Austin is becoming the “Silicon Valley of Wellness.” Transforming the wellness industry with these 10 health trends …
Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay area may be known as the frontrunner and global leader of the “technology boom” that’s transformed the world with names like Apple, Facebook and Google.
But when it comes to health trends and fitness, there’s another “Silicon Valley” leading the way: Austin, Texas (a.k.a. “The Silicon Valley of Wellness”).
The Austin health boom is leading the way with 10 Revolutionary Health Trends Happening in Austin, Texas (including the one and only annual Paleo f(x) Conference).
Silicon Valley x 2 = Austin Fitness, Wellness & Tech
Most people think about cowboy boots, football and two-stepping when they think about Texas, but Austin, Texas is a rare breed—Booming in technology, entrepreneurship, city development AND fitness and health trends, all at the same time.
Couple this with other accolades, naming the Austin fitness scene as one of the “Fittest Cities in America” by the American Council on Sports Medicine, The American College of Sport and Medicine and Forbes, PLUS nearly $600-million from local businesses in venture capitol alone in 2016, and it’s no wonder Austin is turning heads as the “The Silicon Valley of Wellness.”
In short: Austin is Silicon Valley, multiplied times two: A start-up culture with hundreds of new wellness innovations, businesses and technologies beginning to lead the world.
Here are 10 Revolutionary Health Trends Happening in Austin, Texas (that other cities should adopt in 2018)…
Health Trend #1: Local Fitness Culture
A running joke in Austin is that “nobody works”—because the Austin health and fitness scene is alive!
At all hours of the day, in various locations, there is always someone running Lady Bird Trail in the heart of downtown, paddling a kayak or stand-up paddle board, “dropping and giving 20” in a bootcamp, or down-dogging it in a free yoga class.
Whether you’re into old-school weightlifting with other “meat heads” at the long-standing neighborhood Hyde Park Gym, bodyweight sweat sessions, keeping up with the Orange Theory craze or a local version of it, boxing, running (with a group), playing sports, spinning your soul out in Soul Cycle or a local studio like LOVE Cycling, and even a “surf” experience, there is something for EVERYONE who loves health and fitness.
It’s “normal” to run into your friends at the 80,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market Flagship wearing sweaty clothes—just like you—after their kick-butt workout (and did we mention that yoga clothes and “Ath-leisure” clothes can be totally acceptable for some business meetings?).
Health Trend #2: A City Within a Park
Austin is the “Oasis” of Texas (otherwise defined by sprawling big high-ways, suburban living or small-town rural country living)—containing a balance of city and outdoor living in one. Instead of boasting parks throughout the city, is known as a “city within a park” because of the 15,000 acres of parkland surrounding the capital and the dozens of off-the-beaten-path hiking, biking, play, fitness pull-up bars, and outdoor get-away spots like Mt. Bonnell, The Green Belt, McKinney Falls State Park, Turkey Creek Trail, Riverplace, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Park, Hamilton Pool and beyond. You may even call this health trend a real “Green Acres.”
Health Trend #3: Holistic Healthcare
“Holistic” means a lot of things to a lot of different people (depending on who you ask), but a common Austin health trend is legit “holistic” healthcare. Health and wellness practitioners stem from every single specialty imaginable, including: acupuncturists, nutritionists, functional medicine practitioners, functional fitness, Reiki energy healers, Somatic psychotherapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, Chinese Medicine doctors, coaches, and everything in between.
Even conventionally-trained docs and practitioners generally have a more “open-minded” view of holistic and lifestyle medicine, particularly with the new Dell Medical School and Dell Seton Teaching hospital. Dell is the first medical school in nearly 50 years to be built at a top-tier, Association of American Universities research institution with an innovative wellness-centered vision leading a new health trend in medicine altogether.
Health Trend #4: Wellness Co-Working
Co-working is transforming the “way people work” globally, with more and more people working from “home” or shared office spaces than ever before.
