By Brittany Newland
The millennial generation has put quite the focus on wellness. Earning less than older generations and spending more on health and fitness, this group is said to be the most health-conscious generation ever.
Some of the ways that millennials actively pursue wellness is by eating healthy, exercising more, and smoking less. Millennials use apps to stay healthy, giving us unlimited access to technology in the palms of our hands. Everything we wear or own anymore (not just by millennials) seems to have some sort of smart technology associated with it. Millennials do come from a time of technological change and are used to instant information, making us the first generation of digital natives. Our dedication to wellness, and devotion of time and money to exercising and eating right makes us the most health- conscious generation yet.
Millennials have a different attitude towards health than any other generation. Health and wellness is a daily, active pursuit. Let’s take a deeper dive into how millennials are reshaping this health and wellness lifestyle.
- We crave a work life balance. Millennials need both work and play. We want to “fight for a cause,” in terms of both work and after-work hours. A healthy lifestyle not only means making money to pay our bills, but also working to keep us in good mental and physical health.
- We go to the gym. The gym is a place of both work and play. Physical fitness is a must for the healthy lifestyle millennials crave. Growing up in the digital area, we keep ourselves accountable through social media as well as working out with our friends. Having friends join us at the gym is not only a part of our everyday, healthy life but also a part of our social interaction. The gym is the new “bar,” in terms of hanging out.
- We don’t view healthy as “not sick,” but more as a daily commitment to eating right and exercising. Eating right is a lifestyle, not a diet or fad. And that goes the same for working out at the gym.
- We use technology, i.e. digital devices and apps, to stay healthy. There are apps for training and tracking data; and we use “wearable tech” to monitor heart rate, food and exercise plans, and weight loss. There are so many apps today that help individuals live a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for millennials growing up in the digital age.
- Good mental health is a must. Whether it’s journaling, participating in a support group, taking a new fitness class, talking to a therapist, or taking a mental health day off work, we strive to take care of our mental health, even if it means missing out on work or other commitments.
As a millennial myself, I can tell you every one of these is as true as it gets for most of us millennials. There are always a few exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, the shoe does fit. I’ve tried to examine it in tiny focus groups of the people I see and associate with, and even from research and studies. It all reports as true. We aren’t scraping for material things like a lot of our parents were. We had it pretty good growing up. As children, we often were asked how we felt or if we were OK, making it pretty hard to not be OK on many different levels.
What I’ve noted the most throughout my 30 years living on this planet is the simple irony of the fact that the very people that call this generation “spoiled” or “babied” are also the ones who cared about our health and wellness so much. They made sure we made it our jobs to take care of ourselves. So, thank you, family and friends, who sacrificed themselves to make sure we practiced the necessary self-care to get us through the long haul of life. We couldn’t have done it without you.