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Six Amazing (and Possibly Gross) Health Future Trends

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Do NOT sit for too long!

Do NOT sit for too long!

What do baldness, wrinkles, cellulite, shyness, muffin top all have in common? They are all normal conditions, not diseases that need to be “cured.” So opened Carol Torgan, PhD, FACSM, in her recent presentation “Communication of Evidence-Based Health and Wellness Information” at the recent FitSocial Conference.

A potentially intimidating title, yet we knew to expect an informative lecture from a woman who’s spent over 15 years at the National Institutes of Health and American College of Sports Medicine “developing content and outreach strategies that translate the health and medical sciences into understandable and actionable steps for the general public and for health professionals.”

Essentially, Dr. Torgan’s talk boiled down to six predicted health trends, starting with the one that might gross you out the most:

Ready for your Fecal Transplant?

Ready for your Fecal Transplant?

1. Microbiomes

A community of organisms that live in and on us – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses -icky, slimy, ewwwy! One – three percent of our body is not “us” but the above organisms. These bacteria/ microbiomes influence how we metabolize foods. In other words, look for the link between probiotics, colitis and poop! Heck, Dr. Torgan even references fecal transplants. In his piece for the New York Times, Michael Pollan discusses microbiomes and states that we are all actually only 10% “human.”

2. Inactivity Physiology

“Your next posture is your best posture.” Sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little. You can exercise strenuously for an hour, but if you sit for the rest of the day, you are at risk for all kinds of health issues, including weight gain. So if you’re sitting up perfectly straight in a chair, get up and move.

3. Travel and Its Effects on the Body

Keep an eye on research into circadian rhythms and chronobiology (the scientific study of the effect of time on living systems and of biological rhythms). With millions of Americans spending millions of dollars on antidepressant medication, research into light therapy and its effectiveness on depression, sleep disorders, dementia, bulimia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is expanding.

4. Crowdsourcing

Now that we are linked in globally, look for an expansion of people helping people by sharing and curating strategies and successes. A perfect example of crowdsourcing with health benefits is the National Weight Control Registry started by keynote speaker Dr. James Hill. The registry “was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss.”
It tracks over 10,000 people who have “lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.” The information is then shared in an effort to help people want to access these successful strategies. And this is a perfect time to mention that Dr. Hill wrote the just-released “State of Slim,” which gives step-by-step instructions for losing weight and keeping it off!

Forget tidy whities; time for Carbon Undies

Forget tidy whities; time for Carbon Undies

5. E-textiles

We are already weaving trackers and feedback tools into our clothing, it’s just so gradual that we don’t notice how “futuristic” this is. And more is coming! How about carbon sensing underwear? Yup. These sensing, sensible undies will be useful for everything from diabetes monitoring to military applications. We already have monitors, trackers, cameras, timers and all kinds of magical gadgets that were the stuff of Bond films 30 years ago; now these devices will move even closer to your center of gravity (more accurate than wrist worn gadgets). Remember Andy Serkis using the performance capture suit as Gollum in LOTR? Are you ready to wear a fitness top that has front, back and side sensors that correct your movement patterns?
Check out Carol’s Pinterest board on wearable tech.

6. Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity

Brain science as it relates to movement is huge right now, and the research just keeps coming. To improve cognitive skills and brain power as we age we have to move. You move; you get smarter! Move to the head of the class! We’ve been touting this research for a few years now, knowing that Boomers in particular want to stay mentally sharp.

We’ve gathered a few tweets from Dr. Torgan’s talk, because you will like these 140 character bits of wisdom!

Dr. Carol Torgan is the new BFF of the F&F Twins!

Dr. Carol Torgan is the new BFF of the F&F Twins!

* When offering stats or science, go (or link) to the original source
* “Which fitness tracker do you recommend?” – “The one you will use”
* The most common weight loss tracking device is not an app; it’s the “jeans in the back of the closet that someday I’ll fit into again” tracker
* The most effective treatment for anxiety and insomnia is exercise (via sufferer self-report)
* An abstract presented at a conference is NOT the same as a published, peer-reviewed article
* More than half of internet users are looking online for exercise, health & fitness info.


What trend is most interesting to you?

Kymberly is wearing a very cute Lorna Jane blue pullover and shoes by Ahnu.

Photo credits: Carbon clothing- Carol Torgan; Pooped People –  x-ray delta one; Prolonged sitting – iamdogsmom

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About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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13 Responses to Six Amazing (and Possibly Gross) Health Future Trends

  1. Aqiyl Aniys October 7, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity stood out to me. Yes move the body to stimulate the brain, and we also need stimulate the brain directly by exercising it. My current physically activity has been supporting my neuroplasticity, and I lately I have been improving my neuroplasticity through brain exercises aimed at improving my memory, mental flexibility, and speed.
    Aqiyl Aniys recently posted..Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Plant Based DietMy Profile

    • Fun and Fit October 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      It must be working as you are smart enough to comment on our post. Ha ah aha! The recent information coming out about the connection between brain and body is one of my personal favorites and passions. To know how much influence and direct control we have over our mental capacity now and into our final years is very motivating! Exercise is now listed as the number one factor for improved cognitive skills. Go Aqiyl!
      Fun and Fit recently posted..How to Sit Less; Move MoreMy Profile

  2. Nicki Anderson October 7, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    This is fascinating. I have to share this! Thanks for passing along. You’re right #1, gross out, but it’s science so I guess that makes it less gross. :-)
    Nicki Anderson recently posted..An overdue coversation with my bodyMy Profile

  3. Fun and Fit October 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Gross may save lives in this case. Guess who was at this talk and had never heard of fecal transplants? Yours truly times two. Now to identify that bacteria that is disguised as a floatie in my eyeball….. super healthy for my vision I hear.
    Fun and Fit recently posted..Menopause and Weight Gain: GrrrrrMy Profile

  4. Deb roby October 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    After reading about the study that found genes which effect our heart health, i suspect that more genetic data will be tested and accessed through programs like 23&me. And I see analyzing our unique gentic material as a way to understand how foods effects us and how we can change our health through food willbe huge.

  5. Jody - Fit at 55 October 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    SO very very very interesting!!! I love that you share your knowledge & what you learn with us!!!! I LOVED this: “Which fitness tracker do you recommend?” – “The one you will use”
    * The most common weight loss tracking device is not an app; it’s the “jeans in the back of the closet that someday I’ll fit into again” tracker

    Got to love it!

    Thx again for the gross & not so gross info!!!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Lots of Gratitude on Monday!My Profile

  6. Tamara October 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Definitely most interested in brain research. The science of neuroplasticity is fascinating; one of the main reasons I exercise is so that I’ll still be able to read and understand the studies as I age!
    Tamara recently posted..How to prepare for a fitness photo shootMy Profile

  7. Jane October 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Well, I am guilty of #2 – being a blogger, I am finding ways to get rid of all sitting from my schedule. While I workout and I also take care of the household chores, there is still some “sitting” in mys schedule. I make sure I get up and stretch as often as I can! Oh the future trends!

    Thanks for sharing Alexandra :)
    Jane recently posted..The Whole Foods Diet: Do Good To Yourself And Your Loved OnesMy Profile

  8. Sandy @VTWorks October 10, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Guilty of the sitting too much, that’s a tough one. Alexandra, your expression in that last photo makes my day. You all rock!
    Sandy @VTWorks recently posted..Timber Porch and EntryMy Profile


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