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Life Trends – 2018
1/5/2018 12:41:30 PM
Life Trends

We know you want 2018 to be the best year yet in every area of your life. This month’s cover story is dedicated to bringing you, our readers, up to speed on a few life trends. We give you the latest news on fitness, food, fashion, and home design. Read on!

by Angie Kay Dilmore

Every year, new exercise and fitness concepts are introduced as "the best ways” to be healthy. Some ideas are useful and backed by scientific research. Others may be gimmicks and passing fads. Here’s a rundown of 2018’s new and continuing health and fitness trends.

Cheyanne Glyenn, Fitness Manager at CHRISTUS Louisiana Athletic Club, Lake Charles, feels the fitness industry will see more Small Group Personal Training in 2018. "For beginners who may be a little intimidated by fitness, this is a great opportunity to get them involved in fitness because they will still have one-on-one time with a personal trainer, and in the smaller class setting they could invite a friend to join the class with them,” says Glyenn. "For the advanced fitness person, sometimes working out with others encourages them to be more competitive and provides the challenge they need to kick their fitness game into a new gear.”  

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief periods of rest or recovery and typically takes 30 minutes or less to perform. Despite the warnings by some fitness professionals of potentially increased injury rates using HIIT, this form of exercise has been popular in gyms worldwide.

If HIIT isn’t for you, welcome back Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT.) LIIT training still burns the same calories as a solid HIIT session, but will take an extra 30-40 minutes to complete, and can be as easy as taking a brisk walk. While you’ll still get more benefit from intervals, the intensity isn’t as brutal as a HIIT session.

People have been using Body Weight Exercises for centuries as a form of resistance training. But new packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has now made it popular in all kinds of gyms and health clubs. Typical body weight training programs use minimal equipment, which makes it a very inexpensive way to exercise effectively. Although most people think of body weight training as being limited to push-ups and pull-ups, it also includes planks, jumping, lunges, squats, and more.

Wearable technology continues to innovate the market. At this point, we’re on board with fitness and activity trackers. Now watch for smart glasses, which deliver all your activity metrics directly to your eye, and clothing with smart fabrics and interactive textiles.

Look for educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals. As the market for fitness professionals becomes more competitive, interest in some degree of regulation seems to be expanding. More schools are adding personal fitness training and kinesiology to their list of degree programs. A push for licensure on a state level is growing and may be on the horizon. CHRISTUS Louisiana Athletic Club requires degreed or certified personal trainers. Glyenn says all their personal trainers have either a four year degree in Health and Exercise Science or a certification through ACSM, ACE, NASM, and NSCA, which are all accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Core training continues to trend, and CHRISTUS is keeping up-to-date. They plan to offer a new class this year called Bbarreless, designed to challenge your core. Also known as "booty barre,” this class combines yoga, pilates, and ballet.

Foam flexibility and mobility rollers are specifically designed to massage, relieve muscle tightness, alleviate muscle spasms, improve circulation, and ease muscular discomfort. Rollers have been designed for the low back, hips, and for larger muscle groups such as the hamstrings and the gluteal muscles. 

As baby boomers continue to enter their retirement years, fitness experts design programs for older adults specifically to meet their needs. Senior classes at CHRISTUS are geared to the 50+ age range. Glyenn says 35-40 members participate in these daily senior classes. 

Other new exercise trends include sport-specific training, booty yoga, and functional fitness, which are programs designed to complement daily living.

by Emily Alford
Though it seems like the Christmas decorations just went back into the attic, soon stores will be stocked with spring fashions. And while it can be exhausting to try to keep up with trends that change season to season, pairing a few trendy pieces with trusty wardrobe staples can be a new way to keep basics up-to-date. If you’re looking to brighten up a bit as the winter wears itself out, here are a few of the hottest trends from the spring 2018 runways. 

