New Health Trends to Ring in the New Year


New year, new you? That’s a trend that’s been happening for decades: Americans overindulging during the holiday season and vowing to get back into shape once the calendar turns to January and party season winds down. Every year, resolutions are made and then broken and every year there are new ideas and trends to get people off the couch and headed for a healthier lifestyle. Here are some trends to watch for in 2020 that may help you on your road to wellness.

Dry January, or “Dryuary”

If you overindulged in alcohol in December, Dryuary can be a great opportunity to reset your relationship to drinking. Cutting out alcohol in January gives your body a rest from metabolizing booze that is often attributed to anxiety and a low mood. In addition, a pledge of abstinence can be just one behavioral change toward a positive lifestyle. Many psychologists advise to not try diets, exercise and other lifestyle changes all at once. Easing into changes may be more effective in keeping goals and resolutions. There are many supportive websites touting the benefits of a dry January. Health benefits are said to include a greater likelihood to abstain from booze once the month is over, better quality sleep, possible weight loss, a lower risk of diabetes and fatty liver and saving money to boot. 

Vegan January, or “Veganuary”

Another January pledge gaining momentum in 2020 is Veganuary. This monthlong pledge asks participants to eat a vegan diet for just 31 days. That means ingesting no animal products—meat, dairy, eggs—for an entire month. And it’s getting easier to do. Vegan meats and dairy products are now widely available at supermarkets and even fast food outlets. Vegan burgers are now for sale at Carl’s Jr. and Burger King. Even Dunkin Donuts has a plant-based breakfast sandwich on its menu.

Vegan diets are said to often help people lose weight, help maintain a healthy heart, offer some protection against type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, reduce arthritis pain and improve kidney function.

Intermittent Fasting 

Another dietary fad receiving a lot of buzz is intermittent fasting (IF). This means limiting the hours of the day when you eat. According to the Harvard Health Blog there’s lots of promising research on IF. Using the practice on fat rats has shown the animals lose weight along with improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars. An IF diet for humans might restrict eating hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to give digestive systems a long rest. Whatever restricted eating hours may be, the Harvard blog does suggest a diet should avoid sugars and refined grains, focusing on eating fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. It also suggests avoiding snacking, especially at night.


The practice of meditation is a growing trend. Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts using deep breathing techniques. Two new centers just opened locally—Malibu Quietude and The Mindry. The centers offer guided meditation sessions, workshops and special events in tranquil settings. The practice of meditation is said to reduce stress, help control anxiety, enhance self-awareness, lengthen attention span, promote emotional health, improve sleep and generate kindness.

Of course, being fit always requires exercise and eating right. Malibu’s personal trainers know the most efficient ways to do it. With 22 years’ experience and starting as a personal trainer, Malibu’s Mark Sainz is now a health, fitness and wellness practitioner. In continuing education to keep up his many certifications, Sainz is well-versed on the latest. 

“What I’m working on deals with the mind and energy work—beyond exercising in a gym,” he explained. 

The latest technique Sainz is using is biofield tuning-sound therapy. 

“Meditations and sound baths are becoming more popular, but I do it one-on-one with clients using sound frequencies to work on the emotional energy body of individuals,” he described. “Using the chakra system, I see where their energy fields are blocked and then use sound with tuning forks which energizes chi–life force.” The practice is said to bring balance to mind, body and spirit. Recipients often experience deep relaxation with increased energy. Still, Sainz advocates exercise and eating right is “everything.”

Some 2020 health and wellness trends may stand the test of time. Some may not. But Malibu personal trainer of 30 years Betsy Lluch summed it up, saying, “If a trend is going to get someone who is not fit and doesn’t exercise to want to try, then I’m all for it.”