glow from within."
Prioritizing Your Emotional and Mental Health
Four seconds is all it takes to reevaluate everything, according to author Peter Bregman. Breathing, though essential to human function, is an art and a practice. Sometimes it requires building space at home that is a haven. Maybe it's a book nook or a pillow in the corner of your bedroom where you get the most natural light. "There is a lot of time, energy, effort, and money that goes into planning a wedding," says Smith-Herman. "Practicing being present and aware of what is going on around you throughout the process can be helpful."
Rather than looking to fitness as a task, approaching impending transformation or building healthy habits with a positive mentality is key. The same applies to your overall lifestyle. Finally, if you find yourself stuck in patterns, you're grappling with difficult situations beyond your control, or you need professional guidance from an expert, we highly encourage you to seek out a therapist or a professional certified counselor who can help you during this especially action-packed season."When you take time to be mindful, your wedding day becomes about being present and enjoying your time with your partner, family and friends," says Smith-Herman.
Resetting and Recharging
If planning a wedding in 2022 is simply overwhelming, hitting the reset button on life might be the best option for your wedding wellness plan. This could include planning a getaway to a peaceful destination or enjoying a staycation nearby. At home, mindfulness and rest can look like a long bath romanticized with petals and aromatherapy, or cooking a meal from scratch to decompress. Whatever works for you, book that long-awaited massage or crack open that book and relax.
Finally, keep in mind that weddings are an opportunity to reset–for the better and together. "The wedding is a great opportunity for the two people getting married to [hit reset] together. You're accountability partners to one another, and this hopefully will hold up for the rest of your lives," says Pasternak. "Whatever you do to get ready for your wedding should be something that you can keep doing after the wedding. Life is not a sprint, it's a marathon."