Fun with fringe!
If fringe has you cringing, remembering bad 70s suede, rest assured that this year’s fringe is much lighter and brighter than what you may have been used to in the Midnight Cowboy era. For spring, designers were all about adding fringe in unexpected places to give skirts some flounce and dresses some swing. The new fringe is more flapper than flower power. 

Lots of Lavender
Pantone recently named Ultra Violet, a rich, true purple, its color of the year. However, on the runways, lavender ruled for spring. Whether updating your look with a simple lavender shift dress or going for full-on color blocked suiting, if you’re looking to add one new color to your wardrobe this spring, make it this pale, yet polished shade. 

Pretty plaid
Plaid generally calls to mind frumpy professors partially hidden behind stacks of books or trying to make tee time at the local golf course, but this spring’s plaid is actually very feminine and flirty. Some of the spring’s best looks included ankle length, relaxed-fit plaid slacks paired with tailored white button down tops, plaid blazers over fun graphic tees, and even 90’s inspired, plaid button-down maxi-dresses. Spring plaids also showcased softer colors, like yellow and pink, so there’s no need worry about looking like Christmas part two!

Cold shoulder
Many of this spring’s loveliest dresses were all about showcasing shoulders. The "cold shoulder,” or shoulder cutout, trend has been hot for sweaters for at least a year, but this year, designers seemed to have wised up and realized that most women want to put their shoulders away in winter and show them off on those first warm days of spring. This spring’s cold shoulder dresses also featured dreamy silhouettes and lightweight fabrics. They’re the perfect go-to dress for spring and summer weddings, and will look just as cool with a moto jacket in March as they will with a pair of strappy sandals in June. 

The past few years in fashion have been all about nostalgia, from 90s-inspired chokers and grunge looks to 70s floral and bell bottoms. What’s most interesting about this spring is that the decades theme seems to have gone out the window, and most designers seem to be embracing individuality. So if none of these trends work for you, no worries, because 2018’s hottest look is being yourself! 

by John O'Donnell

In 2017, the world saw an explosion of coconut in cuisine, lived through a widespread "taco-fever,” and rejoiced in renewed interest in Indo-Pac foods. So, what will be trending in 2018? Let’s take a look at what restaurants, grocers, and chefs are hailing as the next big things for the New Year.

Gut friendly foods
Long a staple at farmers markets and your grandmother’s kitchen, fermented, pickled and preserved foods are reaching deeper into mainstream food culture. In 2018, good-for-your-gut probiotics are set to play a larger role in what consumers order, with foods like kimchi, miso and kefir turning up as hot menu items. Grocery store shoppers will bring home kombucha, yogurt and a variety of different pickles as a way to sooth and strengthen their tummies.

Food Tech for The Home Chef 
After purchasing Whole Foods, Amazon will now work to expand an already popular trend by competing with smaller operations that deliver fresh ingredients and recipe kits to families and homes. To compliment this trend, there will be more integration of voice-operated gadgets like Alexa and Google Home into the kitchen. Soon you’ll be able to order groceries through Alexa, and ask Siri how many eggs you have left in your fridge.

Engineered Plant-Based Foods 
As more people incorporate more plants into their diets, the industries in Silicon Valley are working on ways to bring meatless products to consumers. This year, we will see more vegetarian foods that look, taste, smell and even bleed like meat. The innovations don’t stop with foods mimicking land-based animals; expect to also see fruits and vegetables made to taste like sushi, and the scientific manipulation of nuts to make creamy desserts.

Floral Flavors
From beautiful garnishes to infused cocktails, teas and seasonings, expect to see growth in the trend of edible flowers. Lavender, elderflower, hibiscus and rose flavors will be among some of the most popular botanically inspired dishes and drinks to hit restaurants, bars and store shelves.

Puffed and Popped
A new way of processing and combining ingredients called "extrusion” leads the way to puffed, popped and dried snacks. Rice chips, puffy vegetable crisps, and crispy crunchy chocolate are all destined to be a big hit in your pantry, office drawers, and in kids’ lunches.

