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The future of health and wellness is here—and it can be found in Las Vegas.
As the tech industry descends on Sin City this week for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES)—the world's largest tech trade show—so does all the super cool, mind-boggling, thought-this-was-never-possible gadgets. From industry tycoons to hometown startups, hundreds of thousands flock to Las Vegas for a glimpse into the future. But it’s not all about luxury electric cars and smart TVs. Some of the best tech we saw is in the healthcare and wellness space.
With CES badge in hand, I hit the hotels and convention center to get a sneak peek into the future of fitness and wellness, and all I have to say is “what the wow?!” Here are some of the coolest trends and products I’ve seen over the last few days. Viva Las Vegas—the only place where tech really talks.
Catching your Zzz’s is no longer about your typical memory foam. The new age of sleep is here, and it’s just the beginning of a better nights snooze. Nokia unveiled its latest health product, Nokia Sleep. Coming out in the first quarter of this year, the Wi-Fi enabled Nokia Sleep mattress pad uses an “advanced” center to monitor your sleep cycles. Did we mention it can also control the lights and thermostat in your bed? Talk about pure (affordable) bedroom bliss.
Sleep Number also stepped up their mattress game as they unveiled a Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed™ in a truly dreamy booth space. Using two air chambers inside its mattress to contour to the individual, their smart beds measure and adjust the height to prevent snoring so you can drift into a deep sleep via their Sensing SleepIQ® biometrics. A mattress that uses technology to eliminate snoring? Can we get a heck ya!? I tested it out, and it was crazy comfortable—or maybe it just felt nice to get a moment of shut-eye amongst the CES madness.
CES wasn’t all about mattress technology, though. A French startup introduced Dreem—a sleeping headband that you wear overnight. Available now, the headband not only measures your brain waves and heart rate, but it learns your sleep patterns to help you fall into a sweet slumber. Equipped with breathing techniques and meditation inspired sound-based programs, this OM-amazing sleep gear will help you stock up on that shuteye!
Your basic faucet, that cabinet mirror, a typical toilet—the days of traditional bathroom components are long gone. I discovered bathroom technology that I didn’t even know I wanted at CES. Kohler’s® mega booth was a big CES attraction, as they introduced Kohler Konnect™. The line of smart home products is geared towards technologically-driven, experience-focused bathroom products. Kohler’s Verada® Voice Lighted Mirror easily made it to the top of the list. Featuring a built-in Amazon Alexa component, hands-free light control, and a motion-sensing night light, this mirror will redefine your routine. Don’t just take your face washing or makeup routine to the next level. How about your whole life? Ask Alexa to play music, stream the news, and do household chores before you even brush your teeth.
Simplehuman—best known for their trash cans—showed us a whole new side to their brand with smart mirrors. Designed to help you optimize your look, these mirrors enable you to see yourself in an entirely new (digital) light. Featuring a “tru-lux” light system simulating natural light, The Wi-Fi Wide-View Sensor Mirror also has the wide view side paneled smart mirror, which enables you to look at yourself from any angle while accessing smart features like your lighting presets. Oh, and it has 10x magnification detail for close-up eyebrow tweezing. Don’t look too closely at your pores though! I made that mistake.
Dominated by wearable tech, the fitness space at CES was full of fresh, new finds. From “E-Skin” to Health Tags, how you workout is now about how you wear this tech trend. We are instant fans of Spire Health Tags. Featuring a small piece of tracking technology, you can apply the tags to any item of your clothing. Plus, you don’t need to worry about washing the Spire Health Tag—it’s meant to live in the clothes you wear most. Ah, so that’s why there was a lot of bras and underwear at the booth. Spire keeps you completed connected—monitoring activity, sleep quality, heart rate, breathing patterns and stress.
Japanese startup Xenoma upped their smart clothing game with a comic book-style smart shirt—featuring E-Skin technology—which they released last year at the electronic show. Imagine your torso area being turned into a motion controller, so your movements act as a software inputs for games. Now their technology is sleeker and redefined. Not only will you look like a superhero, but the futuristic shirts for him/her also contain 14 sensors and a running mini-game that is just the right amount of silly. While the running game graphics need some work, Xenoma’s E-Skin was altogether fascinating, tapping into my usually dormant nerdy side. So who’s ready to suit up and sweat it out ?
Stylish smartwatches were everywhere at CES. High-end watch brand Skagen blended technology with fashion in their flashy booth. Despite all the smart styles, Falster took the prize. With the full touchscreen interface, the Falster is a round-screen smartwatch featuring an always-on AMOLED screen, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, and is powered by Android Wear. Launching later this month, I enjoyed the simple and sleek design. Plus, I can choose a mesh or leather straps. Talk about #trending.
For us fashion focused, higher-end, brand-loving tech people, Kate Spade New York flexed their tech muscles with the Kate Spade New York Scallop Touchscreen Smartwatch. Keeping their classic scallop design identity, the tech is good—1.19-inch AMOLED display, ambient light sensor, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor. But what stood out was the watch’s fashion-forward, interactive design. Using an app, you can customize the round watch’s face to compliment your outfit. Day or night, the color of your jewelry, hues of your clothes, the watch will suggest six different faces that work with your look. There’s also a fun component to the face—like a winking eye—which fits the Kate Spade brand. Smartwatches are no longer built to be basic, that’s for sure.
Idaho start-up Black Box VR made quite a splash at CES when they unveiled their full-body workout in the form of a 30-minute virtual reality experience. Complete with a cable-based, strength-training workout machine and a HTC Vive headset, you can get your beast mode on via video game. Currently, the experience involves a virtual arena where you compete against an avatar, and in the future, one another. I waited a while to check out the tech—thanks, news stations—but I was finally able to try a real-life two-minute chest press demo, headset and all. The overall gist? Each chest press shoots out fireballs at the avatar, as the weight you are pulling increases per rep. But yes, you are correct—I was defeating a villain while working on my fitness.
