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When Wellness Goes Mainstream

by Kat » on Dec 14, 2012 18

Those “weirdos” with the FiveFinger shoes are everywhere now. Have you seen them? Maybe you’re one of them! (I know I am…)

It’s becoming increasingly common to see serious athletes and weekend walkers alike decked out in all manner of fitness gear. Stretchy yoga pants are now acceptable public attire and casual offices usually permit high-end exercise clothing as long as the employee still looks put together. We’re lucky. I no longer feel out of place or under dressed when I wear my Vibram FiveFinger shoes around town. I still get some stares and hear the occasional snort of laughter, but the general public is becoming comfortable with fitness enthusiasts’ unorthodox wardrobe choices.

Why?

Healthy living has gone mainstream.

The CEO at Keas (a techie health company) is known for leading meetings in his workout clothes. In fact, not only is fitness attire the norm in the office, he’s so proud of the healthy office culture, he tweets about it to encourage other companies to embrace healthy habits in the workplace. By normalizing healthy habits, he encourages employees and the community at large to follow his lead and prioritize wellness. Ya might even call it: a movement movement.

As the obesity epidemic rages on, prevention is finally getting the attention it deserves. Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign seeks to instill good habits in youngsters so they can continue on a healthy path through adulthood. Rather than always trying to treat a problem or reverse chronic disease, Americans are doing their best to avoid it in the first place. These days, it is not just the uber health conscious individuals who are squeezing in 30 minutes of exercise, aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and cutting back on sugary beverages – it’s becoming de rigeur behavior for citizens around the world.

New York’s recent soda ban was just one important step towards nudging the population as a whole towards healthier habits, but when healthier choices are the law, it’s hard to ignore.

Signs of Change

There are numerous signs that wellness is gaining appreciation as a concept. From funky minimalist shoes, to workplace walking meetings, to the surge in yoga, CrossFit, and Zumba studios, people are finally taking control of their wellbeing and embracing healthy habits.

What changes have you noticed that illustrate the idea that wellness is going mainstream?


18 Comments

  1. Stuart

    December 14th, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Three years ago, when I lived in Chicago, getting tomato slices on my hot dog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-style_hot_dog) was considered enough wellness for one day. Once I started wearing a pedometer, hitting the gym four times a week, and going on walking meetings at work, I guess this whole wellness thing could be considered a movement.

    I haven’t sprung for the Vibrams, though. What would be a good first pair to get?

    Reply

  2. Kat

    December 14th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Hi Stuart – Thanks for your comment! Vibram FiveFingers keeps coming out with incredible footwear but some of the best choices for beginners include the KSO and the Bikila.

    Of course, everyone is different so you should try out a few at a local running store and see what feels best on your foot.

    Welcome to the minimalist shoe club!

    Reply

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  3. Alison

    December 14th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    It is exciting that so many people are becoming more health conscious although there is still a long way to go. As the Post talks about today, high blood pressure is now the leading risk factor for disease around the world. But often it seems that companies are taking advantage of the wellness movement as an opportunity to sell workout gear at exorbitant prices. Hopefully individuals will continue to focus on their health and not just their style!

    Reply

    • Kat

      December 14th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      So true!

      Though it’s nice to feel stylish during a heart pumping workout, you can embrace healthy behaviors without spending a fortune. FiveFingers might be a little pricey but they’re meant to emulate barefoot running – the cheapest type of exercise of all!

      Reply

  4. robert

    December 14th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    another nice job. can’t say enough about the importance of exercise.

    Reply

  5. Nora

    December 14th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Sign of Change:
    I watch football with my husband every Sunday, and I’ve been impressed the NFL’s “Play60” campaign. I think it’s great to have those athletes endorse exercise, especially because so many youngsters look up to them.

    Reply

  6. Stuart

    December 14th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The Play60 campaign has done an incredible job in the wellness arena. They also have hilarious commercials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aKYZFcmAmU

    Reply

  7. Elizabeth

    December 14th, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    My husband has been wearing the Vibrams for over a year now. People used to stop him all the time and ask lots of questions. Now people don’t really say too much. Guess that shows that Vibrams and minimalist shoes are pretty mainstream now!

    Reply

  8. Gayle brown

    December 14th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I have noticed 80 year olds in my small northern calif town all working out now- walking and lifting weights. It’s great to see!! Love your info on the funny looking running shoes…I’ve been wondering about those!

    Reply

  9. Carmel

    December 15th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I definitely agree that wellness is going mainstream because even I am working out regularly, and I am the queen of couch potatoes!

    Reply

  10. Laura

    December 15th, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I just came back from 3 months in Beijing, and there are now exercise classes in the parks. Wellness is going mainstream not just in the U.S.!

    Reply

  11. Allison

    December 15th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    People wear yoga clothes everywhere here in California. It’s a fashion statement!

    Reply

  12. David

    December 26th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    FiveFingers are great, and one of the only minimals that virtually require that you embrace the natural forefoot or midfoot running style. Although, that said, I once saw a woman heel striking in these, and landing hard. It sent shivers up my spine. I wanted to yell out: STOP! NOW! But it was really none of my beeswax. I imagine she is now consulting with an orthopedic surgeon.

    Reply

  13. Toby

    March 04th, 2013 at 1:28 am

    In Jakarta, Indonesia, it’s still not common! Gym people usually wear them…. and people stare at your feet more often than your face when they wear vibrams….

    but I LOVE MINE!!!!! have 3 pairs, and will continue to add some more hahahah

    Reply

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