elebrating life is a fundamental part of being well and happy. Whatever our culture and wherever we live, our years are measured out by the cadence of high points and festivities. But although these celebrations bring joy, time with family and friends, time to reboot and reflect and a rest from work, they also – too often – bring ill health and upset. The reason is clear, we’ve allowed our cycle of festivals to be taken over by the food industry, which commits vast budgets to pushing rich food and drink via endless seductive advertising. In short, the wellness industry is being completely outgunned in the battle for the consumer at these important times of year and the health impacts are clear to see. The traditional year-end and new year celebrations are a case in point. For many, they mean sitting indoors overloading the body. Couple this with a lack of exercise and fresh air and, in some cases vitamin D, and you have a perfect formula for unwellness – the antithesis of everything our industry is aiming to achieve. As the winter recedes and we head into spring in the northern parts of the world, there’s time to reflect on just how shocking this effect has been through the winter of 2017-18. Flu has wreaked havoc with many people’s health, leaving record numbers hospitalised and post-viral. Viruses are around all the time. The only thing that changes is our ability to fight them. When we live well, we win, when we live badly, we create a breeding ground for them and they thrive. It’s a matter of survival of the fittest at its most fundamental. It’s us versus them. So how should we read this? On the one hand, it’s pure proof that bad lifestyle makes you sick and can do so very, very fast – it’s as though a huge, real-time experiment is being conducted on whole societies, with vast sample sizes.
ALEX EMANUEL KOCH/SHUTTERSTOCK
The tide is turning on excess, with more and more consumers interested in marking high days and holidays with wellbeing rather than indulgence. The rapid growth of veganuary and dryjanuary are just early indicators of this awakening and we must back this trend
Health, happiness and vitality are the goals
A little of what you fancy does you good, says the old adage. It’s simply not true. A little of what you fancy – in too many cases – makes you sick On the other hand, we must champion the alternative – good lifestyle underpins health and we have the knowledge to help people achieve it. The time is right for new initiatives – it’s no coincidence dryjanuary and veganuary have taken off so fast: people are looking for these solutions. Let’s start a movement to make all festive seasons times of wellness. Let’s stand our ground against the food industry and make our case. We have it within our remit to make a difference.
Liz Terry, editorial director @elizterry
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spabusiness.com issue 1 2018 7
Spa Business is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global spa and wellness industry