With plans to open a boutique gym in San Francisco, CA later this year, Black Box VR blends mythical with muscle in a gamified environment. I mean, who doesn’t love a virtual crowd of fans cheering you on?
This June marks 52 years since the 1969 Stonewall Riots took place—a historical event that put the severe lack of LGBTQIA+ rights into the spotlight. Thanks to the efforts of activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, we now have the privilege of celebrating June as Pride Month where members of this community can celebrate everything that makes them beautiful and unique.
At Mindbody, we've created an inclusive, uplifting, and welcoming workspace where all our team members feel valued and inspired to bring their best every day. Here’s what some of our employees said when we asked them what Pride means to them:
“Pride means choosing to be my authentic self, even when it’s hard.” — KT Ellis, Business Relationship Manager
“Pride is about acceptance, community, freedom, and love.” — Josh Pierce, Content Designer
“Pride is about celebrating how far we’ve come, demonstrating how far we’ve got left to go, and focusing on our similarities rather than our differences.” — Bobby Jones, Payments Specialist
“Pride is about celebrating the visibility and accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ people. It’s also about celebrating the diversity among LBGTQIA+ people.” — Robert Arambel Senior Technical Program Manager
As we have discussed before, inclusivity remains an important topic in the wellness industry. We are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the LGBTQIA+ community that helps shape, grow, and provide access to wellness.
While Pride Month is a great time for fitness studios to show their support for the community, consistent support throughout the year is much more powerful. Being LGBTQIA+ inclusive is more than hanging up a rainbow flag—it's a consistent alignment with providing equal access for everyone. We’ve done some of the work for you and aggregated a number of awesome fitness studios you can find on the Mindbody app that are celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and creating inclusive spaces for all:
Kyle House Fitness is Chattanooga’s premier fitness program offering group fitness classes and personal training with the best-certified instructors and trainers in the area. Located on Chattanooga’s thriving Southside, Kyle House Fitness is more than a gym, they pride themselves on building a welcoming and inclusive community. The owners of this gym, The Kyles, may sound familiar to you since they recently wrote a blog post for us on how to be an LGBTQIA+ ally in the fitness space.
EVERYBODY is “creating a radically inclusive culture for all bodies to move, strengthen, and heal.” Not only is their $66/month membership affordable, but they also offer 100% subsidized memberships to folks who are in dire financial hardship, which helps remove barriers for those who are marginalized and/or low-income. Aside from their standard program classes, they also offer affordable $8 drop-in classes—some of which are bilingual (Spanish/English). And, they have gender-neutral locker rooms, which is a staple for LGBTQIA+ inclusive spaces.
At Pilates, Barre & Jams, owner Teresa Ellis’ mission is “to make movement available and accessible to the people who have never felt comfortable walking into a status quo studio...” and we are here for it. As a Black queer femme and a former sex worker, Ellis witnessed first-hand what it feels like to be othered, which is exactly why she opened her Pilates studio in 2017—to create a safe space for all. Knowing that financial restraints should never be the reason someone can’t attend one of her classes, she even has a “pay-what-you-can" membership option so everyone can have access to her amazing Pilates classes.
At Mark Fisher Fitness, “making health and hotness fun and inclusive” is their mission. As a member of their Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams (yes, you read that right), they promise fast results with a money-back guarantee. It’s not just rainbows and unicorns at MFF—their bright and vibrant space is filled with friendly trainers who are fiercely committed to your results and growth.
This self-proclaimed “gym + safe space + house party” fosters a supportive community without the homophobia, transphobia, and body shaming. Since it’s important to them to reduce barriers for folks with body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria, you won’t find a single mirror in this gym. They take “gym buddies” to a whole new level by offering a monthly social calendar for members to connect online. With classes like “Oakland Booty” and “Tops ‘n Bottoms,” The Queer Gym promises lots of sweat, an encouraging environment, and a dang good time.
At 305 Fitness, their mission is to empower people to love themselves harder and express themselves louder. Their passion stems from their core values of inclusivity, empowerment, self-improvement community responsibility. 305 exists to make fitness more inclusive, empowering, and fun. Movement is more than calorie counting or being the "best" in the room. Movement is about radical self-love, self-expression, and self-pride!
Compass Fitness is a journey for the body, mind, and soul. They encourage their members to find the best version of themselves. With classes like “Hustle & Flow,” “Buns & Guns,” and “HIIT & Run,” you know you’re in for a fun and powerful sweat sesh. On top of being a gym that embraces inclusivity and diversity, they donate all proceeds from their Pride gear to The Center on Colfax, the largest LGBTQIA+ community center in Colorado.
Yoga Box’s mission is to create a space where yoga is available to all. Their community of instructors, staff, and students creates a radically inclusive community of support and a place for people to connect to like-minded individuals. Through consistent, safe, and inspired classes designed to challenge, transform, and empower their students—both physically and mentally—this fitness studio is a safe and supported space to elevate your state.
While this is a great list to get you familiar with some fitness studios that support the LGBTQIA+ community, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep this list growing. If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a business we should be highlighting as well!
Wanna sweat it out? Explore more inclusive and empowering studios through the Mindbody app, where you can book everything from HIIT to hot yoga. If you’re looking for other ways to help support the LGBTQIA+ community, you can also donate to your local organizations or support national organizations like The Trevor Project or the Human Rights Campaign.