May 6, 2016
Recently we did a study on women’s health and the dominant and emerging trends, interviewing health professionals who work with women, including coaches, dieticians, naturopaths and psychologists. My background is in psychology, and it was interesting to discover what’s happening in psychology is also happening in health.
Body awareness – navigating a sea of advice
With increased availability of information, women are bombarded with messages about what’s ‘healthy’. As a way through it, they’re relying more on personal experience, personalised health practitioners and reviews from other women. They relate to the personal experiences of other women who have overcome health problems, and they’re inspired to pursue optimal health for themselves.
From yoga and meditation, to active retreats and personal trainers, women are developing their body awareness and intuition about what’s good for them. It seems they’ve stopped listening to the noise and tuned in to their own bodies. One of the top questions they ask health practitioners is to bust health and diet myths. The next is how things they do and eat will affect them personally. They’re finding their way through personal experience.
Linking health to performance
Women are increasingly making the link between physical and mental health and performance (not just in sport, but in daily life). Bodymind intelligence is on the rise. As our experts pointed out, athletes have always had it; operating in an environment of immediate feedback, they know with precision how changes diet, exercise, mindset, stress and sleep effects performance. Women are now realising what they do with their bodies affects their decision making, work performance and relationships. They seek out advice from experts on both taking care of their body and their mindset.
How does this impact brands?
Greater mind and body awareness coupled with a growing fitness revolution is changing what women (and likely men) expect from brands and products. One key change is the expectation for brands to meet them where they’re at. For example, growing healthy eating options with direct delivery like youfoodz and eatfitfood, are making it easier for busy women to eat well.
Image via youfoodz
The way many brands talk is also evolving to support a healthy lifestyle and the mental attitude that goes with it. As always, there are different expressions within this space. With ‘Rule Yourself’, Under Armour claimed sheer determination and self empowerment, while Nike uses a more down-to-earth approach in their ‘Better for It’ campaign, appealing to a wider audience of women starting on their health journey.
Image via The Inspiration Room at http://bit.ly/1cTLy7A
Building healthy communities
Women love to talk and there are no shortages of healthy supportive communities starting up. We’ve seen brands like Lululemon and Lorna Jane, and personalities like Kayla Itsines developing new ways for women to connect, offering free yoga classes in store and online fitness groups. Initiatives like Hello Sunday Morning have experienced record growth.
Image via Hello Sunday Morning
Developed in 2010 to encourage a moderate drinking culture, Hello Sunday Morning has grown into the largest movement for alcohol behaviour change in the world – all off the back of a mantra of making the most of an active weekend. Change Her Game raises the profile of women in sport to encourage women to harness their capabilities and build inner and outer strength. These communities exemplify how being well and ‘on purpose’ is more coveted than ever.
Whether you’re new to health or a health nut from way back, there are so many options now to help women navigate the path to body intelligence. Brands are already tapping in to the mindsets and health goals of women to connect with their aspirations and walk the path with them.
The message for brands? Support her, or get out of her way.