The 2017 Fitness Forecast

Equinox’s health advisory board on what will be top of mind

It’s impossible to predict the future. But great minds in the worlds of health, fitness, and nutritionare on the front lines of their fields. And with a breadth of knowledge and a keen eye, they have a way of sifting through the knowledge of today to tell us what might matter most tomorrow.

That’s why, as 2016 winds down, Furthermore tapped members of Equinox’s Health Advisory board asking them one simple question: What do you expect will become topical or urgent in 2017? Here, their expertise.

(1) We'll Resist Healthcare Authority

“The year 2017 is going to be a year of starting anew in many ways: a new president, a new paradigm, a new group think. I believe we will see more of a ‘resist authority’ attitude with healthcare, medicine, and food. People will be living in a spirit of doing health in their own ways, and we will start to see increasing curiosity for a personalized approach to eating and living. What was once ‘woo woo’ and avoided will now become ‘woo hoo’ and engaging.” —Deanna Minich, Ph.D., a functional nutrition and health expert

(2) Diets Will Be Determined By Tests

"In 2017 there's going to be a lot more talk about using blood, genetic, and gut microbiome tests to find the ideal dietary prescription for clients across a wide range of goals. Unfortunately, it's still too early to say that any combination of physiological markers alone can generate the perfect diet. However, it's going to be interesting to track research developments and watch progress being made."—John Berardi, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., the co-founder of Precision Nutrition

(3) Movement Will Have Its Moment

“The evidence is in: Healthy loading (meaning exercise) turns on positive genes. We all experience that exercise prevents illness and encourages positive self-expression, but now science can ‘know’ it, which will open the path to more and better movement programs in schools, not just for the good athletes, but for all children. Movement is food—eat a good diet!"—Tom Myers, director of Anatomy Trains

(4) We’ll Buck Fitness Trends

“The most exciting development for trainers and coaches is the reemergence of bodybuilding and powerlifting programs which inherently were the most robust from a sustainable perspective. By emphasizing excessive ‘correctives’, we threw out the baby with the bathwater. Skill and stability along with sound programming is the foundation for strength and conditioning. At the end of the day, it's not about trends or fads but fundamental exercises in all three planes performed with a high level of skill.” —Craig Liebenson, D.C., the director of L.A. Sports & Spine a pain management, rehabilitation and performance center

(5) Sleep Will Be Productive

“For the last two decades, we have been striving to push harder and get more of out of ourselves. Sleep was seen as a waste of precious time and lost productivity. I see a shift in thinking now. Looking forward to 2017, sleep will be viewed as a time to recover, rejuvenate, and reset so we can be the best version of ourselves every day.” —Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in Los Angeles

(6) Recovery Sessions Will Be a Thing

“In 2017, there will be more and more fitness professionals taking clients through recovery sessions in the gym. They will be an hour long and focus entirely on parasympathetic tone and recovery from stress. These sessions will include activation work for small muscle recruitment, mobility work to create space within the body’s structure, and regeneration work with movements and protocols designed to balance the autonomic nervous system. The result? A body what can move better, feel better, be more resilient, and create the necessary hormone profile to maximize a high-performance life.”—Michol Dalcourt, the founder of the Institute of Motion

(7) Introducing: Energy Medicine

“As we finish what can be deemed a turbulent year, it is more urgent than ever that the body-mind-spirit connection become a focus in 2017, with a concentrated view toward cultivating positive energy. Energy optimization is central to integrative medicine, and we believe it will gain greater traction. Beginning with thoughts and attitudes that affect the physical body, all the way down to the energy-producing mitochondria in each cell, energy medicine is a promising field that I truly believe will become a major trend in 2017.” —Jeffrey Morrison, M.D., founder of the Morrison Center in New York City

(8) It's All About The Microbiome

“The biggest health and nutrition innovation in 2017 will be advances in gut microbiome research. We know that trillions of bacteria located within our gastrointestinal tract and on our skin are responsible for much more than previously imagined. Microbes truly have a mind of their own and the chemicals they emit affect the way food is digested, medicine is deployed, as well as how some diseases manifest in the body. I believe 2017 is the year the microbiome solidifies its place as the healthcare industry’s most promising frontier. Therapies targeted at the microbiome will be utilized to prevent and treat diseases affecting all facets of the human body.” —James Pinckney II, M.D., CEO and founder of Diamond Physicians in Dallas

(9) Consciousness Will Be King

“My health forecast can be summed up with one word: consciousness. Lifestyle will see ‘doing less’ as ‘doing more’, and start to spend more time in more in-depth interpersonal connections and less time in mass social media connections. From a consciousness perspective itself, we are going to continue to see the benefits of therapeutic interventions that impact our consciousness directly, such as medical marijuana for a wide variety of conditions and more controversial substances such as MDMA for PTSD. Lastly, we are going to continue to understand that impact of our own mindset on health and disease outcomes, such as how stress affects eating and digestive health, which affects microbial balance.” —Justin Mager, M.D., founder of Health Incite in San Francisco.