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Hot & Cold, Pilates, Assisted Stretching Named Top Wellness Trends of 2024
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Hot & Cold, Pilates, Assisted Stretching Named Top Wellness Trends of 2024

According to Yelp, the upcoming year will be filled with wellness therapies, more Pilates and assisted stretching

Ahead of the ball dropping to usher in a new year, Yelp, a crowd-sourced business review platform, is revealing its predictions for the top wellness and lifestyle trends for 2024.

Since millions of consumers use Yelp’s website and app to discover local businesses, the company has begun tracking search trends each year to detect habits and forecast what the future holds. 

Here’s what Yelp predicts will be some of the hottest fitness and wellness trends in 2024 based on search increases.

Taking the (Cold) Plunge

Consumer interest has spiked for cold plunge therapy, which Yelp says jumped a staggering 521%.

Cold water therapy may not sound appealing, but proponents say cold plunging naturally improves mental health and performance. One study demonstrated that dopamine levels increased 250% after cold plunging in water at 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boutique wellness franchise SweatHouz has been ahead of the cold plunge trend, offering the service at its studios along with infrared saunas, while some fitness operators like 24 Hour Fitness have added cold plunging as an amenity for its members.

Cold plunge therapy devotees can also experience the chilly benefits at home with self-cleaning tubs from Plunge.

Warm Lighting: Not Just for Selfies

While consumers are willing to plunge into cold water for numerous health benefits, Yelp reports that searches for heat therapies are also on the rise, particularly infrared sauna therapy — which rose 40% compared to last year. 

Fans of infrared saunas enjoy mood and metabolism-boosting benefits, as well as the relaxing vibe of direct heat, which can also help with muscle recovery.

Pause Studio, a studio concept founded in 2016 by former Equinox executives Jeff Ono and John Klein, encourages consumers to ‘hit pause’ and partake in wellness treatments. The studios offer cold plunges, infrared saunas, LED light therapy and more. 

Infrared saunas are also available to purchase for home, with brands such as Sunlighten shipping smart tech infrared saunas directly to consumers.

Yoga Cools as Assisted Stretching, Pilates Shine

In addition to recovery and wellness activities like cold plunges and infrared sauna therapy on the rise, Yelp predicts a boom in stretching, pilates and low-impact fitness classes for 2024. 

Searches for stretching and flexibility training increased by over 35%, while searches for yoga were up only 10%. 

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Stretching franchises are popping up nationwide, with StretchLab and Stretch Zone each having opened over 300 franchise locations to date. Even gyms and fitness operators such as Life Time and GymGuyz are adding assisted stretching services.

As for low-impact fitness, Pvolve’s science-backed functional movement franchise has seen increased interest, especially with A-lister Jennifer Aniston starring in its ads and sharing the benefits of the resistance-based workout.

Pilates also shows great promise, with searches rising 71% year-over-year. Retro fitness has also spiked, with searches for step aerobics up 54% and Jazzercise up 16%.

Mocktail Madness

The sought-after Gen Z and Millennials cohorts are interested in fitness and wellness, which may be why this coveted segment of young consumers seek “sober curious” experiences and bars and restaurants serving non-alcoholic drinks. 

According to Yelp, searches for “mocktails” increased 137% compared to last year.

Instead of tying one on, younger consumers prefer to crack open a cold non-alcoholic beer so they can wake up early the next day to hit the gym for a strength-training workout. In response, beer brands such as Athletic Brewing are marketing craft brews to those who want to remain healthy and active.

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