The Evolution of Wellness Culture and Its Digital Horizon

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The world of sports and wellness has been a part of human culture for about as long as humanity has been around. Sports date back by over 3,000 years, with the pursuit of fitness having a history that’s equally as long.

The 20th and 21st centuries have only further defined wellness culture as a core part of our society. It only takes a second to see the $87 billion USD that the fitness industry is worth and realize the extent to which wellness has become a core part of our world. Whether you believe that’s due to societal beauty norms or simply due to the desire for health and longevity, it’s undeniable that wellness culture is alive and well.

Yet, as we progress further into this digital age, people are beginning to wonder where we go next. With rumors that we may one day live our lives in the virtual ecosystem of the Metaverse, how does wellness culture come into the picture? If our bodies are virtualized, these avatars will have no need for exercise or wellness.

While this may be true, fitness and wellness aren’t going anywhere. While people may live their virtual lives in the Metaverse, that won’t stop people from wanting to keep their real bodies healthy. Living a completely stagnant life is not an option for most people. Even if the technology was there to facilitate a full life in the Metaverse, many would still want to keep fitness as a core part of their daily activities.

So, where does this industry go next? In this article, we’ll trace the history of wellness culture, demonstrating its rapid rise to world renown. We’ll next turn to the Metaverse, showing how Web 3 companies are gearing up to facilitate a real-world connection between our physical bodies and our virtual selves.

Let’s get right into it.

What Is Wellness – Where Does It Comes From

The notion of wellness as we know it today has its routes at the beginning of time. We’ve seen generations go by that are defined by core beliefs within wellness. One could suggest that Ancient Greek Medicine in 500 B.C. took over from Traditional Chinese Medicine from 3000-20000 B.C. Even beyond this, early ideas of Ayurveda and ancient medicine were the go-to solution for keeping people healthy and calm.

Across history, methods and strategies for wellness have been a core part of our cultural consciousness. Whether it is Homeopathy in the 1790s, Chiropractic healing in the 1890s, or something altogether different, there have always been ideas of the best ways to stay healthy.

During the 1960s, the notion of high-level wellness moved beyond just physical medicine and cures. This was a U.S.-based practice and theory which suggested that wellness really came from mental fortitude. Fast forward 60 years, and we would likely find the early tracings of mental health dialogue in this early text. 

It posited that health was not merely a comment on physical ailments but rather an emotional and social well-being that stretched across family, community, and close relationships. The 20th Century can be seen as a boom for wellness, expanding the definition and allowing people to make this a more conscious part of their life.

The 1980s saw corporations begin to create social wellness programs to keep their employees happy. In fact, by the end of the 80s, 80% of all U.S. corporations had some sort of physical and wellness scheme that their employees could participate in.

Onsite fitness centers started to crop up across the world, and gym culture began to grow. The 1980s also saw exercise videos and health clubs become popular. Fitness was no longer just for models and bodybuilders – it was for everyone.

The Boom of Wellness in the Early 2000s

The early 2000s saw the continuation of the habits that had accumulated over the last 20 years. Wellness was now a word that everyone was familiar with; the fitness industry was booming. New trends and access to the internet allowed people to make wellness one of their core habits.

Whether it was going to the gym, participating in exercise classes, eating a balanced diet, or even just going out for a run, fitness culture was absolutely everywhere. With the rise of the internet, the video cassette exercise class craze moved onto video-sharing sites. Motivation to exercise was also steadily increasing. Back in 2000, only 299,000 runners finished a Marathon each year.

By 2010, this number had increased significantly, settling at around 505,000 runners each year. Fitness was increasingly becoming something that people across the world began to dabble in. instead of having to be a professional, wellness could be a part of your life that you practiced as a hobby.

While meditation and therapy also played a huge part in this surge of wellness culture, there is much less data to accurately track their influences. One factor that has contributed to modern-day wellness that we can clearly follow is the rise of fitness influencers and YouTube fitness personalities.

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Fitness influencers are perhaps one of the most recent trend movements within the world of wellness. These are people that publish content that shows people how to work out in a gym or from their homes, helping to get more people into fitness. Looking at some of the biggest fitness creators, there are millions of followers between them, demonstrating the power they now hold in this industry. 

Yet, as technology continues to advance, we’re reaching a point where people aren’t sure where wellness will go next. Of course, there is a range of current tech that help steer people to a more healthy lifestyle. Alongside the aforementioned influencer pages, there are now 100s of apps designed to help people get or stay fit.

One technology that people are talking about now more than ever is the Metaverse. Considering that so much of wellness culture is about moving your physical body, many are seeing our eventual conversion to Metaverse living as antithetical to wellness culture.

Stepping into Future Fitness with the Metaverse

If wellness and fitness are about moving your body to stay healthy, how can these industries exist in a virtual space where our bodies are not really present? This is the question that has been plaguing the wellness industry for the past few years. As the awareness of the Metaverse, the funding for its technologies, and the potential of what it could do for us in the future have increased, people are questioning the place of fitness to a greater extent.

 

At its most radical, some are predicting that we will live and work within the Metaverse. Being able to inhabit virtual spaces with avatars would allow us to move around the world freely, unconstrained by physical geography. While ideal for some, others fear what would become of their physical bodies if we were to live in this space.

If the whole world is inside the Metaverse, what incentive would there be to continue exercising and keeping fit? In order to make the transition easier for people, Web 3 companies have been examining solutions to this very problem. At the front of the pack is an application known as Sweat Economy.

Sweat Economy has been one of the key players in the wellness industry for several years. They’ve been #1 on the app store in the Health and Fitness category and have over 120,000,000 users. Originally a Web 2 app, they’ve recently launched a Web 3 version that allows people to get on board with the technology that will be used within the Metaverse.

Sweat Economy awards people cryptocurrency for taking steps in real life. Every 1 km of movement allows that person to claim 1 SWEAT token. This token can be exchanged for fiat currency, traded for products or gift cards, or put to work in the Metaverse.

Positioning itself as a bridge between Web 2 and Web 3 health and fitness, Sweat Economy provides a wellness solution for the Metaverse. If people really do make the transition to the Metaverse, then cryptocurrency will be a leading form of tender. Instead of neglecting the need to move and exercise their physical bodies, Sweat Economy provides a way for people to stay connected to the Metaverse while getting in step.

By moving around the real world, people will earn currency that they can then put to use within the Metaverse. As wellness culture begins to make the leap into this new era, Sweat Economy is one of the leading options that bridge the gap. 

Final Thoughts

Of course, the mass movement to the Metaverse is not quite on our radar just yet. While there are many active projects within the Metaverse, a world where we live and work in this virtual space is still many years away. In part, that’s why Sweat Economy’s proposal for the future of fitness is so effective.

By building an audience with their Web 2 app and now onboarding them to Web 3, Sweat Economy has familiarized millions of people with the technology that could truly be our entire future. Instead of waiting for the transition, they’ve created an early platform that helps people understand this new tech and accustom their lives to it.

While technology will certainly be a part of our future, companies like Sweat Economy are ensuring that health and wellness aren’t going anywhere. With solutions like these, we cannot wait to see what the future holds.

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