Millennials get a bad rap. The generation whose birth years loosely extend from 1982 to 2000 inspires suspicion in the workplace for being the first digital natives, and a wary prejudice from everyone else. They’re viewed as bratty and in constant need of coddling, a culture raised on selfies, Snapchat, reality TV, and Kim Kardashian. The “Me” generation may have been narcissistic and entitled, but millennials want to feel special because they know they’re special. Why? Because helicopter parents have been telling them that since Day One. Wary prejudice and bad rap aside –and sweeping generational caricatures are hardly fair- one of the defining characteristics of Millennials is their concern with well-being. The Millies promote healthy living and are changing healthiness for the better.
The Millennial Approach to Promote Healthy Living
1) Healthier Practices
Kale-based drinks, vegan food, yoga, gym, running –millennials are keeping fit and maintaining a healthy diet. In 2013, a Nielsen global consumer fitness survey found that more millennials are doing gym-type activities than any other generation.
2) Use of Fitness Apps
They’re keeping track of those activities too, as millennials use fitness apps to monitor their health more than any other age group.
3) Gluten-Free Please!
Market research also suggests they’ve contributed to the growth of the gluten-free industry, which makes sense considering until about a decade ago most Americans didn’t give gluten much thought. Today, gluten is the number one culinary villain, with nearly 20 million people saying they regularly experience distress after eating products that contain gluten. And the positive health trends don’t end there. According to a Nielsen Global Health and Wellness survey of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, 32% of millennials would happily pay for premium healthier products compared with 21% of baby boomers.
4) Togetherness Instead of Competition
Millennials are a fast-paced group in a fast-paced society, so it makes sense their approach to health, fitness, and exercise is similar to their approach to social media. Due to their overscheduled lives, millennials like to do things quickly; they prefer fun, short, full-body workouts instead of traditional steady-state cardio exercises. In other words… goodbye treadmill, hello Zumba. At the same time, they prefer a holistic approach to health instead of diets that emphasize quick weight loss. Millennials are the first digital natives. They grew up with the Internet and constant connectivity, and it has influenced their approach to fitness. Togetherness is more important to them than competition, and they’d rather sweat it out in a social, alternative fitness class such as CrossFit or SoulCycle than go to a gym and engage in an hour long solo workout.
5) Spreading The Word
Perhaps the biggest way millennials promote healthy living is by spreading the word. Every photo of a Kale-based shake or Zumba class they fire off to Instagram is bound to be seen by someone, and who knows, it may inspire him or her to eat healthier or join a Zumba class. Millennials have the power at their iPhone-happy fingertips to influence other generations, both young and old.