The wellbeing and fitness trends worth following in 2024 - from personalised nutrition to even better sleep

Susan Griffin speaks to industry experts to find out the fitness trends we will be talking about in 2024

Collage of mocktail, woman forest bathing, and woman doing yoga to represent fitness trends 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even the most cynical cannot help but feel a certain amount of hope and expectation at the thought of a new year. The idea of ditching bad habits and creating new goals is so appealing, especially where our health and fitness are concerned. And it looks like we won’t be short of options in 2024 as the well-being sector continues flourishing. 

According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness market was valued at around $ 5.6 trillion in 2022 and is expected to grow another 52% by 2027 as people continue to prioritise physical and mental wellness.

These days, it's not so much about quick fixes, but a sustainable, holistic and long-lasting approach to wellbeing enhancement fueled by science. So, the fitness trends I've gathered here with help from the experts can offer ideas for making long-lasting changes in the new year. If you're looking to learn how to make New Year's resolutions that last in 2024, this is a good starting point.

“The health and wellness industries have been supercharged by tech advances over the past year, but with the advent of AI (artificial intelligence), twinned with consumer demand for clean medicine and science-backed wellness, the sector will benefit from accelerating innovations in sleep enhancement, nutrition and wellbeing,” says Olivia Houghton, health and wellness lead at strategic foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory

1. Personalised nutrition

The trend for longevity lifestyles, as explored in the popular Netflix documentary Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, is something Houghton has seen developing in 2023 and it will define how consumers view their health in 2024. "People aren’t only seeking to elongate their lives, they want to live better-quality ones, aided by scientifically proven nutrition, sleep and exercise," she says.

In the Future Forecast 2024, Houghton highlights the personalised nutrition market was valued at $ 11.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $45.9 in 2032. 

“In its Snack to the Future report, food delivery company Deliveroo outlined the potential to personalise delivery service apps to provide meals that meet customers’ specific nutritional or calorific targets,” she notes. 

“Other apps, such as Zoe, Day Two and Youniq are using predictive AI to create personalised nutritional advice, and researchers at Imperial University London are in the development stages of CoDiet, a camera device that attaches to the user’s ears, collecting detailed data on their dietary intake. AI will then analyze this data to provide personalized nutritional recommendations."

Charlotte Hunter
Olivia Houghton

Olivia Houghton is a trends analyst and creative researcher specializing in beauty, health and wellness at The Future Laboratory. 

2. Water, water everywhere

By now, if there's one thing we know about our health, it's that drinking water is essential. Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal cognitive and physical function, but while water keeps us moving, there's no shame in admitting it's one of the more boring beverages. However, just like how coffee was almost re-invented over the last two years with mushroom blends, the humble H20 is set to take centre stage with added twists to boost the body and mind in 2024. 

“Water is no longer just water. In 2024, we’ll see it evolving as demand for holistic on-the-go hydration rises and smart water emerges as a category,” says Rachel Chatterton, the head of food development at Holland & Barrett. “Consumers will turn to water with added benefits, choosing one with added electrolytes after a hard workout [and others with benefits].” 

Micro drinking, including sachets, drops and gummies, is also predicted to take off, which is good news for those who often forget to sip from a water bottle throughout the day. 

Rachel Chatterton
Rachel Chatterton

Rachel Chatterton is a product expert and has been working in food for over two decades for the likes of Sainsbury’s, Pret a Manger, Starbucks, and M&S. She is currently leading the development of Holland&Barrett’s biggest ever food and beverage launch. 

3. Strength training for all ages

With more known about women's health than ever before, it's perhaps no surprise that more women than ever have gotten into strength training in recent years. However, the experts predict we're going to see an interest like nothing in the coming year with more options to suit varying lifestyles and preferences, such as Pilates for strength training and apps specifically designed to create plans for strength training for running.

"Given scientists are now promoting lean muscle mass as one of the biggest indicators of longevity, it stands to reason that if you want to live a longer, healthier life, then you should strength train. It gives you a new lease of life," says Emily Schofield, a certified personal trainer at Ultimate Performance whose clients include women in their 50s to 70s.