There are currently 14,000 co-working spaces globally and approximately 50 spaces in Austin alone. “Wellness Co-Working” takes co-working one step further—incorporating health, fitness and wellness into the normal 9 to 5 workday. And Wellness Co-Working is a health trend that got started—in Austin with Soma Vida, known as the first Wellness Co-working space in the world, nestled 5-minutes from the heart of downtown Austin.
It’s no secret that healthier workers are also happier, more productive and successful workers, and the Wellness Co-Working health trend is changing “way people work,” with more and more spaces are offering fitness, yoga, herbal teas, clean “green” workspaces, standing desks, natural lighting and community connection.
Health Trend #5: 4-Hour Work-Weeks
Just like it’s a running joke that ”no one works in Austin” (due to the booming fitness scene), it is also a running joke that “everyone is an entrepreneur.” The start-up culture is hot—and not just technology (although that is big). Social entrepreneurship, health and wellness entrepreneurship, restaurant entrepreneurship, creative arts entrepreneurship—and everything in between is booming. (CNBC agrees). Along with this unique spirit of entrepreneurship, a health trend of the “4-Hour Work Week” mentality (a la Tim Ferris) and spirit runs deep, as Austinites generally appreciate working hard, but also “playing hard.” Austinites enjoy life and culture in the city too, with a stacked weekly calendar of hundreds of meet ups, events, live music shows and social opportunities happening every week. In other words: Austin is not a city of uptight, isolated, money-hungry entrepreneurs.
Health Trend #6: Donation-Based Fitness
Speaking of entrepreneurship, donation-based fitness is another cutting-edge health trend that started in Austin with the locally-owned and operated Black Swan Yoga. Since opening, other fitness business models have followed suit, hosting pop-up fitness classes, free yoga and other low-cost options for getting your fitness on. Class Pass is another popular health trend of “affordable” fitness that Austinites love—allowing them to soak up “all the things” available at arm’s reach.
Health Trend #7: Simple Solutions
Lack of ease and convenience is the BIGGEST obstacle that keeps people from “adopting” a healthy lifestyle. Austin is on to the solutions though. From:
- Instacart, to drive-up grocery pickups and bicycle delivery from Whole Foods
- Amazon Prime Now deliveries
- ARX Fitness “machines” that give you a total body workout in 30-minutes
- Traveling massage therapists, cost-effective group acupuncture
- Local weekly veggie deliveries like Farmhouse Delivery and Johnson’s Backyard Garden
- Healthy meals for busy people on the go (like Snap Kitchen https://www.snapkitchen.com & The Studio Kitchen
- city-share bicycles and low cost daily bike rentals from local bike shops
- Free health and wellness workshops galore every month
These health trends make health THE easy option.
Health Trend #8: Farmer’s Markets & Local Grocery’s (at Arm’s Reach)
Many towns have Farmer’s Markets once or twice a week, but in Austin, you can find “farm fresh” produce and meats every day of the week. In addition, local grocers like Wheatsville Co-Op and in.gredients source local produce throughout the week, so you can grab eats when needed most.
Health Trend #9: Paleo & Vegan Everywhere
Walk into any restaurant in Austin and tell them you follow a “paleo” or “vegan” lifestyle, and they WON’T look at you like you have a third eye. “Healthy eating” IS the norm in this city, and while people love good food in the restaurant culture, the restaurant culture of Austin equally values good health. Farm-to-table based fare and locally sourced ingredients can be found at handfuls of restaurants. Some of our faves?
- Odd Duck
- Wholly Cow Burger
- Salty Sow
- Barley & Swine
- Eastside Cafe
- Eden East
Health Trend #10: Paleo f(x)
Last, but certainly not least, the one and only Paleo conference in the world happens every year in Austin. Every year, Paleo f(x) draws thousands of people from around the world to come together for three jam-packed days of cutting-edge lectures, health and wellness product launches, paleo food tastings, and meeting like-minded, health-centered individuals to create new ideas, form business partnerships and make life-long friends. Come see for yourself what it’s all about—and make a trip out of it to explore the health and fitness revolution happening in the “Silicon Valley of Wellness.”