Shell-less Tacos
The Taco Craze of 2017 had us all eating tacos for breakfast, and even dessert, and that trend is unlikely to budge much in 2018. Traditionally, a taco is something inside a shell made of a crispy tortilla, or a soft flour or corn tortilla; but 2018 will redefine what it means to be a taco by making tacos with shells of fried cheese, egg, and even coconut. 

While these micro-trends aren’t necessarily ground breaking, they do signal a shift in dietary trends on a large scale. Millennials are using their purchasing power and influence in the kitchen to shift what we’re craving and eating on a macro scale. And that’s a trend you’ll continue to see on into 2019.

7 Home Design Trends for 2018
by Sylvia Ney

While many home design companies often argue in favor of one style over the others, there are several trends they all seem to agree will take center stage in 2018. Reasonably frugal, functional, and comfortable are the keys for design trends this year. Concentration on families, success, and creating welcoming spaces will improve the quality of life in your home. Whether you’re designing a new home or looking to update your current house, here are seven home design trends to watch for in 2018.

Focus on Family
Rooms are no longer designed to simply look beautiful. They need to be practical, as well. More sophisticated pieces are being replaced with classic items perfect for family use. Instead of high-end components, meaningful articles that bring a sense of calm and comfort take precedent. More homeowners today are living with extended family members, so new homes are being built with accommodations for multiple generations. Whether it’s larger homes that include a basement living area complete with a second kitchen, or an added main-floor bedroom to accommodate additional people, larger families are again living under one roof. More children are remaining home past college graduation and senior citizens are choosing to age in place. Either situation can mean coming up with practical solutions to everyday problems, for example, wider doorways and hallways to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter. Pocket doors are also popular as they take up less room than a swinging door and may be easier for some to operate.

Neutral Palette 
Classic neutrals are again reigning supreme. A more sophisticated version might be to decorate in tones of black, white, and gray. White brightens up even the darkest rooms and works with nearly every style. White-washed woods and concrete are popular materials in this vein. A warmer version of neutral designs rely on browns and greens. Earthy colors serve to enhance the warm and cozy feel. Light brown colors of natural wood are modern and appealing, perfect for small spaces. Dark wood brings delicious chocolate brown hues into interiors, providing a touch of luxury to room decorating. Cork is being used in floors, cabinet doors, and walls.

Natural Elements  
Rustic rooms will replace modern. Whether it’s an old claw-foot tub, a shiplap wall, or a couple of well-placed accents, there are many ways to move beyond the sleek, modern designs seen in the last few years. Fresh, natural materials perfectly complement 2018’s obsession with organic home integration. Concrete, wood, cork, shells, lava rock, and even bone have been steadily gaining popularity.

Pop of Florals
Floral prints have always been popular, but expect to see more floral designs with contrasting colors this year. Traditional floral patterns are making a comeback, and with their comfortable familiarity, eye-catching detail, and vintage vibes they fit right in with 2018’s nod to nostalgia. Designers say to keep an eye out for new takes on old prints with funky colors and exaggerated proportions. This appreciation for Japanese and Scandinavian styles calls for the neutral palette previously mentioned, but with a light touch of color. Small floral accents in vivid hues and quiet color schemes create interiors which feel comfortable, spacious, energetic, and luxurious.

The culture of conservation, recycling, and repurposing continues to gain in popularity. Vintage is a trendy decorating choice. Try using an old end table as a child’s LEGO stand, or turn a wheelbarrow into a chair. Recycling projects and a bit of creativity can craft attractive, unique furnishings and art.

Go Green
This year, bring more nature indoors. Plants are an easy way to design on a budget and add pops of color to any space. Put plants in colorful containers or hang them in front of a large window.

Get Metal 
Copper, bronze, and brass are stylish and add warmth and chic to interior decorating. These metals bring some pizzazz to an otherwise dull room. Lighting fixtures, like aged copper pendant lights are making a comeback. Metal furniture creates a beautiful look when added to wood and soft upholstery fabrics, adding shiny luxury and durability to fashionable home furnishings.
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