"Resistance training is far more effective at strengthening your bones than swimming or spinning classes because it’s a load-bearing exercise," she says. "When combined with a protein-rich diet, strength training is also the most effective exercise for maintaining a healthy weight." 

Many women are clued-up on the benefits of strength training but more are set to discover them, Schofield says, with celebrities also starting to speak up about how they train this way too. "You only need to look at Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Beckinsale to see that weight training is the best way to achieve an athletic look [and help maintain your strength, flexibility, and balance]." 

Emily Schofield
Emily Schofield

Emily Schofield obtained a bachelor’s degree in sport and exercise science before becoming a personal trainer. In 2016, she relocated from Sydney to Manchester to be a Junior Trainer with Ultimate Performance where she is now Gym Manager. 

4. Superior sleep

A quick vox pop among friends will highlight how many people are zapped of energy these days. One in eight UK adults feel tired all the time, per a recent YouGov survey, and according to a study by Huazhong University of Science and Technology, almost half of American adults are believed to be sleep deprived. 

With that in mind, it is no surprise sleep will remain a talking point in 2024. Expect to hear about grown-up night lights, whether sunrise alarm clocks are worth it, sleep hypnosis, smart beds, and even more detailed sleep trackers, as well as sleep tourism, which ties in with a growing desire for slow travel. 

If you struggle to fall asleep or want to learn how to wake up early and become a morning person, you're bound to finally find something that works for you in 2024.

Lumie Sunrise Alarm Clock

Lumie Sunrise Alarm Clock

The classic Lumie Sunrise Alarm Clock is top rated in the category on Amazon for a reason. The sunrise begins 30 minutes before the alarm goes off - an alarm made up of soothing nature sounds or DAB radio, per your choice. It's also one of the more budget-friendly options at under £50.

5. Natural energy

There are plenty of coffee benefits for those who want them but in the last year, more of us have become aware of the negatives around this much-loved beverage. From the digestive impacts to jitters after one too many, 2024 is set to be the year where many go caffeine-free and we learn how to naturally energise ourselves. 

 "The key to sustained energy lies in balanced blood sugar levels, achieved by tuning into hunger cues rather than succumbing to mindless snacking, caffeine and sugar," says nutritionist Charlotte Hunter who specializes in menopause.

"It’s not just about what we eat, it’s how we eat. Opting for three balanced meals daily, steering clear of impromptu snacks, and ensuring optimal hydration refuels our bodies and radically reshapes our daily energy dynamics."

Meanwhile, nootropics, adaptogens, and natural caffeine - including supplements and stir sticks - are set to remain popular and mango leaf extract is predicted to be the new go-to natural energy source. 

Charlotte Hunter

Charlotte Hunter became a nutritionist in 2010 after graduating from the University of West London. The mum-of-two, who is known is known as the Menopause Nutritionist on social media, runs Nutrition by Charlotte Hunter.   

6. Digital detoxes

Digital detox breaks are also growing in popularity. It is no surprise people are craving downtime, somewhere to unwind and switch off from the world, given that between working on a laptop, watching television in the evenings and scrolling on social media, many of us find it nearly impossible to stay away from our screens - even when we want to. 

"More than 50% of our guests state burnout from work as a motivation to escape. It’s clear that work stresses and the need to be ‘always on’ is pushing people to look for solutions such as a digital detox,” says Hector Hughes, co-founder at Unplugged, one of many companies providing remote hideaways where people can intentionally go offline and spend time in nature, hiking, cycling and forest bathing. 

"Of course, people can implement better habits at home, but intentionally going off-grid removes the temptations to check work emails or scroll on their phone. 83% of our guests plan on implementing better digital habits after their detox, such as setting screen time limits or having a phone-free evening once a week." 

7. Communal wellness

Since the pandemic, virtual workouts in the home have been growing in popularity with the best workout apps among the most popular downloads across digital stores. This isn’t likely to wane as increasingly sophisticated technology becomes more accessible, but 2024 is predicted to also see a rise in group workouts and wellness gatherings. 

