The Wellness Trends You Can Steal From Australians Right Now

Australians are known for lots of things: their easygoing outlook on life, their emphasis on mateship with both humans and animals, and their healthy lifestyles. On a demographic scale, Australians' appreciation for healthy living is such that the Land Down Under was voted the seventh-healthiest country in the world in the Bloomberg Global Health Index 2019. With a life expectancy of 80 years for men and 84.6 years for women, Australia typically ranks well in terms of low infant mortality rates. Responding to this fact, Professor of Global Health at Monash University Jane Fisher tells The New Daily: "We have Medicare which does provide everyone with access to primary health care and also to hospital-based services, especially for emergencies and care for acute illnesses."

A top-notch healthcare system aside, fitness is a crucial part of any Australian's routine –- from Gen Z to Boomers. Personal responsibility for their own health is also a determining factor in helping Aussies obtain an optimal level of physical and mental wellness. Not only do most Australians set great stores by eating clean and being active, but they also pursue a variety of therapeutic methods to kick stress to the curb. Below, check out some wellness trends from Australians that can help you flourish in your daily living.

Mind and body training

Mind and body training is one of the leading fitness trends for 2022, per a forecast by the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF). The Australian fitness community has noticed a concerted shift in recent years away from body aesthetics toward appreciating the path of fitness for a healthier mind and body. And for those who want to feel more alert and less stressed when they leave than when they arrived, mind-body workouts — movements that combine mental attention and breathing methods to increase balance, calmness, and flexibility — are the go-to choices.

Through mindful movement, you may utilize your thoughts to favorably impact some of your body's physiological reactions, improving your sense of control and minimizing the negative repercussions of medical treatments. A 2020 survey by MindBody polling over 1,500 Australians revealed that restorative yoga, power yoga, mat Pilates, gentle martial arts, barre, and reformer Pilates were the most popular mind and body training exercises among Australians. It's also worth pointing out that most polled participants who joined mind and body training classes also engaged in cardio fitness exercises, such as jogging, dancing, cycling, rowing, and running. Those who exercised five times or more per week claimed that their motivators were to be strong and fit, to better their mental health, and to improve their appearance.

Increased interests in immune health

There is undoubtedly a greater interest in immunological health as a result of a worldwide pandemic that's dragged on for over two years. According to MindBody, 52% of the Australian population put a premium on boosting their immune system in order to fight off illness and prevent diseases. One in five Australians has used novel immune-supporting services or therapies, including red light therapy, IV therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Australians are also looking at infrared saunas, hydrotherapy, aquatic physiotherapy, and injectable therapy such as B12 injections for immunological health and alleviation of stress and pain.

Other ways to boost your immune health, per allergy and immunology doctor Dr. Chen Lin from Houston Methodist, is to stay up-to-date on recommended vaccines and maintain a healthy diet containing sufficient amounts of micronutrients such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium. Staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly also help strengthen your body's defense and protect it from foreign invaders.

Eat and drink healthily

A sober lifestyle is gaining popularity in Australia post-pandemic. As Australia emerged from the epidemic and numerous lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, according to 2022 statistics from Roy Morgan's Alcohol Consumption Report, the percentage of Australians who drink alcohol fell by 1.8% points to 67.9%. The most consumed alcoholic beverage in Australia is still wine, but the percentage of people who drink wine has decreased from 9,237,000 to 8,938,000. Besides, an increasing number of Australians are shifting to plant-based eating and reducing consumption of meat out of concerns for the environment, animal welfare, and healthy eating.

"With the rise of 'flexitarian' customers looking to add variety to their diets, many customers are buying both meat and vegan alternatives, like plant-based mince and burgers," per a Woolworths Supermarket spokeswoman (via The Sydney Morning Herald). A plant-based diet consists mostly of whole, minimally processed plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The flexitarian diet, a combination of the terms "flexible" and "vegetarian," allows followers to consume a plant-based diet without fully avoiding meat and animal products. While there are no strict guidelines, flexitarians often eat meat on some but not all days of the week.

Spend time in nature

Blessed with a warm climate, silky stretches of sand, scenic mangrove forests, and rugged cliffs, it's no surprise why Australians love spending time in the Great Outdoors. From camping in nature to surfing the deep-water waves along the spectacular Australian coastal fabric, outdoor living is embedded in Australian culture. "More than 10 million Australians were outside taking part in walking activities and just enjoying the great outdoors in 2021 and 2022," AIS general manager of sports division Brooke de Landre tells ABC News.

Recreational walking and bushwalking are consistently among the most popular outdoor activities in Australia, with approximately 482 thousand people aged 25 to 34 years old participating in bushwalking in Australia in 2021, Statista points out. In Australia, one of the world's largest hotspots for biodiversity, viewing wildlife is a popular pastime for many people. The southwest of Western Australia, in particular, is home to a rich and distinctive biodiversity that is distinguished by a sizable wilderness, climate variability, and millions of plant and animal species. Numerous psychological health advantages, such as increased mental resilience and activity level, result from viewing wildlife.

Australians sleep and wake up early

An interesting fact about Australians that not many know of is that they are among the world's earliest risers. According to a 2015 study carried out to celebrate World Sleep Day (via Daily Mail), 45% of Australians surveyed were ready to start their day before 7 AM. The top three things Australians do before 9 AM, per a research by Kellogg Australia (via Food & Drink Business), include eating breakfast with the family, starting work early, and cleaning the house. Since early morning is the most optimal time of the day to prime the body and the mind for the rest of the day, many Australians exercise before going to work. 

Since most Australians wake up early, they also go to bed earlier than people in other countries. According to the University of Michigan's worldwide sleep pattern studies (via 9News), the typical Australian goes to bed before 10:45 PM. There are many benefits that come with sleeping and waking up early, such as improved cognitive function, quality sleep, and higher productivity in academic or work performances.

Embrace community activities

In a vibrant, multicultural country like Australia, people live hybrid lives and enjoy coming together to celebrate arts and support meaningful causes. 90% of Australians, regardless of age, gender, income, or location, agree with Eventbrite that it's important for people to get together in person. Compared to other countries polled, including the U.S and U.K, more than three-quarters (83%) of Australians say that going to live events makes them feel more connected to other people compared to internet interactions. Meanwhile, 80% of Australian men and women concur that going to a live event has done more to broaden their perspective than simply reading about it online.

Joining community-wide activities fosters a strong sense of belonging and helps people find a renewed sense of purpose. Knowing there's a community with shared experiences and goals in your corner helps take the edge off personal challenges while enhancing mental wellness, per National Alliance on Mental Illness.