"Group exercise, whether running clubs, holistic health retreats or fitness classes can hold individuals accountable, help them stay motivated and connect with like-minded people. This is important for mental health and provides connection, support, engagement and companionship,” says personal trainer Sarah Campus, who is the founder of LDN Mum’s Fitness

It won’t only be about working up a sweat, however, as multiple fitness brands have launched social wellness initiatives alongside physical ones. For example, Houghton says that cult fitness brand SoulCycle has launched Peoplehood, a new social wellness club aiming to become the ‘neighbourhood centre for the soul. It offers group conversations alongside fitness and meditation classes. 

Sarah Campus
Sarah Campus

Sarah Campus is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, commentator, mum of three, and founder of LDN MUMS FITNESS.   

8. Sober curiosity continues

Last year, we saw the rapid rise of alternatives to alcohol. Older generations, especially the baby boomers, have been reticent to give up booze even with new options, but 2024 could be the year that mindsets shift around alcohol consumption.

"There has been a huge cultural shift towards mindful drinking and sober curiosity. Younger people are drinking less than ever, and even those of us who are old enough to remember 20-something Kate Moss (who is sober now) coming out of nightclubs are starting to rethink our habits,” says Rosamund Dean, author of Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life.

"It's partly due to an increase in information and awareness of the impact of menopause, and how alcohol exacerbates every symptom - from hot flushes and brain fog to skin and vaginal dryness (alcohol is dehydrating, so not helping your sex life). And it helps that there are so many delicious and stylishly packaged alcohol-free options available, from 0% spirits for your favorite cocktail, to good-for-your-gut kombucha."

Rosamund Dean by Emily Graham
Rosamund Dean

Rosamund Dean is a journalist, speaker and author of Mindful Drinking, a practical guide for people who want to drink less, and Reconstruction, a handbook for those diagnosed with primary cancer. She lives in London with her husband and two children. 

9. Menopause gains momentum

There was much-needed talk of menopause in 2023, but it is only the beginning with even more conversation, in-depth exploration of issues and much-needed research in 2024.

“In 2030, one in five people will be over the age of 65, and with women living statistically seven years longer than men, that is a lot of menopausal women,” says Darnell Cox, a healthy aging coach and gerontologist at Live Young Lifestyle. “With many of today’s aging population being health conscious and wanting to live longer and more vibrant lives, I predict menopause conferences and retreats are going to be on the uptick for 2024 as more menopausal women search for information and treatments.” 

AI is driving innovation around tackling perimenopause and menopause symptoms here, too. "UK-based Morrama Labs has launched Luma, a smartwatch app that collects data from someone going through the menopause,” says Houghton. “Using AI it can create tailored pills with bespoke ingredients, which it then 3D prints into a monthly batch of the medication." Another win for personalised nutrition. 

Darnell Cox
Darnell Cox

Darnell Cox is a healthy aging coach who has a master’s in psychology and gerontology, the scientific study of the physical, psychological, and social aspects of aging throughout the lifespan. She is also the founder of Live Young Lifestyle.  

10. Sexual wellness takes centre stage

Long gone are the days when anything sex-related was spoken in hushed whispers. With more new innovations in the best sex toys than ever last year, the experts are only expecting to see more in this under-served field in the new year.  

"Empowered, female-first narratives are propelling the industry into the mainstream, creating space for an open and playful attitude withing the sexual wellness sector," says Houghton. For example, she says sex toy specialist Womanizer has joined forces with premium bathroom and kitchen accessories manufacturer Hansgrohe to create the Womanizer Wave, the world’s first shower head sex toy. 

"And Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Target are all stocking vibrators and lubricants,” she adds, so finding your pick of the best vibrators is set to become even easier.

Meanwhile, celebrities - such as Gillian Anderson,  author of an upcoming book about women’s sexual fantasies, and Gwyneth Paltrow with her sex toys on Goop - are also getting in on the act. “As the industry becomes increasingly crowded, tech-led solutions will pave the way for success in this sector,” says Houghton. 

Susan Griffin

A journalist with two decades of experience, Susan interviewed A-list names in film and TV before going freelance and focusing on health, wellbeing, and lifestyle features. She has since spoken to world-renowned experts on the most innovative and effective ways to look after your mind and body; her work appearing in publications such as Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Metro, Fabulous and The Telegraph. When Susan isn’t working on her laptop, she is most content hiking in the Peak District or finding quiet camping spots to while away a weekend and knows first-hand the restorative benefits of being outdoors.